|Soba noodles with eggplant and mango|
This is another big hit from Yotam Ottolengthi's cookbook, Plenty: Vibrant Recipes from London's Ottolenghi. Fresh mango, fried eggplant, cilantro and red onion - it has a very southeast Asian feel, like a Thai mango salad with a bunch of other stuff in it. Along those lines, I think it could do well with some crushed roasted peanuts, too, if you like.
There's a bit of prep work, and if you double it like I did, be prepared for a bit of chopping. But once everything is prepped, all that's left is to cook the soba noodles and fry up the eggplant. I get the water going, then start frying up the eggplant.
Soba noodles with eggplant and mango - adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi, Plenty: Vibrant Recipes from London's Ottolenghi
- 1/2 cup rice vinegar
- 1/4 sugar
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 2 garlic cloves, finely minced or put through a garlic press
- 1 tsp. sambal oelek, or garlic chili paste, or 1/2 fresh chile, finely chopped
- 1 Tbsp. sesame oil
- 1 lime - zest grated, and juiced
The remaining ingredients:
- 2 medium eggplant or 4 to 5 slender Japanese or Chinese eggplants, chopped into 3/4" to 1" pieces - I prefer the Japanese/Chinese eggplants but use what you prefer or can get more easily
- 1 x 8 to 9 oz. package of soba noodles
- 1 large mango or 2 smaller yellow mangoes, diced or into thin strips, whichever you prefer
- 1/2 red onion, sliced very thin (soak in water for a bit to remove a little of the bite if you like)
- 1 bunch cilantro, stems mostly removed, and chopped
- 1 small bunch of Thai basil, stems removed and chopped, or you can use regular basil if you can't find Thai basil
- Vegetable, canola or sunflower oil for frying the eggplant
- a bit of sesame oil to drizzle over soba noodles to keep them from sticking
- Salt to taste
Make the dressing: in a heatproof bowl, heat up the rice vinegar in the microwave until warm, or warm up in a small saucepan. Add salt and sugar and mix until dissolved. Add garlic, sambal or chile, and sesame oil and mix well. Let is all cool down and then mix in lime zest and lime juice.
Prep all your remaining ingredients.
Cook the soba noodles in very well salted boiling water, stirring a few times, for 5-7 minutes until tender but there is still a little bite to it. Rinse well with cold water, and drain very well. You can also lay out on a clean dish town to dry. Once the noodles are dried off, drizzle a little sesame oil over them and toss well to help keep the noodles from sticking.
|cooked soba noodles|
In a large bowl, toss everything together and serve. If you want to prep ahead of time, toss everything together except half of the herbs, and then set aside for up to 2 hours. Toss again with the rest of the chopped herbs before serving. Or if you plan to take it to a potluck, party or picnic, you can layer the ingredients in containers as follows: soba noodles (definitely make sure you take the time to drizzle a little sesame oil over them to keep the noodles form sticking), eggplant, sliced onions, mango, and then the herbs on top. Pack the dressing in a separate jar or container, and toss everything together when you're ready to serve.
Soba noodles with eggplant and mango