This week's theme at I Heart Cooking Clubs is "Use Your Noodle." Since I love pasta this theme was right up my alley. I saw this recipe and knew it was the one that I would make. Noodles, eggplant, and mango. All ingredients that I love. Unfortunately, I couldn't find soba noodles at the local grocery store but already had a package of udon noodles in the house so I used those. I also substituted a whole jalapeno pepper in place of the red chile pepper. My grocery store doesn't carry those and I've found that Ottolenghi uses them a lot in his recipes! This is a perfect spring or summer meal. It's served room temperature and does require the sauce being premade and the eggplant browned. But it's light and refreshing with a hint of spice. I didn't even attempt to try to get the kids to eat this. It had a little kick to it plus they don't like eggplant . You have to like eggplant to really enjoy this dish! My adapted recipe is below. For the original recipe check out Plenty: Vibrant Vegetable Recipes from London's Ottolenghi by Yotam Ottolenghi.
Recipe adapted from Plenty: Vibrant Vegetable Recipes from London's Ottolenghi by Yotam Ottolenghi
1/2 cup rice vinegar
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
grated zest and juice of 1 lime
1 cup vegetable oil
1 eggplant, cut into 3/4-inch dice
12 ounces udon noodles
1 large ripe mango, cut into 3/8-inch dice
2 1/2 cups cilantro leaves, chopped
1/2 red onion, very thinly sliced
In a small saucepan gently warm the vinegar, sugar and salt for up to 1 minute, just until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat and add the garlic, jalapeno, and sesame oil. Allow to cool, then add the lime zest and juice.
Heat up the vegetable oil in a large pan and shallow-fry the eggplant in three or four batches. Once golden brown remove to a colander, sprinkle liberally with salt and leave there to drain.
Cook the noodles in plenty of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally. They should take 5 to 8 minutes to become tender but still al dente. Drain and rise well under running cold water. Shake off as much of the excess water as possible, then leave to dry on a dish towel.
In a mixing bowl toss the noodles with the dressing, mango, eggplant, half of the cilantro and the onion. You can now leave this aside for 1 to 2 hours. When ready to serve add the rest of the cilantro and mix well, then pile on a plate or in a bowl.
Mommy & Daddy Rating: 1 1/2 thumbs up.