Noodles with Fried Eggplant, Miso and Walnuts

I hadn’t really cooked any dishes from Ottolenghi’s books for about a year (and it would be another 6 months before I went back to cooking his recipes regularly). When I began cooking from Plenty More again, I realised 2 things: Firstly how much I had missed the flavours of Ottolenghi, and secondly I remembered the almost tedious number of processes in each recipe.

The deep sweetness and intensity produced by miso paste, combined with other Japanese staples, are guaranteed to put a smile on your dial on an overcast Winter or Early Spring day.

This one is no different. It has 7, yes seven, different processes with associated pots, pans and equipment. Make the vegetarian dashi, ribbon cut and soak ginger and spring onions, prep the eggplants, deep fry the eggplants, saute the onions, walnuts etc, make the sauce, cook the noodles.

So Ottolenghi flavours come at a price. Leave an afternoon free – at least several hours to cook and clean up – when making any of his dishes.

To be fair though – the man I call the Master of Flavour produces amazing dishes that makes the hours worth the effort!

This is an Ottolenghi dish from Plenty More – we are cooking our way through this book. We feel free to substitute ingredients that are not readily available in our local area. You can see the original recipe here.

Similar recipes include Roasted Eggplant with Special Miso Sauce, Deep Fried Eggplant, Ginger Scallion Noodles, and Udon Noodles and Shimejii Mushrooms.

Browse all of our Japanese dishes and all of our Eggplant recipes. Our Ottolenghi dishes from Plenty More are here. We have written about our experiences cooking through this book. Or explore our Mid Spring recipes.

Continue reading “Noodles with Fried Eggplant, Miso and Walnuts”

Soba Noodles with Quick Pickled Mushrooms

In Australia, we usually eat our noodles hot, but in Japan, noodles – especially soba noodles – are often consumed cold. They are flavoursome, textural and refreshing, and a great base or carrier for other flavours.

This dish pairs some quick pickled Shimeji mushrooms, carrots, radishes, snow peas and nori seaweed with the noodles. It is an Ottolenghi recipe from Plenty More and is is a great Summer dish.

Yotham says:

Cold noodles are a Japanese art form. On a trip to Tokyo a few years ago I queued with a bunch of suited businessmen to have lunch in one of the city’s most renowned soba noodle restaurants. It was incredibly humbling to watch a bunch of very busy people putting aside time to sit quietly for half an hour and completely immerse themselves in the appreciation of the profound subtlety of the noodles. Enlightenment still escapes me but I’ve had my own little life moments in various London noodles bars in recent months.

I ordered a “Cold Soba Noodle Bowl” in Sydney recently, looking forward to the noodles. Sadly it was 99% shredded raw veggies, and 1% noodles. This dish fixes that ratio with a more balanced serve of noodles with the herbs and vegetables. Delicious!

Similar recipes include Mushrooms with Barley and Preserved Lemon, Glass Noodles with Spinach, and Glass Noodles with Green Mango Salad.

Browse all of our Soba Noodle dishes and our Shimeji recipes. Our recipes from Plenty More are here. Or explore our recipes for Late Summer.

Continue reading “Soba Noodles with Quick Pickled Mushrooms”

Ginger Scallion Noodles

Oh those nights in the various China Towns of the world, eating noodles and congee and salt and pepper tofu, and wonderful silky eggplants. Simple dishes are tasty and elegant, in a way that sometimes we forget. Paring back to basics gives such good dishes.

For this dish you will need a basic Ginger Scallion Sauce (we call them Spring Onions, but it doesn’t sound as good). The sauce is useful in the kitchen and is one of my pastes, purees, powders, stocks and sauces that commonly grace my quiet kitchen bench. It is useful in so many ways – into soups and broths it goes, over rice with some deep fried tofu and shredded vegetables, drizzled onto bok choy with or without noodles, smeared on sandwiches.

Once you have the sauce, all you need for this recipe is some noodles and some veg. That’s it. And variations are endless. Make it as simple or as fussy as you like.

Similar recipes include Sesame-Chilli-Soy Dipping Sauce, Soba Noodles with Quick Pickled Mushrooms, Glass Noodles and Green Mango Salad.

Browse all of our Noodle dishes, our Dipping Sauces and all of our Asian recipes. Or explore our Early Summer dishes.

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Soba Noodles with Eggplant and Mango

How extraordinary noodles are, and oh! What a variety! Think Japanese noodles, Chinese Noodles, Italian Noodles (pasta), Indian noodles (lots of them using interesting flours), noodles from Eastern Europe, and I guess there are many more around the world. Soba noodles are Japanese, and they make delightful cold dishes as well as hot. In Summer, cold Soba noodle dishes are almost like salads.

It is Ottolenghi day on the blog – one day per month where we publish  recipes we have tried in our project of cooking from Ottolenghi books – currently we are cooking from Plenty More, but not ignoring his other books completely.

Ottolenghi has the occasional noodle dish, and our current focus on his books brought us to this recipe in his book Plenty. It brings together mango and charred eggplant in a way that makes it seem way out there, but is perfectly balanced. It is such a surprising combination of flavours and that makes this a memorable dish from the first bite – sweet from the mango and savoury from the eggplant. It is a beautiful noodle for hot summer nights or for a simple weeknight dinner any night of the year. The leftovers only get better in the refrigerator, so Yotham highly recommends making enough for lunch leftovers.

This recipe calls for a lot of oil in which to fry the eggplant (from 220 – 300 ml in different versions Yotham has printed). But the frying turns the eggplant soft and silky, and almost meaty, if a vegetarian can say that. Follow your heart, but I do recommend frying in the amount of oil that he suggests.

Similar recipes include Glass Noodles with Spinach, and Glass Noodles and Green Mango Salad.

Browse all of our Noodle dishes and all of our Eggplant dishes. Our Ottoleghi recipes from Plenty are here. Or explore our dishes for Late Summer.

Continue reading “Soba Noodles with Eggplant and Mango”

Noodles with Spring Onions and Edamame

Do you have those times when Spring Onions (scallions, green onions) pile up in the fridge, forgotten? They are generally used in salads or as a garnish for soups and other dishes but rarely shine as a main ingredient. It is time to change that, and Ottolenghi is just the person to provide some inspiration.

This is one of Ottolenghi’s dishes that is a breeze to make, relatively speaking. In our Plenty More project, we’ve been making some of his more complex, time consuming and multi-pot making recipes, so it is a delight to make a dish that is simpler in preparation.

Yes, it is a dish from Plenty More, and is a simple stir fry of Spring Onions and Edamame, mixed with noodles, topped with coriander leaves and sesame seeds and dressed with Sesame oil, rice vinegar and lime juice. Don’t forget the lime – it is critical to this dish.

This is excellent with Steamed Aubergine.

Similar dishes include Soba Noodles with Quick Pickled Mushrooms, Soba Noodles with Quick Pickled Mushrooms, Ginger Scallion Noodles, Pan Fried Edamame with Chilli, Lime and Salt, Spring Onion Soup, and Glass Noodles and Green Mango Salad.

Browse all of our Noodle recipes and all of our Edamame dishes. Our Ottolenghi dishes are here. Or explore our Late Summer dishes.

Continue reading “Noodles with Spring Onions and Edamame”

Salad of Butternut Tataki with Udon Noodles

This is a beautiful use of butternut, where it is prepared tataki. This method is usually reserved for non-veg items, but can be used with vegetables. It is a Japanese method where the vegetable is charred over a hot flame or on a pan, and then marinated in vinegar and ginger. Here the butternut is then combined with noodles and herbs for a delicious dish.

The salad is amazing. The sweet sourness of the dressing, the crunch of the snowpeas and radish, the softness of the noodles, the sweet munchiness of the pumpkin, the heat of the chilli and bite of the radish, the texture of the sesame seeds. Beautiful.

This is an Ottolenghi dish from Plenty More – we are cooking our way through this book. We feel free to substitute ingredients that are not readily available in our local area.

Thanks to the chargrilling, the butternut squash in this meal of a salad tastes both fresh and smoky at the same time.

It is Ottolenghi Cooking the Books Day on the blog – one of two days per month where we publish the latest recipes we have tried in our project of cooking from Ottolenghi’s books – those we have cooked directly and those we have been inspired by. Currently we are cooking from Plenty More, but not ignoring his other books completely. Note that I often massage the recipes to suit what is available from our garden and pantry. For the original recipes, check his books and his Guardian column.

Similar dishes include Soba Noodles with Eggplant and Mango, Soba Noodle Salad with Cucumber and Sesame Seed, Broth and Dipping Sauce for Japanese Noodles, Chargrilled Butternut with Labneh, and Roast Pumpkin Couscous Salad.

Browse all of our Noodle dishes and all of our Pumpkin recipes. Our Ottolenghi dishes from Plenty More are here. We have written about our experiences cooking through this book. Or explore our Early Winter recipes.

Continue reading “Salad of Butternut Tataki with Udon Noodles”

Persian Noodles with Eggplant, Saffron and Kashk

It is interesting how Italy dominates the pasta world when noodles of all sorts are found all over the world, from Israel through Italy, around the Middle East, through India and Asia and up to Japan. Similarly with pizza, where many countries top their flat leavened and unleavened breads with a whole range of ingredients.

So let’s continue to celebrate noodles world wide with this dish from Iran. It is topped with roasted eggplants that are then cooked with garlic and spices, and a tangy yoghurt and creme fraiche mixture, and a mint oil. Perfectly delicious.

It is an Ottolenghi recipe, from his book  Plenty More – we are cooking our way through this book. We feel free to substitute ingredients that are not readily available in our local area or in our kitchen. For this dish we stuck pretty close to the recipe.

In fact it is Ottolenghi Cook the Booksday on the blog – one of two days per month where we publish the latest recipes we have tried in our project of cooking from Ottolenghi books – those we have cooked directly and those we have been inspired by. Currently we are cooking from Plenty More, but not ignoring his other books completely. Note again that I often massage the recipes to suit what is available from our garden and pantry. For the original recipes, check his books and his Guardian column.

Similar recipes include Noodles with Spring Onions and Edamame, Soba Noodle Salad with Cucumber and Sesame Seed, Chickpea and Butter Bean Soup with Reshteh Noodles, Glass Noodles with Spinach, and Japanese Noodles in Broth with Tofu.

Browse all of our Noodle recipes, our Pasta dishes, and our Eggplant dishes. Our Ottolenghi dishes from Plenty More are here. We have written about our experiences cooking through this book. Or explore our Late Autumn recipes.

Continue reading “Persian Noodles with Eggplant, Saffron and Kashk”

Chickpea and Butter Bean Noodle Soup | Ash-e Reshteh

This dish is a fabulous, heart warming and thick soup from the Middle East – it seems like it is an Iranian echo of Minestrone or perhaps of the noodle soup your mother served you as a child when you were poorly. In Iran it is called ash-e reshteh, and it is the sort of soup that makes you feel happy, wholesome and nourished, all at the same time.

You might find resteh noodles at a Middle Eastern grocery, but if not, use linguine or Asian flat noodles. Japanese noodles will work too. In fact the noodles can even be left out and the soup will still be deliciously amazing.

Make sure that you purchase the type of reshteh noodles that are specifically for soup – there is another variety that has been toasted for use in rice dishes. My local Afghan grocery has the soup noodles called Pottage Macaroni even though they are long noodles rather than the short tubes we usually think of as macaroni. The instructions for cooking are cute. It directs you to:

Add the content of package to the stuff of cooking and boiling pottage. After nearly 10 mins of your favourite time, eat the prepared pottage.

Another alternative is to make your own noodles. They are made from a wheat flour dough without eggs, and cut flat and not very wide.

This is an Ottolenghi recipe from Plenty More. It combines chickpeas, lima (butter) beans and yellow split peas with noodles, herbs and spices for a filling, interesting soup that even has an aroma of the Middle East. In fact this soup can be made with a variety of lentils and legumes – red kidney beans are very common.

Today it is Ottolenghi day on the blog – one of two days per month where we publish all the latest posts of recipes we have tried in our project of cooking from Ottolenghi books – currently we are cooking from Plenty More, but not ignoring his other books completely. Note that I often slightly massage the recipes to suit what is available from our garden and pantry.

Similar recipes include Chickpea and Orzo Soup, Turkish Spinach Soup with Chickpeas and Barley, Spicy Chickpea and Burghul Soup, Roasted Cauliflower Soup with Zaatar, Dried Fava Bean Soup, and Parsnip and Barley Soup.

Browse all of our Soups, Noodle Dishes, Chickpea Dishes and Butter Bean Dishes. Our Ottolenghi dishes from Plenty More are here. We have written about our experiences cooking through this book. Or explore our Early Autumn dishes.

Continue reading “Chickpea and Butter Bean Noodle Soup | Ash-e Reshteh”

Indian Essentials: How to Make Payasam | Two Payasams | Indian Vermicelli and Sago

Indian Desserts are something else! Especially Payasam.

Indian Desserts are something else! Especially Payasam. Payasam is the South Indian version of Kheer.

Are you after more Payasam recipes? Try Besan Payasam, Sago Payasam, Nachi’s Payasam, and Bengali Rice Kheer.

You might like to browse our Payasam recipes, or our other Desserts. All of our Indian dishes are here. Or simply explore all of our Late Winter recipes.

Feel free to also browse other recipes from our Retro Recipes series, vegetarian recipes from our first blog from 1995 – 2006.

Continue reading “Indian Essentials: How to Make Payasam | Two Payasams | Indian Vermicelli and Sago”