Mango and Thai Eggplant Soba Noodle Bowl Recipe

Mango and Thai Eggplant Soba Noodle Bowl Recipe

In Life:

For the last six weeks or so I have been working on a major house cleaning project. Not only have I been cleaning each room in my house, top to bottom, but I’ve also been decluttering at the same time. It has been liberating! And you might be wondering why this has taken me six weeks or so. Well it’s mostly because I only work on the project on Fridays during the day. So I basically dedicate most of my day on Friday to the deep cleaning process.

So far I have finished my bathroom, laundry room and kitchen. I am almost done with my bedroom and lastly, I have the living room to tackle. I’m the type of person that gets a very big pay off from knowing my house is clean. It’s like I just feel better and more comfortable being in it when I know all the dust bunnies have been removed and that everything is fresh and clean. Like most homes, mine is REALLY prone to collecting dust. Honestly, it’s a constant battle.

I am aiming to finish this project this month. I have been flexible with the timing and giving myself all the time I need. Like I’ve spent the last three weeks working in my bedroom, and I still have one area left to go – Jeremy’s desk. I know it’s packed to the brim with papers and electronics and junk so this will take a while. Probably most of the day this Friday (tomorrow). But then the bedroom will be done. And then I can tackle the last hold out – the living room! By that time, it will likely be time to start all over again on cleaning. The circle of life, as it were.

What about you? How do you feel about housekeeping? Love it? Hate it? Indifferent? When’s the last time you did a real big “deep clean”? Have one in the works? Let me know in the comments below. I know house work is something we all have to deal with in some way or another. I’m curious about how it plays out in your life.

In Cooking:

Today I’ve got a great dish for you. It’s definitely something you can reward yourself with after a long day of housekeeping. Or just any old day, really. It’s a mango and Thai eggplant soba noodle bowl recipe, and it’s one that was inspired by extra produce I had in the fridge. I think these always end up being the best recipes, frankly. My creativity really gets sparked in these situations.

Mango and Thai Eggplant Soba Noodle Bowl Recipe
It all started with eggplant and mango. I had both in my fridge as a result of a recent trip to Hollygrove Farmer’s Market (the eggplant) and mangoes being on sale for $1 each at my local Rouses market. I didn’t originally plan to use them together. I’d actually bought the eggplant to make a curry dish. EXCEPT I discovered I already have one on my site! So I was really in a scramble because the eggplant had to be used.

Mango and Thai Eggplant Key Ingredients for Soba Noodle Bowl Recipe
So I got to thinking about what was in my fridge. I had eggplant, mangoes, garlic, red chiles, onion and small sweet bell peppers. Knowing that everything would work with the eggplant besides the mango, I decided to google mango and eggplant just to see what would come up. And I was delightfully surprised to find this recipe. All I really needed to buy was soba noodles and limes, and I was all set.

You may be wondering what type of eggplant these little babies are. They’re actually Thai eggplant, and they are about the size of a cherry tomato. When was working with them, I was already conceiving of a dish pairing the two. I think that would look so interesting. Don’t fret about not being able to find Thai eggplant (if you try and just can’t seem to get your hands on them). I can’t imagine they’re widely available so use regular eggplant or any other type really as a substitute if needed. However, if you can get your hands on these little babies, do it. They’re pretty special and delicious.

Thai Eggplant
Below I have a graphic of how you can easily remove the stem without losing too much of the eggplant itself. It’s really a simple four step process from start to finish:

  1. First you have just the regular Thai eggplant (that you’ve already washed and allowed to drip dry).
  2. Then you take the flaps from the stem and push them upward.
  3. Next, you can take a small knife and slice the stem off as close to the top as possible while still removing all of the stem but minimizing eggplant loss.
  4. Finally, take the eggplant and split it in half length-wise. It is ready to use at this point.

How to remove the stem from Thai Eggplant
I love this dish because it incorporates cold and heated elements. Once the things that need to be cooked are ready, everything (besides the garnish) is combined a large mixing bowl and refrigerated for a couple of hours for the flavors to marry. This part makes this dish not really a make-and-eat dinner meal. However, it does hold fantastically in the fridge so you could make it over the weekend and eat the leftovers for lunches during the week. The sweet and tangy nature of the dish makes it such a wonderfully tasty treat. It was hard to not eat it all in one sitting.

Mango and Thai Eggplant Soba Noodle Bowl Recipe
So there you have it. Another delicious soba noodle bowl for your dining pleasure. If you’re really into soba noodle bowls, you can check out this recipe from last fall. It’s a simpler version of this and only requires the soba noodles to be cooked. And if soup is something that strikes your fancy, you can always check out this soba, tofu, spinach and sweet potato soup. These are among my three favorite dishes. Long live the soba noodle!

Mango and Thai Eggplant Soba Noodle Bowl Recipe

Yield: 4 servings

Mango and Thai Eggplant Soba Noodle Bowl Recipe

This soba noodle bowl recipe features mango, eggplant and sweet peppers. It's cool, refreshing and a great contrast of sweet and tart flavors.

Ingredients:

Soba Noodles:

  • 8 ounces dry soba noodles
  • Large pot of salted water

Sweet & Tangy Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoon agave nectar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 fresh red chili, finely chopped (stem and seeds removed)
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1 lime, zest and juice

Veggie Stir-Fry:

  • 3 tablespoons grape seed (or light) olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion,┬áthinly sliced
  • 1 colored bell pepper, thinly sliced (stem and seeds removed)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 pound Thai eggplant, stems remove and halved (substitute regular cubed eggplant if needed)
  • 3 tablespoons water

Finishing the Dish:

  • 2 large mangoes, diced (peeled and deseeded)
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
  • 1 cup basil leaves, chiffonade (divided)
  • 1 cup cilantro leaves, finely chopped (divided)

Method:

Soba Noodles:

  1. Start by setting a large pot of salted water to boil so that you can cook the soba noodles. Follow the package directions for preparing the soba noodles.
  2. Once you drain them from the pot of water, rinse them with cold water to cool them off. Keep in the colander until ready to use.

Sweet & Tangy Sauce:

  1. In a small skillet combine the rice vinegar, agave nectar and kosher salt. Whisk well to combine. Turn the heat on the stove to medium and heat the mixture (about 2 minutes). Whisk again to ensure the ingredients are well mixed and the salt is dissolved.
  2. Remove from heat and add the minced garlic, chopped chili and sesame oil. Transfer the mixture to a small bowl and allow to cool.
  3. Once cool, add the lime zest and juice. Mix well with a whisk and set aside.

Veggie Stir-Fry:

  1. In a large skillet or pot (with a lid - we'll use the lid later) over medium high heat, heat the grape seed oil. Add the onion and bell pepper. Stir well and continue to stir for about 2 minutes, until both veggies are softened and shiny.
  2. Add the eggplant, stirring again for another 3 minutes. At this point, the veggies should have absorbed most of the oil. Add the three tablespoons of water and cover the skillet (or pot).
  3. Allow the vegetables to cook covered for about 10 minutes, stirring every few minutes (2-3 times). If the pan does dry out, add an additional tablespoon of water. The eggplant are done when the skin is soft but they still retain their basic shape.

Finishing the Dish:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the soba noodles, veggie stir fry, sweet and tangy sauce, chopped mango, green onions, 1/2 cup of basil and 1/2 cup of cilantro. Mix well to combine.
  2. Refrigerate for 2 hours to allow flavors to marry.
  3. After two hours, portion and serve with the remaining basil and cilantro.

Adapted from Voracious Vander's Recipe

Prep:20 min

Cook:20 min

Total:2 hour 40 min

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