Italian-style Somen Noodles
Somen noodles with a Kamo eggplant and tomato topping. The balsamic vinegar and fresh basil leaves give this dish a delicious Italian twist!
Photographed by Seiichi Suzuki
Rice & Noodles
Excludes time spent cooling the vegetables in the refrigerator.
Ingredients (Serves 2)
- 100 g somen noodles
- 1/2 Kamo eggplant (large)
(approx. 150 g)Note
Kamo eggplants are big, roung eggplants specific to the Kyoto region. In this recipe, they can be substituted with 2-3 regular eggplants. When using regular eggplants, cut off the stems and cut in half along their lengths, then cut into 4 to 6 equal spears.
- 1/2 tomato (large)
- 1 clove garlic (finely chopped)
- 1/4 onion (finely chopped)
- 1 rounded tsp granulated sugar (5 g)Note
*or regular sugar
- 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 tbsp capers
- 5 green olives (deseeded and coarsely chopped)
- 5 basil leaves (fresh)
- Extra virgin olive oil
Cut the stem off from the Kamo eggplant, then cut in half crosswise. Cut the halved eggplant into 8 equal spears (only half of the eggplant will be used for this recipe). Blanch the tomato briefly in boiling water and peel the skin. Remove the stem and seeds, then dice into 5 mm cubes.
Preheat a frying pan with 2-3 tbsp of olive oil on high heat. Line the eggplant pieces on the frying pan. Once cooked on one side, flip them over, then turn the heat down to medium and cook both sides well until browned. Check the softness with a wooden spatula. If it's still firm, turn the heat down to low and keep cooking until the eggplant is soft. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then remove from the frying pan.
Wipe the pan clean with a paper towel. Add 1 1/2 tbsp of olive oil and the chopped garlic. Fry on low heat until golden, then add the chopped onion. Turn the heat to medium, and stir-fry until it turns translucent.
Add in the diced tomato and stir-fry for about 1 min to let the flavors meld. Add the granulated sugar and balsamic vinegar and briefly mix. Add the capers and olives, then remove from heat.
Add the eggplant pieces, and adjust the flavor as needed with salt and pepper. Transfer the cooked vegetables into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let cool in the refrigerator until immediately before eating.
Boil the somen noodles according to the instructions on the package, transfer to a strainer, and rinse under cold water to remove any sliminess. Drain excess water, then place on a plate.
Tear the basil leaves and add to the cooled vegetables, and arrange the mixture on top of the somen noodles.