These tender and juicy pork adobo kabobs feature pork tenderloin marinated in traditional adobo ingredients and grilled to perfection with juicy pineapple and poblano pepper.
About the recipe
Pork tenderloin is one of my all-time favorite meats when I want a lean, healthy protein option that is quick and easy to prepare. As a kid, I loved my dad's special grilled pork tenderloin with white barbecue sauce. It is one of his specialties that he makes to this day when we visit!
There are so many easy and flavorful ways that I like to cook pork tenderloin, from my oven-roasted Chile Citrus Pork Tenderloin to my Tuscan Roasted Pork with Blistered Tomatoes. But during grilling season, nothing beats a grilled pork tenderloin kabob, and these adobo pork kabobs with pineapple and poblanos are a current favorite!
The term "adobo" refers to a cooking method popular in the Philippines that involves slowly simmering meat in a mixture of soy sauce, vinegar, and garlic. Depending on what island you are from, ingredients like coconut milk or chiles may be added.
There are so many versions of adobo, and I am taking inspiration from the traditional flavors and using those ingredients in a delicious marinade for pork tenderloin kabobs. And you can't go wrong by adding some pineapple to a pork kabob - it's a combination that's simply irresistible!
- Pork tenderloin
- Fresh pineapple
- Poblano pepper - substitute with onion or bell pepper
- For the marinade: soy sauce, white vinegar, honey, oil, garlic, pepper, bay leaves
Special equipment: I love my reusable metal kabob skewers. You can also use wooden skewers but plan to soak them in water for a few hours while the pork marinates to keep the wood from burning.
Step 1: Prepare the pork tenderloin. Use a knife to carefully remove the silver skin membrane or any extra fat from the tenderloin. Cut the tenderloin into 1-inch cubes.
Step 2: Combine all ingredients for the marinade, then add the cubed pork. Marinate for a minimum of 30 minutes and up to 8 hours.
Step 3: Cut the pineapple and poblano peppers into 1-inch pieces. Thread them onto skewers with the pork tenderloin. Reserve the marinating liquid and strain any solids from it. Let the skewers sit at room temperature for 30 minutes while you heat the grill to medium-high heat, or between 400-425°F.
Step 4: Bring the marinade liquid to a boil over medium heat, adding the remaining vinegar. Boil until it is thick and reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
Step 5: Grill the kabobs for 7-8 minutes, rotating every 2-3 minutes, until the pork reaches an internal temperature of 145°F. Let the kabobs rest for 5 minutes before serving with the reduced marinade sauce on top.
Below are some of my best tips for making these Pork Adobo Kabobs, as well as some answers to commonly asked questions!
Should I trim the silver skin?
It's a good idea to trim the silver skin off of pork tenderloin, as it is a sinewy membrane that becomes rather tough when cooked. It will look like fat on the tenderloin with a shiny, bluish tint. Some pork tenderloins will have it already removed, and you can always ask a butcher to do it for you.
How long do I marinate pork tenderloin?
Believe it or not, you can over-marinate meat, and it's typically not a good idea to marinate for more than a day. When the meat is exposed to acids like citrus juice and vinegar for too long, the texture can become mushy and stringy. This is not at all what you want!
For a cut of meat like pork tenderloin that is already very lean and tender, the purpose of a marinade is just to add flavor. The marinade will be the first thing that cooks on the surface of the pork when it's added to the grill. While a quick 30-minute soak is perfectly effective, you can marinate the pork up to 8 hours or overnight.
How to get juicy grilled pork tenderloin:
To help the kabobs cook more quickly and evenly, I like to place them out at room temperature for 30 minutes before grilling. Once the kabobs are on the grill, cook them to an internal temperature of 145°F, which is the safe internal temperature for pork recommended by the USDA.
I will typically pull my pork at a temp of 142-143°F and then let it rest under foil for 5 minutes before serving. The residual heat from cooking will continue to rise, bringing the meat up to 145°F as it is resting. This typically takes 8 minutes total on a grill heated to 400-425°F.
I think these pork adobo kabobs are best served with a simple side of rice. Jasmine or basmati rice are delicious when prepared according to package directions, but substitute 1 cup of the cooking water with 1 cup of light coconut milk for extra flavor!
If you love grilled kabobs as much as I do, be sure to check out my Grilled Sausage, Zucchini, and Corn Kabobs and these One-Dish Peach BBQ Chicken Kabobs!
Are you ready to make these Pork Adobo Kabobs? I’m so excited for you to try this recipe. Once you get the chance to make it, please let me know how it turns out for you!
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Pork Adobo Kabobs
- 1 ½-2 pounds pork tenderloin, trimmed of silver skin and fat, sliced into 1-inch cubes
- ⅓ cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
- ⅓ cup white vinegar, divdied
- 3 tablespoons honey
- ¼ cup avocado oil (substitute with grapeseed or canola)
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
- 2 whole dried bay leaves
- 1 whole pineapple, cut into 1-inch chunks
- 4 whole poblano peppers, seeds removed, cut into 1-inch pieces
- Combine the soy sauce, 2 tablespoons of the white vinegar, honey, oil, garlic, pepper, and bay leaves in a Ziploc bag, then add the cubed pork. Seal the bag tightly, massaging the pork cubes for a few seconds. Marinate for a minimum of 30 minutes and up to 8 hours.
- Bring the marinade liquid to a boil over medium heat with the remaining vinegar. Boil until it is thick and reduced by half, about 5 minutes, stirring often. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Grill the kabobs for 7-8 minutes, rotating every 2-3 minutes, until the pork reaches an internal temperature of 145°F. Let the kabobs rest for 5 minutes before serving with the reduced marinade sauce on top.
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