Sweet & Sour Aubergine with Pak Choi & Sesame Noodles

There is something about the sticky, soft, sweet, sour Chinese restaurant aubergine that feels so inherently opulent and comforting. It always looks incredibly complex and surely has a million untracable ingredients? So you can imagine my excitment when, after some experimenting, I found a very simple way of making my home-cooked version that didn’t lack any of the lustre of it’s restaurant cousin (and i’m sure contains a lot fewer scary sounding sugars and preservatives...)
I hope this recipe serves you well.

(serves 2)

For the Dressing: 
Juice of 1/2 a Lime
1 tbsp Soy Sauce
1/2 tbsp Toasted Sesame Oil
1/2 tbsp Teriyaki Sauce
1/2 tsp Siracha
1 tsp Maple Syrup or Honey
1 inch Ginger, peeled and chopped very finely

1 large (or 2 small) Aubergine
2 handfuls of Mangetout or Sugarsnap Peas sliced in half lengthways on a diagonal 
2 Pak Choi cut in hald length ways 
2 portions of Noodles of your choice (I like buckwheat)
Sunflower (or comparable) Oil

To Serve:
Sesame seeds
Fresh corriander

- Chop the aubergine into bite size cubes and place in a colander. Toss with lots of salt - make sure all the pieces are coated - and leave in the sink for 30mins to an hour. You should see lots of moisture seaping out of the aubergine.
- Meanwhile, prepare the dressing by mixing all the ingredients together in a cup or small bowl. Start heating a pan of water for the noodles.
- When the aubergine has finished sitting, rinse them to remove excess salt and pat dry with a paper towel. In a large frying pan heat a generous amount of sunflower oil (approx 3 tbsp) over a medium-high heat. Tip the aubergine into the pan and stir regularly until the pieces brown nicely.
- Once the pieces are browned, add the mangetout and 3/4 of the dressing. The pan should be very hot and the dressing will sizzle a lot. Toss the veggies together in the sauce then lower the heat, place the pak choi on top and place a lid over the pan. Leave it to steam for approx 5mins until the aubergine and the pak choi are tender. Remove from the heat.   
- Meanwhile cook the noodles as per their instructions. Once drained, toss through the remaining dressing.
- Serve the aubergine and veggies on top of the noodles. Garnish with sesame seeds and corriander.