The other day while flicking through my new Yotam Ottolenghi Cookbook, I came across the most beautiful recipe for Soba Noodles with Aubergine and Mango. Initially seduced by its vibrant combination of colours and flavors, I failed to notice it was laden with sugar and oil. Inspired to create a lighter version I was careful not to compromise the exotic mix of flavors and ingredients. Firstly I reduced the quantities of sugar and oil. Then I replaced the sunflower oil with coconut oil and the caster sugar with palm sugar. Lastly, I baked the eggplant rather than frying it. Minor changes resulting in a cleaner and healthier version. Equally satisfying and delicious. As for our little one (who is now 9 months old), I simplified the elements to create a mini version. It looked absolutely delightful, until a tiny little hand tipped the entire meal into her bib xx
Soba Noodles with Aubergine and Mango
Inspired by Yotam Ottolenghi’s Cookbook Plenty
1/4 cup rice vinegar
2 teaspoons palm sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 garlic clove crushed
1/2 red chilli chopped (optional)
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
grated zest and juice of 1 lime
1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
1 aubergine cut into 2cm thick slices
200g soba noodles
1 large ripe mango cut into thick strips
20g basil leaves
20g coriander (optional)
1/2 red onion thinly sliced (option to saute)
Preheat the oven to 180c. Salt the eggplant and allow to stand for approx 20 min before rinsing under cool water. Pat dry and dice eggplant into cubes. Place in a plastic bag with melted coconut oil, shake and rub together. Lay eggplant on a baking tray lined with baking paper and transfer to oven for approx 20 min or until golden.
In the meantime, cook the noodles as per pack. Then drain and rinse cooked noodles under cool water and allow to dry on a tea towel.
To make the dressing, in a small saucepan combine vinegar, salt and sugar and warm for 1 minute. Remove from heat and add garlic, chilli and sesame oil. Allow to cool then add lime zest and juice.
In a large mixing bowl combine noodles with dressing, mango, aubergine, onion and half the herbs, toss to combine. Allow to rest for up to 1 – 2 hours (if time poor you can skip this step). Then mix well, sprinkle with the remaining herbs and serve.
Serves 2 to 3
Mini Soba Noodles with Aubergine and Mango along side Steamed Flat Head
50g fillet of flat head
1 slice mango finely diced
1-2 slices eggplant
Approx 40g soba noodles
Either steam fish or poach fish until cooked through and softened. Salt eggplant, allow to stand for approx 20 min, rinse under cool water, pat dry, remove skin steam and puree. Cook noodles as per pack then chop to little ones liking. In your little ones favorite dish place cooked fish alongside diced mango and noodles with a side of eggplant puree xx