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Soba noodles with mango and aubergine

 

I prepared this dish when two vegetarian friends came for dinner.  I did not want to make classic pasta and fell upon this Ottolenghi recipe - a different take on a noodle dish.  The secret to the success of this recipe is the combination of fresh herbs and chilli, and the sweet sharpness of the dressing.  It can be served as a substantial starter or turn into a light main course by adding fried firm tofu.

 

 

 

 

Ingredients (serves 6):

  • 120ml/1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • 40g/4 Tbsp caster sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1/2 fresh red chilli, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • Grated zest and juice of 1 lime
  • 220ml/1 cup sunflower oil
  • 2 aubergines (eggplant), cut into 2cm dice
  • 250g/9oz soba noodles
  • 1 large ripe mango, cut into 1cm dice
  • 40g/small handful basil leaves, chopped
  • 40g/small handful coriander leaves, chopped
  • 1/2 red onion, very thinly sliced

Preparation:

1. Start with the dressing.  Gently warm the vinegar, sugar and salt for 1 minute in a small saucepan, until the sugar dissolves.  Remove from the heat and add the garlic, chilli and sesame oil.  Allow to cool, then add the lime zest and juice.

2. Now prepare the aubergines. Heat the sunflower oil in a large pan and shallow-fry the aubergine cubes in a couple of batches.  Once golden brown, remove and to a colander, sprinkle with salt and leave to drain.

3. Cook the noodles for 5-8 minutes to become tender but still retain a bite.  Drain and rinse well under running cold water.  Leave to dry on a tea towel.

4. In a large mixing bowl, toss the noodles with the dressing, mango, aubergine, herbs and red onion.  Serve immediately (or set aside for 1-2 hours before your guests arrive).  Can be eaten warm or cold.

 

Recipe taken from Plenty, by Yotam Ottolenghi

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