Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Ginger & Star Anise Marinade; the state of food blogging

I usually can’t be bothered to make a marinade that requires cooking, but I found this in an old cookbook, Great Grilling,  and decided to try it.

I made a few substitutions, using what I had on hand. If you don’t have mirin, use dry sherry and another 1/2 tbs of brown sugar. Use dark or regular soy sauce for the mushroom soy sauce. This is cooking, not baking… substitutes are allowed and flexible.

Pork is done at 145 F (62C).  It will be slightly pink in the center which is perfect.  If you don’t have a thermometer (instant or remote read) check it after 20 minutes by slicing into middle for a peak. It will cook a bit more while it rests.

Grilled Pork Tenderloin, Ginger & Star Anise Marinade

Total time: 45 minutes plus marinating time


  • 12oz (360gr) pork tenderloin
  • 1/3 cup mirin
  • 1/3 cup mushroom soy sauce
  • 2 tbs brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 tbs minced fresh ginger
  • 2 star anise
  • 2 tbs sesame or walnut oil
  • 1 tbs maizena (cornstarch) dissolved in 2 tbs water

Grilled Pork Tenderloin


  • Put mirin, soy sauce, water, sugar, onion, garlic, ginger, star anise in a small saucepan and heat to boiling.
  • Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Remove from heat, stir in sesame oil, set aside until completely cooled.
  • Put pork in a food bag or dish, pour marinade over and refrigerate for 6 hours or overnight, turning occasionally.
  • When ready remove pork from marinade, reserving marinade.
  • Cook pork on barbecue for 20 – 25 minutes, depending on thickness. 
  • Remove from heat and let rest 5 – 10 minutes before slicing.
  • Heat reserved marinade to boiling, reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes. Add cornstarch mixture and stir until thickened. Remove from heat.
  • To serve: Slice pork, spoon some sauce over the top and serve, remaining sauce on the side.

Print Recipe

I was going through my ‘reader’ the other day. You remember those, right? It collects the RSS (or replacement) feeds for blog updates so one can see what everyone else is up to. I hadn’t updated mine in awhile, it was late, I was bored so I decided to take a closer look.

I’ve been blogging for over 11 years. A lot of the food blogs on my list were from the early days. More recent blogs have been added but the old ones were still there.

A lot of the old ones were no longer active or were minimally active… 3 posts in the last 9 months or some such. What struck me was how many of my old blogging friends seemed to quit sometime in 2014.

Did something happen in 2014 that I missed? Was I supposed to turn in my keyboard but no one gave me the memo?

Well, that bit wouldn’t actually surprise me….. The new era of sponsored posts and product reviews and all the other stuff has passed me by. It seems that companies selling products to young consumers in metropolitan US are not really seeking the opinion of retired American expats living in the middle of nowhere, France.

To be fair I have not pursued the new blogging style that seems so prevalent now. If you like seeing a picture of the ingredients, followed by a picture of the ingredients in a skillet, followed by a picture of the ingredients in the skillet being stirred, followed by a picture of the ingredients in the skillet being stirred at 10 minute intervals, followed by…. Oh, you get my drift! If you like all those pictures you have come to the wrong blog. They drive me crazy as it takes forever to scroll down to the actual recipe.

I know how to stir…..

Sometimes when I finally get to the recipe I find out it uses prepared foods and / or mixes. Like the cake recipe I checked out the other day…. It used a cake mix and a packet of flavored Jello. I made that in grade school….

I don’t read as many blogs as I used to either. I see a photo on Pinterest or Facebook of something that looks good, but when I follow it through to the recipe I find a blog that is in pale blue or pale gray type on white and, for me, it’s simply not worth the effort to read it. Don’t these people calibrate their monitors? Do they really think having a pale gray typeface on a white background is a good thing? Why would they want to make it difficult to read?

Maybe the answer really is that they don’t calibrate the monitors…. Or maybe the posts are being written for phones and they don’t do different color schemes for desktop and phone.

Whatever, they lose my interest immediately.

All this thinking and looking and pondering makes me wonder why I’m still sitting here typing….

I have no answer to that.

So here’s a sunset:

Last update on May 21, 2017

12 thoughts on “Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Ginger & Star Anise Marinade; the state of food blogging”

  1. I think the rise of Twitter and then Facebook spelled the end of many blogs. I kept writing for quite a while but lost the habit when we went on our long drive around the US in 2015, and I had so few readers anyway that it didn’t seem worth the effort once we returned. But I accomplished what I wanted from Zoomie Station, daily writing practice and my favorite recipes online where I could access them anywhere. I enjoyed the blog and do return to it, but for now I’ll read yours.

    • Zoomie, I have to admit I use my own blog a lot to find my own recipes lol It’s very handy and a good record. As to the rest – I really can’t be bothered to be active enough on Twitter or Instagram to make it worth my time

  2. I love reading your blog! Not just for the recipes, but also for a taste of a country I will probably never see. I’m with you though on the graphics and multitude of pictures before getting to the recipe. I’ve been cooking longer than most ‘new’ food bloggers have been alive. Just give me the recipe!! So I follow you and a couple other older, established food bloggers like Chef John and leave the rest to the kids who can’t cook.

    • nighstmusic, I’m with you age-wise. It tickles me to see recipes that I made in college, that horrify me now, being promoted as the new ‘thing’ (like meatballs in a mix chili sauce and grape jelly) I’m just too impatient for all the photos… And my internet is slow lol

  3. I have been reading your blog for years and I’m happy it’s stll up. Please don’t go anywhere. Since I started food blogging I have seen many blogs come and go. I feel at times I have lost the community we used to have in the food blogging world. So many blogs have become commercial and have become big and splashy in order to attract more readers I feel many of us have given up because we just can’t keep up. You have to become an “influencer”. If you haven’t gone commercial, if you’re not publshing a cookbook or selling something, you won’t have an audience. My blog hasn’t changed in 10 years. I don’t do it for readers or for money. I do it to have a place to keep my new recipe ideas, blather a bit on food topics, and share recipes with friends and family. That’s why it stays up.

    On a different note, i love your recipe. Great flavors here. I love Asian-influenced pork. i’m not familiar with mushroom soy sauce though.

    • Rachel, so many of them are so ‘splashy’ that, if I’m sent there via a search I can’t even find the recipe I was looking for… so I leave. I don’t want to be bothered figuring out how to use the blog to find it. I’m afraid I will never be an ‘influencer’… just not that into it. The mushroom soy sauce is very dark and thick. I get it at the Asian supermarket. It adds a nice flavor and is not as salty as regular.

  4. The pork tenderloin sounds delicious!

    I too have pondered this. I didn’t realize that it had anything to do with 2014 though. I blame social media. People are so busing “liking” things all amalgamated on one site, that they don’t want to take the time to visit various blogs.

    For my own blog, I often think of something to post about in the middle of the night. But then when it comes down to actually compiling the post, it suddenly seems like too much work.

    Thank goodness you don’t feel like your blog is too much work! That’s a beautiful sunset, by the way. I hope it isn’t portentous.

    • I usually get brilliant ideas when I’m working in the garden or washing lettuce or walking the dogs – then promptly forget it. I’m trying to take more time to enjoy the sunsets….

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