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Grilled Pork with Anise-Seed Rub and Mango Mojo

Lose your mojo? Here’s a way to get it back. I found this Caribbean influenced pork recipe years ago in Gourmet Magazine and it remains one of my faves. The spicy pepper and anise seed perfectly complement the tangy, sweet mojo. I have this pipe dream of opening a cool, modern Jamaican restaurant in Chicago. Bamboo floors, loud chill Reggae music playing, giant rum drinks. Unfortunately the Hard Rock Hotel beat me to it with a restaurant called Mr. Brown’s Lounge. Haven’t been, but it sounds good. Never the less, if I do open my place, this pork dish will be the first thing on my menu. I paired it here with spicy jerk fries, but it would also go well with a black bean corn salad or Caribbean style coleslaw.


Mango Mojo

  • 1 large mango, peeled and coarsely chopped

  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice

  • 1 large garlic clove

  • 1 T chopped fresh jalapeño (you can leave in seeds if you desire)

  • ½ to 3/4 tsp kosher salt (start with ½ tsp. you can always add more)

  • 2 T finely chopped fresh cilantro

Anise-Seed Rub

  • 1 T anise seeds

  • 3/4 tsp black peppercorns

  • 1 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1 1/2 tsp sugar

  • 3 T olive oil


  • 1 – pork tenderloin anywhere from 1.5lb to 2.5 lbs or 4 (3/4-inch-thick) loin pork chops, trimmed


  • Make mojo

  • Purée mango, lime juice, garlic, jalapeño, and salt in a blender.

  • Add cilantro and puree for 3 seconds.

  • Make rub and marinate pork

  • Finely grind anise seeds and peppercorns in an electric coffee/spice grinder

  • with salt and sugar.

  • Transfer mixture to a small bowl and stir in oil.

  • Liberally brush the rub onto the pork.

  • Place in a plastic bag and marinate for 1 hour up to 8 hours

  • Grill pork

  • Preheat grill to medium/high heat.

  • Grill pork until internal temperature reaches 145 degrees, turning every 5 minutes so that the pork is evenly cooked, roughly 15 to 20 minutes.

  • Transfer to a platter and let stand, loosely covered, 5 minutes.

  • If using pork chops, grill roughly 4 to 5 minutes a side

  • Slice pork and serve with mojo.

Jamaican Jerk Oven Fries


  • 3 large baking potatoes (peeled or unpeeled your choice) cut into 1/4-inch-thick matchsticks

  • 2 T olive oil or avocado oil

  • 1 heaping T of Spice Hunter Salt Free Jamaican Jerk seasoning or 1 heaping T of McCormick Jerk seasoning NOTE* if you use McCormick you may not need additional salt

  • Heaping ½ tsp Kosher Salt

  • Cooking spray


  • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

  • In a large bowl, toss the potatoes with the oil, Jerk seasoning and 1/2 teaspoon salt ( if using McCormick you may not need additional salt).

  • Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray and spread the potatoes in a single layer.

  • Bake until golden and crisp, about 35 minutes.

  • Remove the fries with a spatula and if needed season with salt and pepper.

HEARTFUL RECIPE - Use heritage pork or get it from Whole Foods where their meat meets Animal Welfare Standards if possible. Butter in moderation is fine, unless you are completely dairy-free. - One of our real food recipes that focuses on veggies, protein, healthy fats and/or healthy carbs and doesn't include gluten, dairy, soy, refined sugar, corn or peanuts.


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