I love when themes accidentally develop in my cooking. Clearly, we’re all in some kind of noodle phase now and I’m not mad about it. First, we had the creamy cilantro pasta salad, then the pan-fried veggie noodles, and last week we had my favorite top-secret ginger peanut sauce with cold noodles. Let’s not stop a good thing, right? This week we’re going to revisit an old favorite from our first cookbook but reimagined since I first developed it 10 years ago: Grilled Eggplant Soba Noodles.
I was obsessed with these for years after I developed the recipe but as the years stacked up, I kind of forgot about it. After eating those soba noodles last week, I remembered how much I loved these eggplant noodles and set my mind into retooling the recipe to match how my palette has changed. It’s not just me either. All of us will experience food differently as we age. Taste buds dull, olfactory senses are diminished, and our preferences shift. Despite all the jokes, older folks actually need more seasoning on their food, not less, to make up for their dying taste buds. I’ll leave it up to you whether you think you’re in that category or not.
If you love the original recipe, stick with it. But in this updated version, I’ve pumped up the flavor by removing some of the water, moved some stuff around, and added more veggies. Similar in spirit but this new version is more complex in flavor than the original recipe. The grilled corn brings out the nuttiness of the soba noodles in a way that ties the whole dish together. I like to serve it warm or at room temperature with plenty of fresh basil and chives. It makes a great lunch at home or packed up for work, particularly if you work someplace where you can’t warm stuff up. If you want to add protein, toss in some edamame or baked tofu. If you’re not the biggest fan of eggplant, you could always switch it out for some summer squash, which would be its own kind of delicious.
Grilled Corn and Eggplant Soba Noodles
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