Yesterday it was world animal day and although we don’t eat as much animal products as we did years ago I wanted to make something special to highlight how delicious vegan and vegetarian food can be.
Soft, charred aubergine glazed with an umami dressing of miso, ginger, sake and loads of other goodies, garlicky & gingery soba noodles with a mirin and soy sauce dressing, crispy fried smoked tofu for crunch, pickled cucumber and a soft boiled egg for extra yumminess, absolutely divine. Of course you can leave the egg out to keep the dish vegan!
You can find the recipe for the Miso glazed aubergine here, but you can also leave it out and just eat the noodles, tofu and cucumber as is!
Miso Glazed Aubergine with Soba Noodles & Crispy Fried Smoked Tofu
- Miso Glazed Aubergine - see the recipe here
- Pickled cucumber - see the recipe here
- 200 g Soba noodles (100g per person)
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 pack smoked or regular firm tofu (200 g) (see notes)
- 1 tbsp cornflour
- Pepper & Salt to taste
- 2-3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 3-4 cm piece ginger, peeled & julienned
- 2 tbsp soya sauce
- 1 tbsp mirin
- 1 tbsp sesame oil (more to taste)
- To serve
- 2 eggs
- Sesame seeds
- Spring onion, finely chopped
- Chili flakes or (homemade) chili oil
Remove the tofu from the packaging and pat dry with a paper towel.
For extra crispiness it helps to squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Wrap the block of tofu in a clean tea towel or paper towel. Lay it on a large plate and place something heavy on top, like a frying pan.
Weigh it down even more with some cans and jars, and leave for 30 mins. Drain away the excess water and pat dry.
In the meantime
Prepare the noodles according to the packaging, you'll need to boil them between 5 - 8 minutes depending on the brand. When done, drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process. Set aside.
Prepare the soft boiled eggs: add fridge cold eggs to a pan of boiling water and cook for 6.5 minutes (upto 8 minutes for less soft). Drain under ice cold water to stop the cooking process and set aside.
Slice the tofu in ± 5 mm thick slices, and then diagonally as well so you get nice triangles.
Add them to a large bowl and coat with the cornflour and season wel with pepper & salt.
In a wok or large frying pan heat a good glug of vegetable oil.
Add the tofu and fry on all sides until browned and crispy. don't overcrowd the pan, you may need to do this in batches.
Remove the tofu slices from the oil with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towel. Set aside.
Finishing off the dish
Add another drop of oil to the wok and add the garlic and ginger, stir frying quickly so it doesn't burn, ± 1 minute.
Add the noodles to the pan and mix well to heat through, ± 2 minutes.
Remove from the heat and add to a bowl, together with the tofu.
Mix together the soy sauce, mirin and sesame oil and add it to the noodles, mixing well so everything is coated.
Add the noodles to the bowls, top with the miso glazed aubergine (if using), the soft boiled egg, some spring onions, the pickled cucumber, sesame seeds and chili oil.
Serve immediately. Enjoy!
I like to drain as much liquid out of the tofu as possible but if you don't have the time then just skip this part. the tofu will be a bit less crispy but still taste good!