Ottolenghi Soba Noodles with Aubergine and Mango

Ottolenghi Soba Noodles with Aubergine and Mango Recipe

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

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

If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!

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Comments

  • 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.

    Katie@Cozydelicious
  • 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.

    MH
  • 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 :)

    Jennifer
  • 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..

    thompson
  • Yummy, yummy, yummy!!!!

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

    Lea
  • 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

    Linda
  • 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.

    Anna
  • 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.

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

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

    Jenn@slim-shoppin
  • 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!

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

    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)
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