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Grilled Eggplant & Soba Noodle Salad With Nearly Nước Chấm

Blossom Lady
Jun 02, 2024 12:48 PM
Grilled Eggplant & Soba Noodle Salad With Nearly Nước Chấm

This recipe is inspired by the lively, fragrant grilled eggplant dishes in Vietnamese cuisine. Here, spongy eggplants are grilled until silky and tender, and then tossed with nearly nước chấm, my piquant, vegan take on this foundational Vietnamese sauce. If you are grilling, the eggplant could also be cooked on a griddle for a smoky edge.

Load the soba noodle salad with as many herbs as you can handle, for heightened vibrancy and fresh textures. As with all soba noodle salads, I recommend cooking the noodles a day ahead (or at least a few hours prior), tossing in some sesame or neutral oil and storing them in the fridge overnight, as this helps the noodles develop a firmer structure to stand up to the robust dressing.

For the eggplant & soba salad:
  • 7 ounces (200 grams) soba noodles
  • 2 large eggplants (about 1 ¾ pounds/800 grams)
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 -inch piece of ginger, peeled and grated
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup (120 milliliters) Nearly Nước Chấm (see below)
  • 1 cup Asian herbs, such as Thai basil, Vietnamese mint, cilantro, green onions, or perilla leaves, finely sliced
  • Toasted sesame oil, for drizzling
  • 1/2 cup roasted peanuts, roughly chopped

For the nearly nước chấm:
  • 1/3 cup (80 milliliters) lime juice
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 4 teaspoons soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 garlic clove, grated
  • 1 fresh Thai red chile, finely sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Prep Time:
10 minutes
Cook Time:
20 minutes
Total Time:
30 minutes
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