There was a period of about 10-12 years that we annually visited some Caribbean island, or the Riviera Maya, during the long Winter months to ease that bleak period of time between the holidays and the start of Spring. And those fond memories include some of the best food. The flavors in this Rum-Glazed Pork Skewers with Coconut Rice recipe remind me of those blissful days.
Here, a Caribbean-accented spice rub and glaze boost the flavor of quick-cooking pork tenderloin pieces which are quickly grilled with fresh bell pepper and red onion. Rice cooked with coconut milk and a sprinkle of lime zest add to the tropical feel of the dish.
To amp up the nutrients and provide an additional splash of color, we served ours with a side of rainbow chard sautéed in olive oil and roasted garlic. Go ahead, dive into the Caribbean flavors…
Rum-Glazed Pork Skewers with Coconut Rice
- 3 Tbs. unsalted butter
- 1 Tbs. minced fresh ginger
- 1 cup jasmine rice
- 3/4 cup well-shaken unsweetened coconut milk
- Kosher salt
- 1/3 cup dark rum
- 3 Tbs. packed dark brown sugar
- 2 medium limes, finely grated to yield 1 tsp. zest and squeezed to yield 1/4 cup juice
- 2 Tbs. vegetable oil; more for grill grates
- 1 tsp. ground allspice
- 1/8 tsp. ground cayenne
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 1- to 1-1/4-lb. pork tenderloin, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 medium red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch squares
- 1 red onion, cut into 1-inch pieces
- Lime wedges for serving (optional)
- Melt 1 Tbs. of the butter in a 2-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add the ginger and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the rice and stir until well coated.
- Add the coconut milk, 1-1/2 cups water, and 3/4 tsp. salt; bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until the liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork, cover, and set aside.
- Meanwhile, combine the rum, brown sugar, 2 Tbs. of the lime juice, and the remaining 2 Tbs. butter in a 1-quart saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook until syrupy, about 5 minutes (this took me more like 12 minutes). Stir in 1/8 tsp. salt and remove from the heat.
- In a medium bowl, combine the remaining 2 Tbs. lime juice with the oil, allspice, cayenne, 1-1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. black pepper. Add the pork and toss to coat.
- Thread the pork, bell pepper, and onions onto four 12-inch metal skewers, alternating the meat and vegetables.
- Prepare a medium-high (400°F) gas or charcoal grill fire or heat a large grill pan over medium-high heat. Oil the grate or pan. Grill the skewers until seared on all sides, about 4 minutes total.
- Brush the skewers with the glaze and grill, turning occasionally, until the pork is browned on the outside but still slightly pink in the center, 2 to 4 minutes more.
- Add the zest to the rice and fluff. Brush the skewers with any additional glaze and serve with the rice and lime wedges, if you like.