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Soba with Starfruit

Adapted from Ottolenghi Soba Noodles from 101 Cookbooks

1/2 c. rice vinegar

1/3 c. brown sugar

large pinch kosher salt

2 garlic cloves, pressed

2 big pinches red pepper flakes

1 tsp. sesame oil

zest and juice of 1 lime

canola oil

5 small Asian eggplant

soba noodles (2 bundles or enough to serve 3)

2 star fruit

Red onion

Handful Italian basil

Handful cilantro

Prep your eggplant by trimming the ends and cutting into a small (about 1/4 inch) dice. Set aside.

Prep your starfruit by cutting into 1/4 inch slices and quartering.

Put a large sautee pan on medium high heat and a large pot of water on to boil. Add a good glug or two of canola to the large sautee pan (you want the bottom covered).

While your pan and pot are coming up to temperature, combine the vinegar, sugar and salt in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved fully (about 1 minute). Set aside. Add the pressed garlic, red pepper flakes and sesame oil.

Your oil should be just getting up to temperature (you’ll know it is hot enough when a drop of water sputters when added to the pan). Add half of the eggplant and fry until nice and browned. Scoop out with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel. Sprinkle with salt. Add the second half of the eggplant and repeat.

When the water comes up to a boil, add the soba noodles. Cook according to package directions until al dente (about 3 mins). Drain and immediately rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process. Knock as much water off as possible. Add a little olive oil to your hand and toss the cooled noodles around in the colander to coat. This will help the noodles from clumping all together into a gluey mess while they sit.

Prepare the rest of your ingredients.

Slice the onion into wafer thin slices (you only need a handful or so).

Sliver the basil.

Chop the cilantro.

Zest and juice the lime and add to the dressing.

In a medium sized bowl, combine all ingredients. Toss with the dressing and let sit an hour to give the flavors a chance to marry.

Toss again just before serving & enjoy.

Serves 2 for dinner with enough left over for a nice-sized lunch.