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.