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5 from 1 vote

Soba Noodles with Eggplant and Mango

A surprising combination of flavors makes this a memorable dish from the first bite - sweet from the mango and savory from the eggplant. A beautiful pasta for hot summer nights or for a simple weeknight dinner any night of the year. The leftovers only get better in the refrigerator, so I highly recommend making enough for lunch leftovers.
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Total Time40 minutes
Course: Pasta, Side Dish {Vegan}
Servings: 6
Author: Jess Smith via Inquiring Chef


  • ½ cup rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • ½ fresh red chile, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • Grated zest and juice of small 1 lime
  • 1 cup sunflower oil
  • 2 eggplants, cut into ¾-inch dice (this was about 3 cups in my case, but if the eggplant you buy is large, 1 will probably be plenty)
  • 9 ounces soba noodles
  • 1 large ripe mango, cut into ⅜-inch dice or into ¼-inch-thick strips
  • 1 ⅔ cup basil leaves (if you can get some Thai basil, but much less of it)
  • 2 ½ cups cilantro leaves, chopped
  • ½ red onion, very thinly sliced


  • In a small saucepan gently warm the vinegar, sugar and salt for up to 1 minute, just until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat and add the garlic, chile, and sesame oil. Allow to cool, then add the lime zest and juice.
  • Heat up the sunflower oil in a large pan and shallow-fry the eggplant in three or four batches. Once golden brown remove to a colander, sprinkle liberally with salt and leave there to drain.
  • Cook the noodles in plenty of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally. They should take 5 to 8 minutes to become tender but still al dente. Drain and rinse well under running cold water. Shake off as much of the excess water as possible, then leave to dry on a dish towel.
  • In a mixing bowl toss the noodles with the dressing, mango, eggplant, half of the herbs and the onion. You can now leave this aside for 1 to 2 hours. When ready to serve add the rest of the herbs and mix well, then pile on a plate or in a bowl.