If you live in a tiny apt, one of the biggest challenges with summer, is the suffocating heat produced by even the slightest use of the stovetop and the oven. It’s the same problem that makes grilling such a wonderful experience. But as you know, I have no such grill or the outdoor space to put one. But as you also know, that doesn’t stop me from coming up with delicious and refreshing dishes like this one!
I rarely cook pasta these days. In fact, I can’t even think of the last time I opened up a box of dried pasta. And despite my love for making fresh pasta, it’s a labor of love; emphasis on the labor. I’ve gotten pretty efficient at it, but even still, my days of gorging on pasta four days a week have seem to pass. All that being said, it was noodles I was craving so it was noodles I would be having. But not for a hot steamy bowl of pasta, but rather a cold noodle salad I knew I wanted to pack with veggies and top with a simple seared skirt steak.
This brings us back to the dilemma of indoor cooking. To avoid making the apartment the oven itself, I wanted to avoid the use of heat as much as possible. Which is why thin rice noodles are a perfect solution. Not only do I love their texture and taste for a dish like this, but you can “cook” them in a bowl of hot water straight from the tap. Particularly in our apartment where the hot running water seems to reach boiling (not much of an exaggeration) this saves a ton of heat generated from boiling a big pot of water. And you could easily substitute these for angel hair in your next “red sauce” meal.
As for the veggies, it was only the broccoli that I quickly seared in the cast iron to generate a bit more flavor. While I could eat broccoli in any shape or form, I’ve found roasted or quickly seared/grilled is my favorite. There is just something so deep about the flavor when broccoli is cooked in this way. But the cabbage, red pepper, scallion, and ginger didn’t even touch the heat, keeping them crunchy and colorful only made more delicious by the splashes of fish sauce, soy sauce, honey, and siracha. After a half hour in the fridge this cold noodle salad was extremely refreshing and the perfect bed for this quickly seared skirt steak.
And that’s the beauty about skirt steak. The sucker takes 5 minutes tops to cook which means you’ll only need a handful of BTUs (no idea if this is even close to accurate) to have a fantastic summer meal!