Unfortunately, I think it’s possible that I will never have a better lunch recipe than the one I’m about to give you (yes, it’s that good), but I’ll try to at least come up with some equally delicious ideas for the future! This recipe is a good lunch-of-work choice because its served chilled or at room temp and will keep for a couple of days.
It takes about 20 minutes to make this, so I’d suggest making it the night before (or at least have everything ready to go for the morning). We eat this for dinner all the time
— we’re actually having it tonight — so you could also whip it up for dinner and have the leftovers for lunch. The cookbook the original recipe came from, Plenty, suggests serving this as “a substantial starter” or adding some fried tofu for more of a main course.
First, warm the vinegar, sugar and salt in a small saucepan until the sugar dissolves (about 1 minute). Remove from 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 fry the eggplant until it is golden brown. Remove to colander and sprinkle liberally with salt. Allow to drain.
Cook the noodles for 5-8 minutes or until the noodles become tender but are still al dente. Drain and since under cold water. Shake off excess water.
In mixing bowl, toss the noodles with the dressing, eggplant, herbs and the onion (tofu, also, if you’ve added it). Set aside for an hour or two before enjoying!