Sugarbird's Sweet Nothings

I am passionate about food. And cooking. And baking. And running. Come and find a new recipe, a funny story, some strong opinions and whatever else I feel like throwing in the mix today.
Published on December 8th, 2011
by Clarabella

Soba Noodle, Aubergine, Mango & Tofu Salad

I eat too much cake. Its a fact. And rather unavoidable given my occupation. So in the evenings, when the cake baking is done and my tastebuds and stomach are craving something savoury, I do try to cook healthy foods. When I want to be even more super duper healthy, I meander over to 101 Cookbooks or my copy of Super Natural Every Day and pick something from Heidi’s collection of super whole and healthy recipes.

The problem I do have with her recipes though, is that there are some ingredients I don’t even know what they are, let alone where on earth, here in Manchester, England specifically, I would be able to get hold of them. What is Tempeh? Where do I find black sesame seeds? These are questions that perusing her book has left me with. So, I do often have to improvise a little bit when cooking her recipes, and add my own ingredients or alternatives.

This time I wanted to make a recipe with Tofu. Why? Because I don’t generally use Tofu when cooking for my very carnivorous fiancé. But the first problem, where do I get tofu from. Specifically the ‘firm tofu’ that the recipe specifies. So I found a carton of silken tofu in the supermarket’s ethnic section the other day, so I grabbed it and thought I’d give it a go.

The tofu wasn’t what I’d call firm, but i fried it up with a bit if Harissa and it held together and didn’t turn into mush so I took that as a good sign. I changed the recipe a little by cooking the onions and garlic with the aubergine as i find raw onion and garlic a little hard on the digestive system. I also added some artichoke that I had in the fridge, and used regular rice vinegar as I have never seen brown in the shops and I need to be very determined and have a big list to source it online.

I do have a ‘thing’ for soba noodles. They are wholesome and soooo tasty and I just like noodles in general. This noodley salad is sweet, savoury, chewy, soft and crunchy all at the same time. And on a day when too much cake has been consumed, its just the thing.

Just as an aside, on days when too much cake is consumed, at least I always have a dog walk/run to make me feel better. And when the morning looks like this, its a pleasure to be out in it.



Soba Noodle, Aubergine, Mango & Tofu Salad

Adapted from 101 Cookbooks

What you will need:

1 Aubergine, cut into 1cm cubes
1 Mango, cut into 1cm cubes
250g Firm/Silken Tofu, cut into 1cm cubes
1tsp harissa paste
salt & pepper
olive oil for frying
250g soba noodles
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 c rice wine vinegar
1/4 c light brown sugar
pinch chilli flakes
handful each of basil and coriander
zest and juice of 1 lime

What to do:

Pour 1 tbsp or so of oil into a frying pan along with the Harissa paste. When it starts to sizzle, add the tofu and stir gently. Cook the tofu for 10 mins or so.
Heat 1 tbsp of oil in another pan and cook half the aubergine until very browned. Cook the other half with the onion and garlic until browned. Then remove to a plate with kitchen bowl and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.
While the aubergine is cooking, cook the soba noodles in boiling salted water according to packet instructions (mine took 5 minutes). Then drain and rinse with cold water.
In a small bowl whisk together the  vinegar, brown sugar and chilli flakes until the sugar has dissolved.
In a large bowl combine the noodles, aubergine, mango, dressing, tofu and herbs. Mix gently to combine, and serve 🙂