One of my favorite things about living in the DC metro area is an abundance of Asian markets and absolutely incredible hole-in-the-wall restaurants. I’ve never been quite sure why, but I take total advantage of it. Visiting these markets and trying new ingredients is something that never gets old (not to mention the beauty departments at larger stores, but that’s another post; possibly an entirely different blog someday).
If that was an intimidating intro, please don’t be alarmed; these ingredients are all fairly straight forward. You can most likely locate all of them at a regular grocery store in the international aisle. When I visit the asian markets, I love buying frozen udon and soba noodles that are similar to what you’d get in a restaurant. However, I also always stock up on the dried, quick cooking versions that you can find everywhere now. They cook up in under 5 minutes and are even portioned out.
This meal comes together in 15 minutes, 20 at most if you are slower with the mushrooms (I tend to fly through the wiping and slicing process these days). This dish has a lot of flavor packed into it – yellow miso (sweeter than the red version found in most soups), seasoned mushrooms, fresh mint, toasted sesame oil… I wasn’t 100% sure that the mint was going to fit in with the other ingredients, but I love the fresh contrast it brings. Enjoy!
- 1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 16 ounces shiitake mushroom caps, sliced thin
- ¼ cup soy sauce, divided
- 3 tablespoon white miso paste
- ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
- 3 tablespoons fresh squeezed lime juice (approximately 2 limes)
- 1½ teaspoons honey
- ¼ cup coarsely chopped mint leaves, plus more for garnish
- ¼ cup thinly sliced scallions, plus more for garnish
- 9.5 ounce package soba noodles
- 2-3 tablespoons pasta water
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat (the mushrooms are less likely to stick if you add both tablespoons, but feel free to go lighter and add more if needed). Add the mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes, stirring, until tender. (If at any point a brown coating forms on the bottom of the pan and looks like it might burn, add 1 tablespoon of water and scrape up the bits, stirring into the mushrooms). Turn the heat up to medium and add 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, stirring to coat the mushrooms. Once the liquid is fully absorbed, remove from the heat and set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the remaining soy sauce, miso paste, toasted sesame oil, lime juice, honey, mint, and scallions.
- Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil, and cook the soba noodles according to package instructions (typically about 4 minutes). Before draining, use a ladle or liquid measuring cup to reserve some of the pasta water. Drain the noodles, then add them to the bowl with the sauce. Gently toss to combine, adding 2-3 tablespoons of the pasta water to thin out the sauce consistency.
- Divide the soba noodles into 4-6 serving bowls. Top each bowl with mushrooms, a few torn mint leaves, and a sprinkle of sliced scallions.