Until then, it's catch up time. This dish came about after we ate at our new favorite Chinese restaurant, 101 Noodle Express in Arcadia. They have these delicious, although unappetizing-looking noodles, called something along the lines "cold eggplant and pork". The eggplant is pale, and almost green looking, there's minced pork, and a strange salsa verde-like sauce. If this sounds odd, it's because it is. But somehow, it works magically. And the flavors are deliciously addicting. The husband and I will randomly crave these noodles several times a week. You also get a choice of noodles - hand torn or regular. The hand torn noodles are incredible, and worth the extra 50 or so cents.
So back to MY eggplant noodles. Let me start by saying they are nothing like the Noodle Express noodles. There were a LOT of reasons for this. First, my dish was pretty attractive looking. Second, I used Hungarian bacon. Third, I used pappardelle noodles. All very non-Chinese. Fourth, I served my noodles hot. And fifth, I didn't spend much time researching this strange restaurant recipe, and gave up after a solid three minutes. After my quick internet defeat, I chose to follow a few other recipes that looked good which utilized all the ingredients I had. It's hard to post the actual recipe because I had a lot of eggplant and just ended up winging it. But, I'll list the ingredients below and encourage you all to give your own version a shot. Because even though these were not as good as the Noodle Express noodles, they were a close second. Kind of. The important thing is, they were super tasty. And I would definitely make them again. I just need to spend some time remembering what I did, and find the post-it (featured in a photo below) that lists some sort of proportions.
garlic bean paste
grape seed oil
Here's what I recall:
1) Brown eggplant in oil. Set aside.
2) Cook bacon, then add garlic, ginger and chiles.
3) Mix your saucy ingredients together, add eggplant back to pan and cook in sauce for about 15 more minutes.
4) Stir in your green onions and serve over noodles.
Kind of helpful, right? I'll try harder next time.