This recipe is mighty tasty. The picture doesn't do justice to the uniquely vibrant flavours... sweet, tangy, spicy, musky... I can't quite put my finger on what exactly makes it so darn delicious, but trust me, it is!
Udon Noodles with Eggplant and Mango
1/2 cup rice vinegar
3 Tbs sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 fresh red chile, finely chopped
1 tsp sesame oil
grated zest & juice of 1 lime
1 cup sunflower oil
1 large eggplant, diced
8oz udon or soba noodles
1 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
2 cups cilantro leaves, chopped
1/2 red onion, very thinly sliced
In a small sauce pan, heat the vinegar, sugar & salt until just dissolved. Then turn off heat. Add in garlic, lime zest & juice, chile and sesame oil. Set aside.
Heat up the sunflower oil in a large pan or wok, and fry the eggplant until golden brown. Place in a colander, sprinkle liberally with salt, and set aside to drain off excess oil.
Cook the noodles in boiling water until al dente. Drain, and rinse with cold water.
In a mixing bowl, toss together the noodles, dressing, eggplant., mango, herbs and red onion. Serve right away, or set aside for a few hours to allow the flavours to blend.
I promise, you will not be disappointed!
* Recipe adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi's Plenty