Eggplant Thai Noodles
Why we love it:
- 1⁄2 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes (omit or reduce to adjust heat level)
- 2 cloves Garlic
- 1 pound Japanese Eggplant (or Chinese eggplant - they’re similar, or globe eggplant)
- 1 teaspoon Vegetable Oil
- 1 pound Rice Noodles (wide, if you can find them, or Pad Thai style)
- 1 Yellow Onion
- 1 Tablespoon Fish Sauce (optional but recommended)
- 2 Tablespoons Oyster Sauce (or hoisin)
- 4 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
- 1 teaspoon Brown Sugar
- 1 teaspoon Water
- 1 Jalapeño (or serrano, or thai chile, optional)
- 1 Roma Tomato (see substitutions for can of tomatoes)
- 2 Eggs
- 1⁄2 bunch Cilantro (if you have it, or parsley, basil, or celery leaves)
1. BRING A LARGE POT OF WATER TO A BOIL
Mince the red pepper flakes and garlic into a fine paste - or as close as you can get. If you have a small bullet blender or chopper, this is a great time for it. Otherwise, peel and smash the garlic and add the red pepper flakes, and using your knife chop and mince as long as you can until they’re in small pieces or close to a paste consistency. Set aside.
Trim the stem off the eggplant and dice into 1-2” pieces. Heat a large, heavy bottom sauté pan over medium heat and add the oil. When it’s hot, add the eggplant and cook, stirring often, for about 5-7 minutes while you prep the rest of the ingredients.
When the water is boiling, add the noodles and cook according to the package instructions. Some rice noodles say to boil them and others recommend that you turn off the heat and just let them steep in the hot water. When done, drain and rinse under cold water so they don’t overcook and stick to each other.
5. ONION + PASTE
Peel and slice the onion into thin julienne strips - this means to cut it in half, then with the cut side down, slice like spokes on a bike. Add the onion to the cooking eggplant.
Add the reserved garlic/pepper flake "paste" to the pan as well.
Whisk together the sauces: fish sauce, oyster sauce, soy sauce, brown sugar, and water. It won’t look like much, but it will coat everything.
7. JALAPEÑO + TOMATO
If using, slice the jalapeño into rounds. Cut the tomatoes in half and then into 1” thick wedges. When the onions are browned and the eggplant is tender throughout, add the jalapeño and tomato to the pan and cook for 2 minutes.
Crack the eggs into a small bowl and whisk. Set aside.
If your pan is full with the veggies, we’ll do this in 2 batches. But, if your pan is large enough to accommodate the noodles, add them to the pan and toss to combine with veggies. Make a well in the center and pour in the eggs. Cook, scraping across the bottom of the pan a few times until they’re scrambled. The more you stir, the smaller the egg pieces, but the less you stir, the larger the eggs will set.
Add the sauce to the pan and toss to coat. Cook for 2 minutes or until sauce simmers and coats everything.
**If doing 2 batches, cook the eggs with the veggies, then add half the sauce to the veggies and cook for 1 minute. Then remove them to a large bowl. Add the noodles to the pan and the remaining sauce and cook for 2 minutes. Toss everything together in the large bowl**
Wash and chop cilantro (or herbs you have) into large pieces, stems and all.
Plate in large bowls and generously top with cilantro if using.,