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Wednesday, January 17, 2007

soba with eggplant and tofu


Buckwheat soba, served warm or cold, is a meal we relish at home. Sometimes, it is Japanese style, served cold, with dipping sauce on the side; sometimes, it is warm/hot with thai-inspired flavoring sauce and veggies stirred in. This soba recipe is sort of in-between - served at about room temperature:-)

I love eggplant, and try to incorporate it many dishes I make.

As I am a bit sensitive to fish paste, shrimp paste, bonito flakes, kezuri-bushi and such, my asian recipes are not quite authentic. My miso soup barely has a touch of dashi-no-moto. But, I do enjoy a lot of the other non-sea-food-based asian flavors.

½ pkt extra firm tofu, diced (or pan-fried tofu, if handy)
1 medium eggplant, diced
1 bunch spring onions, chopped, for garnish (optional)
1-2 bundles soba noodles
1 Tbsp canola oil (or sesame oil)
1 tsp shichimi togarashi, if handy, or, sambal oelek, or just red pepper flakes
¼ cup mirin
½ cup shoyu, or light soy sauce
1 tsp brown sugar
2 Tbsp sushi vinegar (or rice vinegar, if you like the pungency)

  1. combine the flavoring ingredients, stir well, set aside
  2. cook soba per package directions to al-dente, drain, run under cold water, drain well
  3. in a shallow bowl, add the cooked soba and pour just enough of the flavoring sauce to coat it well; set aside
  4. heat oil in a pan, add the diced tofu and some flavoring sauce and pan-fry the tofu turning often to brown all sides; remove from pan, set aside
  5. in the same pan, add the eggplant and more flavoring sauce and cook the eggplant till done
  6. with chopsticks or fork, gather some soba that has been soaking in the flavor sauce and make a bed of it on a serving plate
  7. top with tofu and eggplant; garnish with spring onions; serve any remaining sauce on the side

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