Aubergine Miso-Chili-Peanut Noodles

Aubergine and Miso-Chili-Peanut Noodles

I am a total sucker for cheap ingredients. The first place I look in my local shop is the reduced section, and often on a Sunday they’ve got a load of half-priced veggies that are still in great condition. Today I picked up some cheap aubergine and still-just-fresh rice noodles, and I wanted a dish that’d use them both up at once: aubergine miso-chili-peanut noodles. Not a very catchy name, I know, but it captures the mishmash nature of the dish, which itself is a mishmash of a few other recipes: Fuchsia Dunlop’s recipe for spicy peanut butter noodles (which I’ve posted about before), this recipe for nasu dengaku (miso eggplant) from the wonderful love & lemons, and this recipe from my darling lemon thyme for roasted eggplant and noodles with Chinese black vinegar dressing.

You’ll need:

1 medium aubergine, sliced lengthways int0 8-10 strips
enough noodles for two
1/2 tbsp rapeseed oil (or veg, or olive, or whatevs)
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1/2 tbsp dark soy sauce
25ml (1 tsp + 4 tsp) miso paste (you’re supposed to use white miso from what I can tell, but I used red because that’s what I had in the fridge)
27.5ml (1/2 tbsp + 4 tsp) mirin
4 tsp sugar (I used light brown muscovado)
1 tbsp chilli oil
1 tbsp whole nut peanut butter
1 large garlic clove, minced
optional: 1/2 tsp salt
to top: spring onion, chopped, and a handful of sesame seeds

Aubergine and Miso-Chili-Peanut Noodles

Method:

Now, I don’t cook aubergine very often, and I wasn’t sure how to go about it–it seems as though the culinary world at large isn’t sure either. According to Felicity Cloake, there’s no consensus on whether or not you should salt-and-drain your aubergine before cooking it, which was traditionally done to make them sweat out some of the bitter tasting juices. Apparently Nigel Slater doesn’t bother because that bitter flavour has now almost entirely been bred out of aubergine plants, although Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall says salting makes aubergines soak up less oil, and Delia Smith claims it “concentrates the flavour” as well as stopping the aubergine from being soggy. Since it’s a Sunday and I’ve got time to spare, I thought I’d go for it anyway–after slicing the aubergine, I tossed them in 1/2 tsp himalayan pink salt and then put them in a colander for half an hour. It’s quite satisfying seeing them sweat a bit, so even if it makes no difference to the taste, there’s that.. If you don’t have time for that, don’t bother–if Nigel Slater says it’s ok, it probably is.

1) Preheat oven to 200C or 180C+fan.

2) Spread the aubergine slices out on a lined baking tray, score a few times, and brush with 1/2 tbs rapeseed oil. Pop in the oven for ~5 minutes.

3) Meanwhile, make the aubergine dressing: in a small saucepan, heat 20ml (1tbs + 1 tsp or 4 tsp) miso with the same amount of mirin and the same amount of sugar (I used light brown muscavado). Heat on low to simmer for about two minutes until the sugar has dissolved and the sauce has thickened, then take it off the heat.

4) To make the noodle dressing just mix: 1 tbsp light soy sauce, 1/2 tbsp dark soy sauce, 1 tsp miso paste, 1/2 tbsp mirin, 1 tbsp chilli oil, 1/2 tbsp whole nut peanut butter, 1 large garlic clove (minced). To mix the peanut butter in with the oils you might need to mash them together with the back of a teaspoon.

5) Take the aubergine out, and using a teaspoon spread the aubergine dressing over each slice. Put back in the oven for ~8 minutes, checking after ~4.

6) Prepare your noodles in whatever way is appropriate–the rice noodles I used just needed to be fried in a wok with a splash of oil for two minutes.

7) Once the aubergine is done and then noodles are cooked (and still hot!) mix the noodle dressing with the noodles, plate ’em up, and top with the aubergine. Sprinkle sesame seeds and spring onion on top, and you’re good to go.

Aubergine and Miso-Chili-Peanut Noodles

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Comments
3 Responses to “Aubergine Miso-Chili-Peanut Noodles”
  1. theveganmuffinwoman says:

    Bargain veggies! Love it! I need to be more mindful of a “baking budget”…I tend to assume the more expensive the better taste and that isn’t always true!

  2. Just found your blog and now I’m obsessed! Have you read Fuchsia Dunlop’s book Shark’s Fin and Szechuan Pepper? It’s SO good – I’m rereading it for what must be the fifth time!

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