These noodles have been a staple for me ever since college. I usually make them with whatever vegetables I have on hand. This time, I stopped at the farmer's market and picked up some heirloom varieties of asian eggplants. They come in all colors-white, pale green, and lavender.
1- 8 ounce box soba noodles (buckwheat noodles)
3 shallots, sliced thinly
3 cloves garlic
1 medium eggplant
1 small zucchini
3 banana peppers
1 large handful spinach
1 bunch green onions, chopped (white and green parts separated)
1 small bunch thai basil
1/4 cup sesame seeds
2-3 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 splash fish sauce
Heat some vegetable oil in a medium saucepan. Fry the shallots and the whites of the green onions until golden brown. Then add the garlic and fry for 30 seconds. Slice the eggplant, zucchini, and peppers into thin, long strips. Saute in the oil until softened without overcooking. Add in the spinach until soft. Set vegetables aside to cool.
Meanwhile cook the noodles. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Then cook the noodles until just soft enough to eat for about 5-7 minutes. Watch closely since they tend to cook quickly. Strain the noodles as soon as they are done, then rinse under cold running water in a strainer. This will prevent them from sticking together. Set aside to cool.
Mix the dressing together with the sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, and the fish sauce. Pour over the noodles and mix in the cooked vegetables. Mix in the sesame seeds and the chopped thai basil to your liking. Serve cold or hot. These make a great packed lunch!