It’s not quite officially summer here in Providence, Rhode Island, but it sure feels like it. We live in a cute little Victorian house with no AC so as the days have been getting more hot and humid, our meals keep getting colder and colder with more salads and fruits.
It’s a little tough to think of a cold meal in conjunction with date night. When you think of dinner dates, you typically think of a beautiful steak or a fancy fish. But with the early summer we’ve had, being in a hot kitchen and eating a hot meal afterwards sounds awful! We decided to get a little creative on date night and came up with a delicious cold soba noodle and pork salad recipe that we absolutely loved.
Yes, I know what your thinking. Noodles with salad? Cold noodles? Are you nuts? But I promise you, this is the best dang noodle bowl combination you’re going to want during the summer. And it’s great for date night because it’s more than just a salad. It’s got my husbands official stamp of manliness approval. This meal is also great if your on a time crunch for preparing a dinner date as most of this can be prepared in advance. We hope you enjoy!
Spicy Garlic Sauce
- 3 tablespoons of soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon of minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon of sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon of cornstarch
- 1/4 teaspoon of minced ginger
This sauce tastes better if you make it ahead of time and place it in the fridge for a few hours. If you don’t have that much time, that’s okay! Make the sauce first and refrigerate before prepping the salad portion.
Combine the soy sauce, minced garlic, sesame oil, rice vinegar, minced ginger and red pepper flakes in a cup. If you don’t tolerate spicy well, the red pepper flakes are optional. Stir all ingredients together. Slowly add in the cornstarch while mixing, taking care to make sure there are no clumps in the process.
Pan Seared Pork
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 of cup olive oil
- 1/2 pound of boneless pork loin
- 1 tablespoons of minced garlic
- One teaspoon of pepper flakes
In a zip lock bag, prepare the marinade first. Add the soy sauce, olive oil, pepper flakes (again, optional) and minced garlic into the bag and make sure the ingredients are well combined. Rinse the meat and add to the mixture to marinate over night or for at least a couple of hours. The longer you marinate, the more tender and juicy the meat will be.
Over medium heat, add a little vegetable oil to a medium skillet. Once the vegetable oil is hot, add in the pork. Cook the pork for about 2-3 minutes on one side and then flip. Test the firmness of the meat until it meets your desired tenderness. We cooked ours to about a medium to make sure there was no pink in the middle (equates to about 4-5 minutes after you have flipped). Remove the meat from the pan and let rest for a couple minutes and then slice thin.
Soba Noodle Salad
- 1 bundle of soba noodles
- Half of a cucumber, cut in half (long ways) and deseeded
- 2 cups of diced romaine lettuce
- 1/2 cup of shredded carrots
- 1/2 cup of diced green onions
- 1/3 cup of ginger (slice into slivers)
- 1 sheet of roasted seaweed
Cook the soba noodles first and then drain, rinse, toss in a light about of olive oil and refrigerate while you prepare the rest of the ingredients. Thinly cut the cucumber into long slivers half the width of a pencil (see image below). Next, cut the seaweed sheet in half and layer on top of each other. Trust me, this is so much easier to cut and saves time instead of trying to cut thin pieces on a whole sheet. Once the pieces are layered, begin to slice the doubled sheet into thin strips. Bring all of the seaweed strips together and cut them into small pieces that are no longer than two inches in length. Now you’re ready to assemble.
In a bowl, place the lettuce on one side and the now cooled noodles on the other. Layer the carrots, cucumber, seaweed and ginger over the lettuce side of the bowl. Layer the pork on the noodle side. This is to prevent the hot pork from wilting the lettuce. Pour the spicy garlic sauce into the center of the bowl. Now you’re ready to enjoy a perfect summer date night dinner.
If you give this recipe a try, let us know how it turned out for you. We’d love to hear from you. Happy summer dating!