Spiced Crab Cakes

Miso aubergine with soba noodles

Mar 19, 2019 | Lunch / Supper / Mains

A Japanese-inspired dish, perfect all year round. Miso paste is made from fermented soya beans, is a good source of vitamins and minerals as well as being packed with umami flavour. It works brilliantly with aubergine.

It might look like a lot of ingredients, but this recipe is really straightforward to prepare. Like most oriental cooking, the cooking is quick once everything is prepared.

This recipe was developed with Kitchen Titbits. Photography by Jed Alder

Serves 2

Ingredients for the aubergine:

  • 1 aubergine
  • 1/2 tbsp miso paste
  • 1 tsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp light soy sauce (low sodium if possible)
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp toasted sesame oil 

Ingredients for the squash:

  • Approx. 1/3 or 350g butternut squash, peeled seeds removed and cut into 2cm cubes*
  • Few dashes of sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp sesame seeds
  • 1/2 tsp poppy seeds
  • 1/2 tsp chia seeds 

Ingredient for the noodles:

  • 1 portion (approx. 80g dried weight) soba/buckwheat noodles
  • 1/2 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 thumb sized knob of ginger, grated (equates to around 1 tsp once grated)
  • 1 spring onion, finely sliced on an angle with the white and green parts separated
  • 1 red chilli, finely chopped 
  • 250g chestnut mushrooms, quartered or into 6 if large
  • 100g cavalo nero**, stalks removed and shredded
  • 2 small handfuls frozen edamame
  • Few dashes of light soy sauce
  • Few dashes of toasted sesame oil
  • Small handful coriander, chopped


  1. Heat the oven to 160C fan.
  2. First prepare the aubergine by cutting it in half lengthways then scoring the flesh with a criss-cross pattern.
  3. Make up the miso marinade in a small bowl by mixing together the miso, rice vinegar, soy sauce, maple syrup and sesame oil.
  4. Brush the marinade onto the aubergine, reserving 1 tsp of the marinade for later.
  5. Place the aubergine on a baking tray and bake in the oven for 45 to 50 mins, until soft.
  6. Next prepare the squash. Place the squash on a baking tray, pour over the sesame oil and sprinkle on the seeds. Coat the squash well with the oil and seeds and spread the cubes out on the tray.
  7. Put in the oven to bake with the aubergine. Place the tray on the shelf below the aubergine.
  8. Cook the noodles in boiling water as per the packet instructions then drain and run under cold water until cool. Set aside.
  9. When the aubergine and squash are cooked, turn off the oven but leave the trays in the oven to keep warm whilst you prepare the noodles.
  10. Heat a wok or large frying pan over a high heat until hot.
  11. Pour in the rapeseed oil and swirl around then add the garlic, ginger, white part of the spring onion and half the chilli. Stir fry for 30 seconds, not allowing it to catch.
  12. Tip in the mushrooms and stir fry for a few minutes.
  13. Add the cavalo nero, reserved miso marinade and a add a splash of water to create some steam. Stir fry for a few more minutes until the cavalo nero has wilted and the moisture has gone from the pan.
  14. Add the edamame and cook for a couple of minutes.
  15. Dress with a few dashes of soy and sesame oil and turn off the heat.
  16. Serve the noodles in a bowl with the squash dotted around and half an aubergine laid over.
  17. Sprinkle over the green part of the spring onion, coriander and the rest of the chilli.

* Use the end without the seeds. You could use any squash you like for this.

**Would also work well with kale