I am using the term "Caponata" loosely here for the sake of the title, although part of the recipe borrows some of caponata's characteristics. Mainly the sweet - salty contrast, and the use of the eggplant. The eggplant however is glazed with a Japanese sauce in the cooking process, and then cut in pieces to mingle with the rest. The rest are buckwheat soba noodles (my favourite), capers, and a few more things.
Boil for 5 minutes, drain, wash well with cold water and set aside.
At this point you can store them for a few days in the fridge. When ready to use again, refresh under running water, and dip in warm water to bring to room T.
For the glaze, whisk together equal volumes of:
Sugar (ok, a bit less sugar is always a good idea!)
and steam (using a ben-marie, I use a metallic bowl that sits on top of a pot) for about 10 minutes, until the sauce comes together and thickens to a paste. You can store this in the fridge to use later in the week.
Cut in half length-wise and score with the tip of a knife diagonally, with score space max 1 cm apart. Heat a non-stick pan on medium to high heat, add a bit of olive oil, enough to cover the surface but not too much, and place the eggplants flesh side down. Cook adding some more oil if the pan dries out too much. When they have browned and softened, flip and cook the skin side as well, again adding some more oil before the flip. Remove on a tray, flesh side up, and brush well with the glaze. Place under a hot grill for 5 minutes to caramelise the glaze on the flesh of the eggplant. Allow to come to room T and cut bite sizes.
You can store the eggplants before you cut them, and also enjoy them with some rice and pickled cucumber as in this recipe)
Place noodles in a bowl, top with the eggplant, and a lot of
Spring Onions, the green parts in thin slices