Rice vinegar is mild and slightly sweet, so it's a good choice to pair with salty soy sauce in this Asian-style vinaigrette. Eggplant easily absorbs large quantities of oil. Salt it before cooking, and use a ridged grill pan to reduce the oil. Serve this salad warm or at room temperature with fish or chicken.
1 pound Japanese eggplant, cut in half lengthwise
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup green beans, trimmed
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
1 mild red or green chile pepper, seeded and minced (such as Fresno)
1 cup (1/2-inch-thick) slices Walla Walla or other sweet onion
2 1/2 cups chopped bok choy stalks and leaves
2 cups hot cooked wide lo mein noodles (about 4 ounces uncooked)
1 green onion, cut diagonally into (1-inch) pieces
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
How to Make It
Place the eggplant halves in a colander, and sprinkle with salt. Toss well; drain 1 hour. Rinse well, and pat dry.
Place beans in a large saucepan of boiling water; cook 4 minutes. Drain and plunge into ice water; drain. Place beans in a large bowl.
Combine vinegar and next 6 ingredients (vinegar through chile pepper) in a microwave-safe dish, stirring with a whisk. Microwave at HIGH 1 minute.
Heat a large nonstick or cast-iron grill pan coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add eggplant halves to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until just tender. Remove from pan. Add onion to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until tender. Remove from pan. Cut eggplant halves diagonally into 1 1/2-inch-wide pieces. Coarsely chop onion. Add eggplant pieces, chopped onion, bok choy, and noodles to green beans; toss to combine. Add vinegar mixture, green onion, sesame seeds, and cilantro; toss well to coat.
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