Soba with eggplant and tahnini
350g dried soba (buckwheat noodles)
1 eggplant, around 800g, sliced thinly**
2 carrots, shredded
1/4 cabbage, shredded and microwaved for 5 mins with 1/2 cup water. (discard water)
10 spring onions, diagonally sliced
20g dried shitake mushrooms, soaked in hot water for 30 mins (or longer if u can afford it) with a tsp sugar, sliced thinly. (soaking water reserved)
3 tbs oil
2 tbs oyster sauce
1 tbs sugar (can be less, i added it mainly to play down bitterness of eggplant)
seasoning for noodles:
2 tsp sesame oil
2 tbs dark soy
2 tbs light soy
3 tbs lemon juice
2 tbs sugar
6 tbs tahini (sesame seed paste)
1 small bunch coriander greens (around 50g)
1 garlic clove (can add more too)
1/2 tsp cumin powder
5 tbs of shiitake soaking water
1. Cook soba according to package instructions. Drain and rinse under cold water. (the original recipe didn't call for this step..i rinse noodles/ pasta out of habit...used to do that at my mom's stall..it removes excess starch and makes the noodles more 'Q'/ al dente). Drizzle 1 tsp sesame oil on and mix well.
2. Blend seasoning for noodles in a food processor. (A whisk and bowl will do fine as well, just chop the coriander before adding.) Add to soba.
3. In a hot pan, add 2 tbs oil. Add eggplant and and fry for 7-10 mins or under tender and golden brown.
Remove and set aside.
4. Heat 1 tbs oil, add spring onions, carrots, mushrooms and cabbage. Stir fry til soft. Add oyster sauce and sugar. Add eggplant.
5. Combine seasoned noodles and veggies.
Can be served hot or cold.
Recipe largely modified from Bay's Books 'best vegetarian dishes'.
** note about eggplant, i salted and rinsed it but it was still a little bitter and bitey... :(( why???