Now that you have breakfast on lock, we want to take your lunch game to the next level with another recipe from inside Thug Kitchen.
You might think you want that floppy baloney sandwich now, but this lunchtime delight is the recipe that made Sarah MacLachlan, our president and publisher, and Meredith Dees, our lovely editor, realize we all needed Thug Kitchen in our lives. Your mouth isn’t going to know what happened and your digestive system will surely thank you for keeping it healthy and on the reg. No more sad leftover pizza squished up at the bottom of your lunch pail, it’s time to cook something healthy and fulfilling.
Grilled Eggplant with Soba Noodles
Perfect for the middle of summer when basil and eggplant price have hit rock-bottom and you’ve spent all your fucking money on a new fan.
Makes enough for 4 people or just 1 if you want to save this stuff for lunch all week.
EGGPLANT AND MARINADE
1⁄2 cup rice vinegar
1⁄4 cup water
1⁄4 cup tamari or soy sauce
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon agave syrup or other liquid sweetener
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium eggplant (about 1 pound)
8 ounces soba noodles (you can use whole wheat pasta or whatever here, but soba noodles – made of buckwheat flour – taste way fucking better)
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
3 tablespoons water
1⁄2 cup fresh basil cut into thin ribbons
11⁄2 tablespoons sesame seeds
1. Mix up everything for the marinade in a glass. Slice the eggplant cross wise into 1⁄4-inch rounds. Place the eggplant in a large pan of some kind and pour the marinade over that shit. Let the eggplant marinate for at least 15 minutes or up to 1 hour if you’ve got the fucking time.
2. While the eggplant marinates, cook the soba noodles according to the package directions. Drain the noodles and rinse them with cool water so that they aren’t still cooking. Place them in a large bowl and add the toasted sesame oil and rice vinegar. Stir it all up.
3. Bring your grill or grill pan to a medium heat (around 300° to 350°F). Oil the grill grates. When the eggplant is done marinating, grill the eggplant slices (but don’t throw away that marinade) on each side 2 to 3 minutes or until you see some grill marks. If the eggplant begins to look a little dry, take the slices and dip them in or brush them with the remaining marinade and continuing cooking them until done. Eggplant hydration. Boom.
4. When all of the eggplant is done cooking and has cooled slightly, cut it up into 1⁄2-inch squares. Mix together 1⁄2 cup of the leftover marinade and the 3 tablespoons of water. Pour that mess all over the noodles and mix. Toss in the eggplant and basil and mix again. Top with sesame seeds and serve at room temperature or cold.
If you want to enter the contest for a free copy of Thug Kitchen and a badass tote remember to tag both @HouseofAnansi and #ThugKitchen when you tweet or Instagram a pic of your next level lunch. Get your entry in before Thursday, October 9th contest open to Canadian residents only, excluding Quebec.