How to Deep-Fry Pork Tenderloin

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The breaded pork tenderloin remains one of the healthier deep fried meats, because of its low-fat and high-protein content. In a deep-fried pork tenderloin sandwich, often referred to in the Midwest as the Hoosier sandwich, it offers a delicious crispy crunch. Unlike the pork loin, which is often slow-roasted or grilled, the pork tenderloin tastes best when cooked quickly on high heat.

Cutting and Prepping

The pork tenderloin comes from the muscle that runs along the backbone of the pig. Because of its elongated shape, you'll need to carve the tenderloin into smaller pieces to ensure that it cooks thoroughly throughout the deep-frying process.

  • Place the pork tenderloin on a clean cutting board.
  • Use a sharp kitchen knife to trim excess fat and remove the silver-skin.
  • Cut the tenderloin into four equal-sized pieces.
  • Butterfly the tenderloin by cutting 3/4 of the way through, then folding down the edges.  
  • Place a layer of plastic wrap over the tenderloin pieces.
  • Use a meat tenderizing mallet to flatten the pieces.

Dredging and  Frying

To ensure a nice crispy exterior, dredge the pork before starting the deep-frying process. Use two large bowls and set up a dredging station.

  • Combine 1 egg and 1 cup of milk in the first bowl, whipping them together.
  • Mix 1 cup of flour, 1 cup of bread crumbs, salt and pepper in the second bowl.
  • Dip each tenderloin into the egg mixture.
  • Transfer the pork to the second bowl and cover it entirely with the flour mixture.
  • Set your deep-fryer to medium-high or heat canola oil to 365 degrees Fahrenheit in a large skillet.
  • Deep-fry the tenderloins for 6 to 8 minutes in the deep-fryer or 3 to 4 minutes on each side in the skillet.

Tips and Serving Suggestions

After removing the tenderloins from the oil, place them on a large plate covered in paper towels to absorb excess oil. Serve each tenderloin on a toasted bun with lettuce, fresh slices of tomato and mayo. If you have leftovers, chop up the tenderloins and sprinkle the slices over a salad for a protein-packed lunch.

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