Serious Eats: Recipes

Dinner Tonight: Pasta with Pork Loin, Chinese Eggplant, Baby Bok Choy, and Spicy Miso Sauce

I've had incredible success with every recipe I've tried from Takashi's Noodles, written by the celebrated Chicago chef Takashi Yagihashi. His instructions for soba, ramen, and udon have all been authentic, utterly delicious, and relatively easy to prepare at home.

But the same level of authenticity disappears in the back of the book, when he starts dishing out wacky recipes for Italian pasta that are blessedly free of tradition. After scoring some baby bok choy at the farmers' market, I took a risk and tried this recipe—it pairs the bok choy pork loin, Chinese eggplant, and a spicy miso sauce. Oh, and it's all tossed with spaghetti.

The spicy miso sauce is the star of this dish. It's whisked together in a matter of seconds, and perfectly coats everything in a robust, slightly spicy sauce. Al dente spaghetti is a great match for it. The eggplant helps bulk things out, and the lightly cooked baby bok choy adds some green and much needed crunch.

Yagihashi warned that the eggplant pieces would suck up all of the oil, and eggplants are notorious for their sponge-like qualities. That said, I didn't have any issues, and was able to cut down the amount of oil that he recommended. Add it back if you have any issues, but this should work.

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