Soba Noodles with Cucumber, Roasted Eggplant and Ginger Dipping Sauce

Soba noodles, made with buckwheat, cook quickly and are excellent when served hot, cold or anywhere in between. But what they won’t tolerate is overcooking. Watch them carefully and don’t let them turn to mush. If you can’t find them in the Asian section of your supermarket, you can substitute thin whole-wheat pasta for a very different but still delicious noodle dish.

Courtesy of Sharon Bowers

Soba Noodles with Cucumber, Roasted Eggplant and Ginger Dipping Sauce

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    olive oil 1/4 cup water
    1 medium eggplant, sliced 1/4-inch thick 3 tablespoons soy sauce
    1 pound soba noodles 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)
    1/2 large seedless cucumber, trimmed into matchsticks 3 tablespoons pickled ginger, thinly sliced, plus more for garnish
    2 scallions, thinly sliced


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    • 1

      Preheat a broiler or grill pan on high. Brush the eggplant slices with olive oil, then soy sauce (separate from the 3 tablespoons). Lay them on the broiler pan on on the grill pan and cook, turning once, for 3 to 4 minutes per side, until tender and browned. When cool enough to handle, cut each slice into large chunks.

    • 2

      Cook the soba noodles according to package directions, being careful not to overcook. Arrange on a serving platter and top with the eggplant and cucumbers. Scatter the scallions over the top.

    • 3

      Stir together the water, soy sauce, vinegar and pickled ginger. Scatter more ginger on top for garnish. Drizzle half the sauce over the noodles and serve the rest on the side for diners to add a little extra to each serving.

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