It’s time to celebrate the Chinese New Year and we decided to make Thug Kitchen’s Grilled Eggplant Soba Noodles recipe. We followed this recipe as closely as possible, but changed it up for a few reasons- mostly due to ingredients on hand and the season. Biting wind chill and mounds of snow do not make for favorable growing conditions for my favorite herb basil. So, we improvised a little and the recipe still turned out pretty damn good.
If you are not familiar with the name Thug Kitchen, then it’s high time you make yourself acquainted with this foul-mouthed food blog duo – turned cookbook authors. They take all the best ingredients and with a lot of recipe testing and a lot (A LOT) of swearing, churn out delicious eats time and time again. Not only has it been enjoyable to cook my way through their book, but fun discovering they can make vegetables taste GOOD. That’s right, vegetables. This is an in-your-face-style vegetarian cookbook and they make no bones about the fact you “Need to eat your F*ing vegetables!”
I’ve been a TK fan on Facebook for a while and was excited when they announced their upcoming book. Quick to pre-order it over the summer, I was giddy when it arrived in the mail this past October. Thumbing through the 200 or so pages makes for some fun reading material and even better food stuffs. One recipe that jumped out was the Soba Noodles. Now, I did not have soba noodles but did have Udon and since it’s winter, did not have access to the grill because it’s buried under 3 feet of snow. So, I used my cast iron skillet instead and some sad looking basil from the grocery store.
Even though I didn’t have the exact ingredients that the noodle recipe called for, it still came out pretty darn good and our taste buds eager to have the next day for lunch. If this version was good, I’m sure when it’s made with the “real” stuff, it will be even better. Give this a try…you won’t be disappointed.
This recipe was adapted from Thug Kitchen, pg. 61
Thug Kitchen's Grilled Eggplant Soba Noodles
Famed recipe from Thug Kitchen, kicked up a notch with Soba noodles and eggplant, this tasty dish will be in your meal rotation more often.
- ½ cup rice vinegar
- ¼ cup water
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- 2 Tbsp. toasted sesame oil
- 1 Tbsp. agave syrup
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 medium eggplant (1 pound)
- 8 oz. udon noodles (or buckwheat noodle)
- 1 Tbsp. toasted sesame oil
- 1 Tbsp. rice vinegar
- 3 Tbsp. water
- ½ cup fresh basil, cut into strips
- 1 ½ Tbsp. sesame seeds
- This recipe is adapted from Thug Kitchen
- In a glass jar with lid (like a mason jar) Mix all ingredients for marinade. Shake well.
- Slice eggplant into ¼ inch rounds and place into a bowl.
- Pour marinade mixture over the eggplant and marinate 15 minutes (at least) up to an hour (preferable).
- Meanwhile, cook noodles according to package directions.
- Drain and run cold water over noodles to rinse and stop cooking process.
- Place in large bowl and add sesame oil and vinegar and toss to coat.
- Bring grill (or in our case a cast iron skillet) to medium heat.
- Place eggplant on grill or in pan and cook 2 to 3 minutes per side, brushing occasionally with reserved marinade.
- When all eggplant is cooked, cut into bite-sized chunks. Mix with ½ cup left over marinade and 3 Tbsp. water.
- Pour over noodles and add basil. Give a quick toss to incorporate and top with sesame seeds.
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Like eggplant? Try this tasty recipe: