Soba noodles and roasted eggplant in miso dressing

When it starts to warm up, I find myself craving some soba noodles.  Alright...who am I kidding?  I crave all kinds of foods that I like to eat in one big constant loop!  I'm not the only one who's always thinking about food and, therefore, craving something all the time, right?
In the old days, it was rice noodles for me.  Nowadays, I enjoy more variety and there's usually a pack of dry soba noodles hanging out in the pantry.  I always feel the need to have my favorite things on hand, like there might be some worldwide shortage the minute I need it, and I just won't be able to find it anywhere!

Anyway...when I think soba noodles, I automatically think asian flavors - soy, rice vinegar, sesame oil and seeds.  To satisfy this particular round of soba noodle craving, I decided to make use of the miso I had in the fridge.
When I saw some good-looking eggplant at the market, I thought of that great America's Test Kitchen technique I learned and have been relying on to roast eggplant with soy sauce.  The idea came together.  I'd roast some eggplant with soy sauce, cook some soba noodles, and toss it altogether with a simple miso-based dressing.

And that's just what I did to satisfy my soba noodle craving.  The eggplant makes the dish satisfying, with its meatiness and that umami flavor.  I'd thought about adding some shiitake mushrooms but skipped it since I didn't feel like dirtying another pan and having to cook the mushrooms separately.  I thought I'd miss it but I really didn't; the eggplant alone adds plenty of flavor and substance.  The miso dressing/sauce is just one where I whisked some miso with a little warm water.  I added some soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil and it's just a simple, light, and a relatively mild coating of sauce for the soba.

I didn't work with a precise recipe for this dish.  I just knew I wanted to start with miso (I use Trader Joe's "mild yellow" miso paste but a white or awase miso paste would be fine) as the base and build from there.  It's a basis to run with and to adjust to your own liking.  The roasted eggplant provides a lot of flavor and substance to this dish.  If I didn't have that, I'd amp up the amount of miso and seasoning in the dressing.

Happy Memorial Day weekend!  We have some leisurely plans on our end that include striking up the grill a couple of times and eating our fair share of ice cream.  Hope you'll be doing some of the same!

Recipe:

Soba noodles and Roasted Eggplant in Miso Dressing
Roasted eggplant method from America's Test Kitchen

- For 2 servings -

4 ounces soba noodles
2 tablespoons miso (I used Trader Joe's mild yellow miso paste but a white or awase paste would work)
2 tablespoons warm water
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon canola oil
1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
1 rounded (generous) cup roasted eggplant: recipe here
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
1 scallion, thinly sliced

Cook soba noodles according to package instructions.  Using a colander, rinse the noodles thoroughly under cold running water, rubbing them gently with your hands to get rid of the slimy texture.  Drain well.

In a large bowl, whisk the miso and water together.  Whisk in the soy sauce, canola oil, sesame oil, and rice wine vinegar.  Add the noodles and toss it with the dressing to combine.  Next, add the eggplant, sesame seeds, scallions, and gently mix together.  Taste, adjusting seasoning, if necessary, before serving.




30 comments:

  1. haha you are definitely not alone! I am always craving some food or another!

    I love soba noodles - so slurp-able! And with the eggplant this sounds delicious. Have a fantastic holiday weekend!!

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    1. Yes - I wish my mind would quiet down, sometimes! haha...it's like a constant running stream of consciousness about food. There are worse problems, right? Have a great holiday weekend, Ashley!

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  2. I love the use of roasted eggplants in soba stirfry. It looks very appetizing, Monica.

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    1. That eggplant just bulks it right up and makes it hearty. Glad you approve, Angie.

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  3. This looks SO comforting and delicious! Hehe I can have soba noodles or any other noodles every day :) Love the roasted eggplant in here and it sounds amazing with the miso, soy sauce and sesame! Hope you have a relaxing and fun weekend! Your plans sound perfect!

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    1. I hear you - noodles are absolute comfort food! I don't think there are noodles in this long weekend's forecast but I'll manage. You have a lovely weekend with the family, Kelly!

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  4. Love the roasted eggplant + miso- soba is the ultimate to pair with miso :)

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    1. Thanks - I think it works well together, too. :)

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  5. I've got to try that eggplant roasting tip! :D It's getting colder here but I would love this dish!

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    1. Hope you do try that soy sauce-roasted eggplant...good on its own instead of with soba if you crave warmer foods. I'm just glad it's finally warm here!

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  6. We could talk about food obsession for hours. Food is on the mind all the time and craving for different things constantly. I am just glad I crave for fresh things too:). I love soba noodles and your take is so yum. There's something so special about roasted veggies. Sounds delish.
    We roast eggplant for a very traditional Indian dish and I adore that, I'm sure I'll love this one.
    Have a beautiful and relaxing weekend. dear. xo

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    1. I'm glad we have our food "obsessions" in common! : ) Roasted veggies are so satisfying, I agree. Hope you are having a wonderful holiday weekend!

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  7. Simply damn delicious and comforting is always reffering to soba for my Indonesian licking!!!
    Dedy@Dentist Chef

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  8. This reminds me so much of an Ottolenghi recipe I made once...but much simpler and just as tasty! Perfect warm weather meal.

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    1. Joanne, you are too kind. : ) I am sure this is far simpler than the Ottolenghi recipe but I know it isn't as tasty! That's okay though, right? Hope you had a great Memorial Day weekend.

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  9. Love the idea of the roasted aubergine in this, not tried that before!

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    1. It's the hearty part of this dish. Hope you give it a try. Thanks, Caroline.

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  10. That miso dressing is EVERYTHING! I'd eat it up with a spoon! What a delicious tasting dish, thanks for sharing!

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    1. That savoriness of the miso is really addicting, isn't it, Pamela? : )

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  11. Food is on my mind all the time...I think we have good reason to think about it anyway:-) I LOVE soba noodles and I am about post an Asian recipe soon that was photographed in April and still not posted. Desserts always win...somehow! Your dish is just gorgeous! I have all the ingredients at home and I may make it for dinner.
    PS: I am fasting for a medical test now and my mouth is just watering at the sight of your photos. Bad timing:-)

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    1. Desserts should win out! I totally understand...but I'll look forward to checking out the Asian recipe coming up. : )

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  12. I've been wanting to try cooking with miso - this is going on the list! I also crave random foods all throughout the year :)

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    1. I now keep it in the fridge and it keeps well. I use it to make miso salmon glaze and for pasta. It's actually really versatile and easy to use once you get started! I was happy to discover that recently.

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  13. I like that you roasted the eggplants...and yes, miso must taste absolutely delicious in this soba noodles...yum!
    Have a great week Monica :)

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    1. The roasted eggplants really make it filling and hearty. Thanks, Juliana.

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  14. I love both soba and eggplant very much. What a great combination and I love that eggplant absorbs all the great flavor of miso and seasonings! This will be a wonderful lunch even just for myself!

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    1. Yes, definitely a great summer lunch for one! : ) The eggplant is so good with soba. I could eat this often.

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  15. Yum! The combination sounds delicious; I bet shiitake mushrooms could only make it more tasty!

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    1. I find shiitake mushrooms work so well in noodle dishes but I didn't feel like dirtying another pan. :)

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