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RECIPE: Roasted Sesame and Soy Aubergine with Thai Basil Coconut Noodles
With food prices rising, it's not always easy to afford a meat based meal every day. Deepa, of Lazygiraffe Jewellery, shows us a delicious vegetarian recipe as an alternative.
A vegetarian diet isn’t as restrictive as you might think, when my husband first became a vegetarian we both made sure not to get into a rut of eating endless risottos, meals overloaded with cheese or too many strange meat replacement products - we’ve never bought fake bacon before!
If you can be creative with vegetarian cooking, most of the time, you won’t be thinking of it as special vegetarian food. Dishes like this are great to have in your repetoire as mixing in a few veggie meals in the week can save you a lot of money.
This dish is one of those great ones that is so full of flavour you don’t miss the meat at all. The aubergines are sweet, spicy and intensely savoury.
Thai basil is a wonderful herb, very aromatic, almost a cross between coriander and basil. You can find it in some Chinese supermarkets, or failing that you can often buy the plants or seeds from a good garden centre. If you can’t find it replacing with a mixture of basil and coriander will work.
For the roasted aubergine:
- 1 aubergine
- 3 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp sesame oil
- 2 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 tbsp light olive oil or sunflower oil
- 1 tbsp hot water
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 1 clove of finely minced garlic
- ½ inch piece of finely chopped fresh ginger
- ½ green chili small handful of Thai basil, leaves roughly chopped
- sesame seeds to serve
For the thai basil coconut noodles:
- 2 nests of fine egg noodles
- for the thai ‘pesto’
- large handful of thai basil
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1 tsp of peanut butter
- 1 tbsp olive oil or sunflower oil
- ½ tin of coconut milk
Start by preparing your aubergine. Slice them into 1cm thick discs and lay them out in an ovenproof dish. Mix the rest of ingredients in a small saucepan and heat up until the sauce reduces by half. Pour over the aubergine, leave to marinade for 10 minutes.
Preheat your oven to a medium heat, about gas mark 5 / 180c.
Bake the aubergine for 15 - 20 minutes, turning half way through.
To prepare the thai basil sauce blitz up the ingredients for the thai pesto. Fry the pesto in a saucepan for a few minutes and then add in the coconut milk. Simmer for about 10 - 15 minutes. Cook the noodles according to the instructions, drain and then add to the coconut sauce once it has reduced a little.
Serve the aubergine on top of the noodles and spoon over any extra marinade on the aubergines and sprinkle over the sesame seeds.