I love a trip to an Asian supermarket, and this dish is a good excuse to have a poke around in your nearest Asian shop to buy all the ingredients you need. They are often cheaper than supermarkets and full of fascinating ingredients. Miso is a fermented soya bean paste which gives food a lovely umami flavour, perfect to be soaked up by the soft aubergine. You can use brown or white miso in this recipe, it is totally vegan and the aubergines can be eaten warm or cold. Any leftovers would make a perfect lunchbox the next day.
2 small or 1 large aubergine
2.5 tablespoons miso paste
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon sesame oil
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon grated garlic
1 teaspoon grated ginger
2 tablespoons water
120g soba noodles
1 lime, juiced
1 tablespoons peanut butter
1.5 cups shredded white cabbage
1/2 cup grated carrot
1/4 cup spring onion, chopped
1/2 cup coriander leaf
1/4 cup cashew nuts, toasted
1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted
Juice of 2 limes
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons sweet chilli sauce
2 tablespoons crispy shallot
- Cut the aubergines in half lengthways and score the flesh, cutting about halfway down. Lightly sprinkle with a little sea salt, leave for half an hour, wash and leave to dry upside down on a clean tea towel for half an hour. Preheat the oven to 180C.
- Mix together the miso, ginger, garlic, honey, soy sauce, sesame oil and water and whisk to a smooth paste. Reserve 2 tablespoons back for the noodles and then half of it can be rubbed into the scored flesh of the aubergine, rubbing in well.
- Place on a tray and cover with foil, and bake for 30-45 minutes with the foil on. Check them to see if they are softened, if so remove the foil, spoon over the rest of the miso mix and bake for another 10-15 minutes to get some colour on them. Keep baking for a little longer if they are still a little firm, they need to be completely soft all the way through with a nice caramelisation on top. While they are cooking, put a pot of water on for the noodles.
- Once the water is boiling cook the noodles for about 4 minutes, stirring once or twice to separate the noodles. Drain and run under cold water for a few seconds to stop them cooking. Mix together the remaining miso marinade with the lime juice and peanut butter and use this to coat the freshly cooked noodles.
- For the Asian slaw mix together the cabbage, carrot, sesame seeds, spring onion and coriander. Whisk together the lime juice, soy sauce, chilli sauce and sesame oil. Use this to dress the slaw.
- Place the noodles on a bowl, salad next to it and aubergine on top, using any aubergine juices in the tray you may have to drizzle over the top. Scatter the cashew nuts over the top, with crispy shallots (you can buy at Asian supermarkets) and any coriander leaves you may have spare. Enjoy!