We've been giving Community a good workout lately and having some very successful meals. It was our go-to book again for a healthy Sunday night dinner, with Cindy picking out this soba, edamame and eggplant salad. We made a few changes to the recipe, first adding in some tofu to make sure we had lots of leftovers for lunch, and second switching the edamame out for broad beans because that's all we could find at the shops.
There are a few processes involved in making the dish - you've got noodles to cook, eggplant to roast and a frying pan full of tofu and beans to manage - but everything can be done while the eggplant is roasting and it all comes together easily in the end. The pay-off is a massive saucepan of delicious noodly salad, with a mildly spicy sauce and a nice mix of textures from the tofu, beans and eggplant. This version of the recipe makes a lot of food, so it's probably worth rescaling things a bit unless you want to eat it every day for a week.
Spicy fried edamame and tofu with eggplant and soba noodles
(adapted from a recipe in Hetty McKinnon's Community)
4-5 eggplants (1.5kg)
4 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper
350g soba noodles
4 tablespoons sunflower oil
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 long red chillies, seeded and sliced finely
1 tablespoon minced ginger
300g frozen podded edamame (or broad) beans
500g firm tofu, cut into 2cm cubes
5 tablespoons tamari
3 tablespoons vegetarian oyster sauce
1.5 tablespoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons black sesame seeds
Pre-heat the oven to 200°C.
Partially peel the eggplants, leaving a stripe pattern, and then cut it all up into 2cm cubes. Spread the cubes across a couple of baking trays, drizzle over the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast them for 25 minutes or so, until they're tender. If the eggplant is done early, you can just kill the heat and leave the trays in the oven so it all stays warm.
While the eggplant is baking, bring a large pot of salted water to the boil and cook the soba noodles for 3-4 minutes, stirring constantly. Drain and refresh with cold water.
Heat the sunflower oil in a large frying pan over high heat. Stir-fry the chilli, garlic and ginger for a minute and then add in the edamame and tofu, stir-frying for another 2-3 minutes (a bit more if you want to get the tofu to go a little golden). Stir in the tamari, sesame oil, oyster sauce and cook for another minute, thickening the sauce up a bit.
Combine the noodles, eggplant and the tofu/bean mix in a large bowl and toss gently. Serve with a sprinkling of the sesame seeds on top.