What can you do with a few cilantro sprigs, half a mango, and tofu leftovers from yesterday night’s miso soup? Apparently, nothing.
But when you are a fan of Yotam Ottolenghi, you remember this recipe of Soba noodles with aubergine and mango that you promised you would make…some day.
Well, the day has come! I also happened to have home grown basil, a few delicious naturally grown aubergines (eggplant), soba noodles, and red onions.
So, I have adapted this recipe from Ottolenghi’s soba noddles in Plenty.
And the kids and I enjoyed it SO much! It was extraordinary; great flavors, and great combination of ingredients. My husband did really miss a great dish (but he also had a great business dinner, to tell the truth!).
Serves 4 – Total time 45 min
8 oz (225g) dried buckwheat (soba) noodles
1/4 cup (60 ml) black rice vinegar (or red wine vinegar)
1 tbsp raw cane sugar or brown sugar
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1/4 tsp red chili pepper flakes
1 tsp sesame oil
juice of one lime or lemon
2 tbsp olive oil
3/4 lb (1 medium) aubergine, cut into 1/2-inch (1cm) chunks
1/2 large ripe mango, cut into 1-inch (2cm) chunks
4 oz (115g) grilled or pan-fried tofu, diced
1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 handful of basil leaves, slivered
1/2 handful of fresh cilantro, chopped coarsely
Bring a pot of water to a boil. Cook the buckwheat noodles for about 5-8 minutes, following package instructions, or until they are just tender.
Drain and rinse under cold running water. Shake off as much of the excess water as possible, then leave to dry in the colander. If you’re not using the noodles right away, toss with a tiny splash of sesame oil, so that the noodles won’t stick to each other.
In the meantime, make the dressing by combining the vinegar, sugar, and salt in a small pan over medium heat. Cook, stirring continuously, for 1 or 2 minutes, until the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and add the garlic, red chili pepper flakes (you can omit them if you don’t like spicy food), and sesame oil. Set aside to cool.
Heat the olive oil in a skillet and fry the aubergine, until deeply golden. Make sure you add 1 or 2 tbsp water to make sure they don’t burn, and they cook until they are tender. Season with sea salt (1 pinch).
In a large salad bowl, toss the buckwheat noodles, the dressing, the lime or lemon juice, mango, tofu, eggplant, red onion, and the herbs.
You can serve right away or set aside for an hour before serving.