I love to cook. Cooking is always a very creative process for me, it feels akin to painting or singing. Often in my kitchen cooking and singing go hand in hand, its quite a spectacle, 'Don't cry for me Argentina' anyone?
Anyway, I take a great deal of inspiration from many of the dishes I have tried while eating out in restaurants in Berlin. Ranging from Palestinian food to Pan-Asian to traditional German and with the truly delicious ones, I attempt to recreate at home.
So I'm happy to introduce these restaurant inspired recipes and my take on some of my favourite dishes I've discovered from Berlin's eclectic food scene. Berlin, like other capitals, is a melting pot of vibrant cultures and this is reflected in the diverse choices when it comes to food and therefore eating out has truly enhanced my own kitchen.
Let me begin with this dish of udon noodles with tomatoes, aubergine and tofu. This was born out of sheer admiration for the exquisite tomato, aubergine and coriander salad at the insurmountable Dr. To's.
Dr. To's is an all time favourite of mine and somewhere I always take anyone that comes to visit. They offer Pan-Asian tapas and this little salad is a show stopper. So simple but so good.
Now let me just say, I do not profess to be cooking in accordance to how Dr.To's prepare their salad. I have taken the delicate flavours that I tasted and created this udon noodle treat. Adding these ingredients makes it a meal in itself and it is a warm dish rather than a cold salad. Udon noodles and tofu are usual contenders for my Dr. To's menu picking, so it seemed an appropriate ensemble. This recipe is my interpretation and attempt to honour the dish I enjoy so much there.
And if I do say so myself, it's great. One of my go to weeknight suppers. Deliciously fragrant, healthy and satisfying. Enjoy!
5 medium tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 aubergine, cut into large chunks
600g of Udon noodles
200g firm tofu
bunch of coriander, roughly chopped, stalks and all
2 red onions, peeled and sliced
2 inches of ginger, peeled and grated
2 tbsp of good quality vinegar
Add olive oil to a large pan and cook the aubergine for 5 minutes on all sides. Liberally add soy sauce and cook for a further few minutes and then add the vinegar. Cook until evaporated off.
Now add the tomatoes, coriander stalks and ginger and cook until softened.
Add the sliced onions and stir until they are warmed through, you still want a nice crunchy freshness to them.
Now add the udon noodles, and with your hands, crumble up the tofu and stir into the vegetables and heat through.
Finish off with some more soy sauce and a large handful of roughly chopped coriander and serve.
And don't forget to try the original at Dr.To's!
Dr.To's, Weichselstraße 54, 12045 Berlin