It was a sad, sad day last weekend when I went to pick out the mango pieces from a fruit salad that my mother had bought for dessert so I could devour them all singlehandedly and found that all five of them were as unripe as mango-ly possibly. They were hard and dry; and had that bad chalky taste that mangoes unsuitable for eating tend to have.
To make up for the traumatic experience and so that I wouldn’t have to have the memory of those inedible mangoes forever engrained in my mind, I turned to this soba noodle salad.
With its tangy, sweet, and salty notes, it is delicious whether served warm, cold, or at room temperature, which is perfect for this transitional time of year when you never really know what surprises the weather holds. Just, make sure your mangoes are of the juicy and delicious variety.
Adapted from Ottolenghi’s Plenty
Joanne Bruno is a food writer and third year MD/PhD student. Find more of her delicious ramblings over at her blog: Eats Well With Others. Joanne is also training for her third marathon with Team in Training, raising money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. For more information or to make a donation, check out her fundraising website.
1/2 cup rice vinegar
3 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 fresh red chile, finely chopped
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
grated zest and juice of 1 lime
2 tbsp peanut oil
2 eggplants, cut into 3/4-inch dice
9 oz soba noodles
1 large ripe mango, cut into 3/8-inch dice
1 2/3 cup basil leaves, chopped
2 1/2 cups cilantro leaves, chopped
1. In a small saucepan, gently warm the vinegar, sugar and salt for up to 1 minute, just until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat and add the garlic, chile and sesame oil. Allow to cool, then add the lime zest and juice.
2. Heat up the peanut oil in a large non-stick skillet and saute the eggplant in three or four batches. Once golden brown, remove to a colander, sprinkle liberally with salt and leave there to drain.
3. Cook the noodles in plenty of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally. Drain and rinse well under running cold water. Shake off as much excess water as possible.
4. In a mixing bowl, toss the noodles with the dressing, mango, eggplant, half of the herbs and the onion. When ready to serve, add the rest of the herbs and mix well, then pile on a plate or in a bowl.