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Coconut Milk and Saffron Braised Pork Loin

Kindi Lantz January 02, 2020

Tender Pork Loin Braised in Saffron and Coconut Milk

2019 has come to a close, making way for us to step into a new decade. Isn’t it exciting to consider all the potential a new year can hold? Billions of folks have made resolutions—most revolve around feats like eating healthier, working out more, making more money, and the like. I’m not saying there is anything wrong with those resolutions and I do commend anything that has to do with bettering oneself, but I make slightly different types of resolutions. 

As each year reaches finality I have a tradition of making culinary resolutions. Typically, they include preparing intimidating dishes I have never made before or perfecting those that I have not yet been fully satisfied with. While I have included such dishes on this year’s list, I’ve also added a resolution that is a bit broader in application possibilities. This year, I am setting out to craft recipes that include atypical ingredient utilizations or combinations—starting with saffron-scented coconut milk as a braising liquid. 

It couldn't have turned out better! The result was a juicy pork loin spiced with an array of fragrant spices, which were pulled together with a creamy coconut saffron sauce. It was warm and comforting with surprising flavors that proved the perfect way to start a new decade!

Spiced Pork Braised with Saffron Coconut Sauce

Yields 3-4 servings


  • 1 small pork loin (approximately 1.5 pounds)
  • ½ teaspoon saffron 
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • ½ teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon dried fenugreek
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¾ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons grated ginger
  • 2 tablespoons coconut aminos
  • 1 13.5 ounce can coconut milk
  • 1 ½ cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 4 tablespoons coconut oil, divided
  • ½ small sweet onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons of cornstarch
  • 1 can coconut cream


  1. Crush the saffron with the back of a spoon and soak it in the water for at least 20 minutes. 
  2. Pat your tenderloin dry. 
  3. Mix together the nutmeg, fenugreek, cinnamon, cumin, salt, and pepper and rub the mixture all over the pork loin. 
  4. Preheat the oven to 270℉. 
  5. Stir the coconut milk, chicken stock,  ginger, saffron/water mixture, and coconut aminos together. Whisk until the liquids and solids from the coconut milk are thoroughly combined. 
  6. Melt the coconut oil in a large skillet or dutch oven and saute the onions. Turn the heat up to medium-high and sear the pork loin on all sides.
  7. Remove the pork loin and set aside.
  8. Deglaze the pan with 2 tablespoons of coconut aminos and add the coconut milk mixture to the pan. 
  9. Submerge the pork in the coconut milk mixture, cover, and place in the oven for 20 minutes, or until the internal temperature has reached 145℉. If the pork isn’t fully submerged, flip it after 10 minutes. Remove the pork, cover,  and let sit for at least 3 minutes before slicing. 
  10. Return the pan to the stovetop and turn the heat to med-high. 
  11. Remove a few tablespoons of braising liquid and mix it with the cornstarch until no lumps remain. Whisk it in the coconut braising liquid and continue whisking until it has thickened to the consistency of a thin gravy.

Serving Suggestions

Serve over rice, glass noodles, or couscous. Drizzle with sauce and serve more on the side. 

I used several Slofoodgroup ingredients in this recipe, including nutmeg, cinnamon, and saffron. You can find the full line of spices here.