I seek out the unpasteurised miso as it has the best flavour, not to mention health benefits, and sometimes will just have a spoonful in a mug of boiling water if I’m hungry between meals. Miso has a natural affinity with eggplant, and also with noodles. Soba are hands down my favourite Japanese noodles, and they make a great last-minute addition to many dishes. Definitely worth a place in the larder!
I love the umami flavour of miso, and my many trips to Japan have shown me how versatile it is.
- 4 eggplants
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp julienned ginger
- 1 tbsp unpasteurised white (shiro) miso
- 2 tbsp verjuice
- 100 ml vegetable stock
- 2 tsp sweet soy sauce (kecap manis)
- 2 bundles (180 g) soba (buckwheat) noodles
- ⅓ cup (50 g) toasted sesame seeds
- ½ cup coriander leaves
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp verjuice
- 1 tsp soy sauce
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Preheat the oven to 220°C (fan-forced). Line 2 baking trays with baking paper.
Peel the eggplant and cut into 2.5 cm cubes. Place in a bowl, pour over the olive oil and season well. Toss to coat, then spread over the lined trays. Roast for 25 minutes or until golden and tender, but not mushy. Remove and set aside.
Meanwhile, heat the sesame oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the ginger and saute for 2 minutes. Stir in the miso, then add the verjuice and simmer until nearly evaporated. Add the stock and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to low, stir in the soy sauce and simmer for 5–6 minutes or until slightly thickened. Remove from the heat.
To make the vinaigrette, whisk together all the ingredients in a small bowl.
Bring a large saucepan of lightly salted water to the boil. Add the noodles and cook according to manufacturer’s instructions or until tender. Drain and place in a large bowl with the vinaigrette and toss to coat. Add the eggplant and sauce and combine well. Divide among serving plates and scatter with the sesame seeds and coriander leaves.
Recipe from Maggie’s Recipe for Life by Maggie Beer with Professor Ralph Martins (Simon & Schuster Australia, pb, $39.99). Photography © Dragan Radocaj. Read our chat with Maggie about eating for better brain health here.