Ottolenghi Soba Noodles with Aubergine and Mango Recipe

Spicy brown sugar and lime-sauced soba noodles with tofu, eggplant, mango and lots of herbs. Inspired by a rare mango find, and a recipe in Yotam Ottolenghi's cookbook, Plenty.

Ottolenghi Soba Noodles with Aubergine and Mango

Sunday afternoons are best when they're lazy. There are different varieties of lazy Sundays, of course, but I have two favorites in particular. There's the lounge around the house, don't bother brushing your hair kind. And there's the loll around in the sunshine, preferably on a beach or lawn, variety. I got together with my family for the latter last week - seven of us, polliwogs and picnic tables, donkeys and dahlias, fish ponds, and even a turtle or two. Lunch?...

Ottolenghi Soba Noodles

I stumbled on California-grown mangoes a few days prior. Fragrant, not-at-all fibrous, sweet Keitt mangoes. A rare sight. I snatched one up immediately and it was my intention to finally make Yotam Ottolenghi's Soba Noodles with Aubergine and Mango from Plenty, I've had it bookmarked forever. But, it being a lazy Sunday and all...I'm just going to say it. I overslept. We ended up picking up deli sandwiches on the way out of town instead. The good news is I had all the ingredients prepped for the soba noodles when we arrived back home. So these herb-showered, spicy brown-sugar and lime sauced noodles went on the menu for dinner.

Ottolenghi Soba Noodles

A bit of a heads up - there's a good amount of preparation involved in this recipe. The upside is that you can do much of it ahead of time if you like. And you can easily double or triple the recipe for meals throughout the week. I'll call out anything you can do ahead of time in the head notes down below, and suggest a couple substitutions for any mango-deprived cooks out there.

Ottolenghi Soba Noodles

Those of you heading to Rome - I know there were a number of you. I haven't forgotten. I'm almost done writing up my favorite spots. I'll hopefully post the list sometime in the next few days.

For now, I'll leave you with a short list of Ottolenghi-related links:

- Yotam Ottolenghi's new cookbook, Plenty
- Ottolenghi: The Cookbook
- Ottolenghi Website
- Ottolenghi blog
- Yotam Ottolenghi's 'The New Vegetarian' column on the Guardian

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Ottolenghi Soba Noodles

I made some tweaks to Yotam's recipe based on what I had on hand - reflected in the recipe below. As far as substitutions go - I can imagine making a winter squash version, using squash in place of the mango, and perhaps an apple cider vinegar in place of the brown rice vinegar. I'd bet a roasted delicata squash version would be amazing. Along with deeply caramelized sauteed apples or pears? Even better. See where I'm going with this?

If you want to prep certain components in advance, you can make the dressing up to a few days ahead of time. You can also cook the soba noodles in advance, cut the mango, grill/saute the tofu, and slice the onions. I'd cook the eggplant and chop the herbs just before serving.

1/2 cup / 120 ml brown rice vinegar

scant 1/3 cup / 1.5 oz / 40 g fine-grain natural cane sugar or brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes or 1/2 fresh red chile, minced

1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
grated zest and juice of one lime
1/3 cup / 80 ml sunflower oil or olive oil

1 medium eggplant/aubergine 3/4 lb / 12 oz, cut into 1/2-inch / 1cm chunks

8 ounces / 225g dried soba noodles

1 large ripe mango, cut into small chunks
8 ounces grilled or pan-fried tofu, cut into tiny cubes
1/2 medium red onion, very thinly sliced
a handful of basil leaves, slivered
a handful of fresh cilantro / coriander, chopped

While you are prepping the rest of the ingredients bring a large pot of water to a boil.

In the meantime, make the dressing by combining the vinegar, sugar, and salt in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring, for up to 1 minute, or until the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and add the garlic, red pepper flakes or chile, and sesame oil. Allow to cool, then add the lime zest and juice.

Heat the sunflower oil in a large skillet and shallow fry the eggplant/aubergine in three batches, until deeply golden. Transfer to a large plate lined with paper towels and sprinkle with a generous pinch of salt.

Cook the soba noodles in a large pot of boiling salted water, per package instructions, or until just tender. Drain and rinse under cold running water. Shake off as much of the excess water as possible, then leave to dry in the colander or on a tea towel. If you're not using the noodles soon, toss with a tiny splash of olive oil to prevent the noodles from sticking to each other.

In a large mixing bowl toss the noodles the dressing, mango, tofu, eggplant, onions, and most of the herbs. You can now set this aside for an hour or two before serving topped with the remaining herbs.

Serves 4-6.

Slightly adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi's Soba Noodles with Aubergine and Mango from Plenty.

Prep time: 15 minutes - Cook time: 30 minutes

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I was so excited to make this. The flavor combination sounded intriguing. It was a fair amount of prep work/mess and I could barely eat it - this was SO sweet that I wanted to stop eating after a few forkfuls. I would recommend halving the sugar amount.


Ottolenghi is a newish find for me-- I read a recipe similar to this one-bookmarked it and when I went to print it to make it- the page was gone-- I am ordering Plenty now and I am making this salad tomorrow for a pot luck get together Thanks Heidi and Happy Holidays!


It's aubergine season in NZ right now - this was the perfect recipe to include in our nzgirl Hot Five! When I made the Ottolenghi version, I swapped my mango out for paw paw/papaya because of an allergy and it still tastes great!


I love Ottolenghi! (PS This blog is awesome.)


gotta bookmark this one THIS IS VERY GOOD REFERENCE.. thanks for you have twitter? i should follow you.

clone script

I love the sweetness of the mango and basil with the sesame oil; fabulous recipe, Heidi!

The Healthy Apple

Loved..loved..loved this recipe. Used apple cider vinegar, cut down on the sugar just a bit, used mango and squash. I am SO happy I found your has changed the way I cook and eat. I am lucky that I have a store closeby that has all the fresh herbs that are in so many of your recipes. Tomorrow nite I'm making the heavenly pie and the Kale Pomegranate salad. If you are still in Rome and love gelato, the best gelato is Old Bridge. Via Bastioni di Michelangelo 5. Very close to the entrance to the Vatican Museums. Sam L.

Sam L.

My first time cooking a meal such as this, so per the norm I messed it up a bit. Look forward to attempting again within a few weeks! ryan

ryan @ Macarons

Well noodles stay at the top of my list on Saturday..Thats when I am the laziest.,opposed to everyone who feel Sunday is the laziest


I wish I could say I liked this, but the sauce was way too sweet. I'll adjust the amount of sugar next time. The flavors are superb, sans the sweetness.


Just got Plenty a week or 2 ago,,,,just delightful. The most amazing vegetarian food.

Mairi @ Toast

Just made the recipe with delicata squash and apples as you suggested: so delicious! Thanks for the idea!


Made something sorta similar to this when I was living abroad in Asia (on just a small hot plate). Will have to do it justice now that I have a semi-regular kitchen!

Feast on the Cheap

this recipe was delicious! I used lemon zest and chopped frozen mango that I had on hand.

gwen charles

I have yet to make anything with soba that I didn't love. I trust this too will fall into the love category.

Meghan (Making Love In The Kitchen

I found this much quicker to prepare than I expected! I served it cooled/ room temperature this past weekend with some great friends on the beach in Rio de Janeiro (my temporary home). Everyone loved it. x


I did what you said and prepared most of my ingredients in advance. I made it and it was wonderfu.. My schedule has been so busy lately that I have eaten it three days in a row. It has become one of my favorite meals.


Very interesting combination of ingredients. I would never have thought to pair eggplant and mango. What a lovely way to spend the day!

Kristi Rimkus

Hi, i have never tasted ripe mango paired with eggplant. Must try this. Not sure if you are serving this cold or at room temperature? thanks..


I just stumbled upon your blog, and I have to say that I love how you're making healthy food not only look delicious, but beautiful as well. Your photos are absolutely amazing (what camera do you use??)! I'll definitely have to try this out sometime if my college student schedule permits... Jasmin


i never met a vegetable I didn't like. Except sometimes eggplant. LOVE the taste but too many times it ends up tasting bitter. Even when the recipe calls for salting and draining it can taste bitter. Some recipes call for that step in prep some do not. The only time I can count on eggplant not being bitter is when I grill it. So what is the secret? It kills me to waste a meal if the end result is unpalatable. HELP!


This was sooo good. I have to admit, I was a bit skeptical. But it was really nice. I didn't even have cilantro or lime, but it still came out great.


Mango season is just starting here on East coast of Australia, and it runs until you can't think of another thing to do with mangoes. But this recipe will help make this season better than ever. Thanks!

Mike In Queensland

I made this for dinner last night (but used zucchini instead of the eggplant - hard to find in AK right now...) and it was DELICIOUS!!! I kept stopping in the middle of a bite to make completely appropriate moaning sounds. :)


I kept reading the list of ingredients for this dish and was surprised and delighted at the same time. Seemed kind of sweet and sour and then the Asian flavors with sesame seeds and more became more apparent. Yes, it does look like it's a bit time-consuming - but certainly manageable. And the brilliant colors with the mango, red onion, basil and cilantro make it colorful and a feast for the eyes.

Denise Michaels - Adventurous Foodie

aubergine and mango... what a nice association!

Frédérique (Bio Recettes)

The name of this recipe sounds so exotic! But it doesn't look too intimidating at all once I read the ingredients. Delish :-)

Michelle @ Find Your Balance

Lovely - I have had this recipe bookmarked too for some time now but not yet got there. Must admit to being smitten with Ottolenghi's ways with aubergine (or eggplant in Australia) and have recently tried a couple of recipes from Plenty. Very yum!


Wonderful to see someone on the other coast enjoying Keitt mangoes too. I'm on the west coast of Florida and we've been harvesting the huge fruits from my tree for weeks. The freezer is filled and I look forward to trying them in this recipe...minus the cilantro (it tastes like soap to me). Always a pleasure to read your blog and share your insights.


I just love Ottolenghi's books to pieces - every single recipe looks so fresh and tasty. Each one that I have tried has been an instant hit with my friends and family, too!


I love the kind of meals that you can propare the necessary ingredients ahead of time. This sounds like something that will become apart of my monthly meals. It is beautiful.


With any luck I'll find an eggplant at the market this weekend to try this, it sounds so delicious. I sometimes with the growing season in Washington was longer.


such lovely shots Heidi and glad you like the soba salad too - I've posted mine here also. I love the idea of using squash along with pears/apples, must try soon! x HS: Beautiful shots Keiko. Wish there was one here in SF :/


Ottolenghi really is a magician, isn't he. This recipe has his usual touch of ingredient combination that never would occur to me!

Alex G

This looks like such a tasty main dish!


California mangoes ? Where have I been? Must find! Tell us more please! ps. The donkey is fabulous, and the noodles sound delish. HS: Hi Amanda, They were Keitt mangoes, and I bought them at Bi-Rite Market. But they're all gone now.

Amanda at Enchanted Fig

Yes please - ROME!! I travel at the end of November and staying in Trastavere because of your recommendation. So excited! Can't wait to see your list... Thank you!


So, when you say you can set this aside to eat in a few hours, does this mean you serve the noodles cold? Is there an option for heating them, and how would you do that? A quick stir fry in a wok?


Always a pure pleasure to read this blog! I'm going to be in SanFrancisco next week, and I will have a little apart in the Mission, so exciting! If you have goods address to share, advice, (i'm looking for the best hairdresser), just tell me! Thank you! HS: Hi Alexa, here are a few of my favorite spots in San Francisco.


Yep lazy Sundays are the stuff of my dreams lately. I'm not used to ripe mango in my food even though is sounds tropical and I'm from a tropical country.In the Caribbean we tend to use green mangos for cooking. I am however tempted to give this a try with cooked green mangos which I tink would be awesomei


This was a hit with my husband, but if I made it again, I'd use less sugar. You need some to balance out the vinegar, but I am not a person who likes really sweet things. We used a pear instead of a mango, but that was the only real substitution.

LA Cook

There are recipes that you say, "What the hay?" Talk about an odd lot of ingredients, but you never fail me, so off the store to assemble this feast.

Tall Clover

Lazy Sundays Rock! Yay!


I've been eyeing this recipe for some time, in my Plenty. Good to know it was as magical as it sounds. That final picture is a stunner.


I love the idea of a sweet and savory noodle dish. I have never thought to put mango and soba noodles together but it looks awesome.


Yum! So fresh! I will definitely be trying this out very soon, thank you. p.s. I love lazy Sundays too. Heidi xo

Heidi - apples under my bed

@ Lea: Ya, a pic of cactus fruit... and also a donkey, a daydreaming little'un, an adult & said little'un, a pond and photographer... none of which were cooked up! Mementos of the entire day. Geez, give her a break, eh? The mangoes have their own place to shine - and that pic does look yummy enough for tonight's supper.


Oh, my goodness, this sounds absolutely amazing! Can't wait to try it! Tremendous post - as always - Heidi. Your blog is my go-to for yummy and interesting vegetarian recipes. I am really looking forward to your next cookbook release :)


So I'm late to the Ottolenghi party (only started hearing about him a few weeks ago), but he's brilliant! Will have to check out Plenty...this recipe looks great.

Jessica @ bake me away!

how my god where can i take my little one to see that donkey?? lovely pond as well..


Yummy, yummy, yummy!!!!


The recipe may be mango but you have a picture of cactus fruit not mango.


Lovely pictures, as always. Being a vegetarian, I love recipes for "filling" meatless meals. Your ideas for mango substitutions sound delicious! When I need mango in a recipe in the winter I usually buy frozen bags of it, then set itout on the counter to thaw when I need it. Mango chunks freeze beautifully.

Meatless Meals For Meat Eaters

Yes, please post Rome info soon - I am currently in Venice after attending Salone del Gusto and will be in Rome November 19'h for 3days. Sweet smell lingers in my mind after visit to Ottolemghi last fall in London. His recipes are masterful. Do not forget my new real na


Ottolenghi is a favourite spot in London. In the evening there is always an excited crush and hubbub. Mornings are more sedate, as people use the toasters on the long tables and spread lashings of butter and jam on sourdough. A few Saturdays ago I walked past Ottolenghi on Upper Street marveling at the sheer range of eating places on one street, surely a minor modern miracle.

Martin Yarnit

I love cozy, lazy Sundays...this is a beautiful post, Heidi...and this recipe looks amazing...tasty mangos, eggplant and tofu; I love this fabulous combination...I surely am going to create this recipe over the weekend...perhaps on Sunday, hehe...

The Healthy Apple

I love to take those kinds of days, too. Unfortunately, they do not come along often. When they do, I like to lay out on a blanket and watch the clouds roll by, listening to the birds sing and reading a book. I am glad that you were able to get to use one of yours. It sounds like you really enjoyed it. This is a nice recipe and I will have to make it one day. I already have several of your wonderful recipes waiting to be made but I can not seem to stop adding them to my list. Maybe on of these days I will get around to all of them. I hope so.


You don't know how relieved I am to find someone else who takes photos of donkeys. I may invest the time for this recipe - it is such a change from my pasta cooking that I think the new flavors would be welcomed at the dining table.


These noodles look delicious! Beautiful photos as well. Thanks for sharing :-)


I haven't tried those noodles ever. I love the ingredients though!


This has been on my recipe hit-list as well! I love your suggestion to use butternut squash and apple cider vinegar instead of the mango.. a delicious possibility!


Oh , I love Ottolenghi, so inspiring! Great post:) xoxo bianca


I love the way you tell a story. Always such a calming and interesting read that makes me smile. You truly have a gift. Your photography is just beautiful! I have never had soba noodles before and I'm not sure why.

Angela (Oh She Glows)

Thanks for the recipe Heidi! Always looking for says to use soba noodles and this looks like a great one. I love that you used mango for that added sweetness :)

Mary (What's Cookin' with Mary)

I'm for any lazy Sunday that involves farm animals -- goats are my preference. As for mangoes, they don't grow where I live and as much as I deeply need the changing of the seasons, now and then I think it wouldn't be a bad trade-off if I could have local mangoes and avocadoes instead. I've been a fan of Ottolenghi's since you reviewed the first book, so thanks for this!

becky and the beanstock

I loved the photos in this post! They are luminous, and I love this interesting combo of Soba and Eggplant, never would have put those two together but I bet it's great.


One look and drooling! can believe how animal free meals are becoming what tempts me most!


Wow, the photographs on your blog always fascinate me! Please tell me what tool do you use 'cos I'm really falling in love with this effect.


Plenty is worth buying fr this recipe alone! I made it with roasted eggplants instead of frying (my oven was on anyway and thought I could hit two birds with one stone) and it was delicious, too.


I have a major addiction to The New Vegetarian column. Now it looks like I have to go buy Plenty! Thanks for the inspiration!


I am going to go with substituting apples or pears because I am that rare person who doesn't care for mangoes. I know, gasp! My daughter will love this because she loves mangoes and is experimenting with tofu lately.

Laura @ SweetSavoryPlanet

I just subscribed to The New Vegetarian column yesterday! What a coincidence. He seems to be full of great ideas.

Coco @ Opera Girl Cooks

For Caffettiera, The soapiness is probably from the coriander. It's the same plant as cilantro, which some people think tastes like soap or rotting garbage. I just leave it out of all recipes, or substitute it with another green herb.


Yay for both kinds of lazy sundays!


this noodle dish looks light, fresh, and delicious! i love soba noodles, and this is a great way to use them!

the blissful baker

The combination of mango and coriander leaves is very tropical and reminiscent of my childhood fruit chutneys. Though I love the taste of fried foods, I try to avoid it as much as possible. I think the eggplant would cook in 10-15 mins in oiled and salted lightly then baked at 200C.


Oh I've never seen anything like this - looks wonderful!

Simply Life

i think I'll give a try to the suggested pumpkin substitution quite soon. Not many ripe mangoes in Germany now, while pumpkin is now fantastic. I loved this recipe in the original version, but I found it very summery so I kind of forgot about it now that we go towards winter. Weirdly enough, the recipe was a huge hit with anyone except my dad, who claimed it tasted 'soapy'.


The combination of mango and coriander is very tropical, a bit like fresh fruit chutneys from my childhood. Though I love the taste of fried foods, I try to stay away from even shallow frying. The eggplant could be lightly oiled and salted and baked in the oven. Cut up as small as 1cm cubes they'd only take 10-15 mins at 200C!


Beautiful photographs. I am especially taken by the donkey. I'll go back and read the recipe :)


What a interesting combination of ingredients - eggplant, mango. The textures must be wonderful.


ummm... Soba aren't traditionally shaped like linguini. Did you substitute or what? HS: Nope Marten, those are soba. You can find them in different shapes here.


Ha, we are soul foodies! I had 30 minutes to kill yesterday and ended up in a little bookshop in Grey Lynn, thumbing through this book. And you wouldn't believe it - this recipe was the first to catch my eye! I love the colours and the flavours. Needless to say I bought the book and have bookmarked this recipe too. I like your addition of tofu too...

Joe @ Eden Kitchen

I had once similar type of noodle salad in Aqui. I am surprised you were to find ripe mango this time. Even though it is bit time consuming to prepare, the picture is all worth it to make it. Thanks.

Pam @ Kitchen Cookware

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