Asian Pork & Pasta Salad

This is one of the best recipes I've picked up from my local Penzeys Spices. It has such a delicious marinade and is so fresh, I always end up making it often during the summer!

Here's the quote from the card: "Light and bright, fresh from the garden and the grill. Leftover grilled pork works great if you have it, just chop and toss with the marinade and proceed from there." We've also just marinated pork chops before, grilled them up and served them alongside the pasta salad as well... Enjoy!

Asian Pork and Pasta Salad
1 1/2 lbs. pork tenderloin
1 lb. pasta, your choice (we use farfalle)
1 lb. snap pea pods (we use edamame pods)
1 large leek
1 C sliced cherry tomatoes
3 Tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
2 tsp sesame oil (for stir-frying)

1/2 C soy sauce
1/4 C brown sugar
1/4 C rice vinegar
2 Tbsp sesame oil
1 tsp. aleppo (or white) pepper
1/4 tsp minced garlic
1/4 tsp powdered ginger
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

1/2 C reserved marinade
2-3 Tbsp mayonnaise--enough to lightly thicken
2 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds

Whisk together marinade ingredients. Remove 1/2 cup, cover and refrigerate for dressing later. Cut pork into bite-sized pieces. Clean and chop the leek and the peas. Place pork in one bowl and the peas in another. Divide the leeks, half in each bowl. Pour all but 2 Tbsp of the marinade over the pork, toss well, cover and refrigerate. Toss the peas with the remaining marinade, cover and refrigerate both bowls for at least 15 minutes to develop flavor. Whisk mayo and sesame seeds with reserved marinade for dressing, and set aside. Clean and slice cherry tomatoes, set aside.

Bring water to a rolling boil in a large pot. Add pasta, cook according to directions on box, drain briefly, toss with fresh cilantro, cover and set aside. While pasta is cooking, heat sesame oil in a large skillet. When hot, add half of the pork. Cook until rich brown in color and cooked through. (The sugar in the marinade may cause the pork to blacken, so keep an eye on the pan and turn the heat down if necessary). Add the second half of the pork and cook. Discard the marinade that the pork was in. Once the pork is done, quickly stir-fry the peas, tossing in a bit of the marinade in the bowl. 2 minutes should do it...

Toss the peas and the pork with the pasta, add dressing and toss until coated. (You may not need all of the dressing). Top with sliced cherry tomatoes, a little more cilantro (if you love it like I do), and a sprinkle of extra toasted sesame seeds as desired.
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