MUSHROOM SPINACH YAKISOBA

Mushrooms, spinach, red peppers and noodles in soy/mirin sauce with ginger and garlic
Delicious noodles, mushroom, spinach and red pepper bathed in sauce.

This mushroom and spinach yakisoba was inspired by a gift from my two oldest and dearest friends:  Isa Does It: Amazingly Easy, Wildly Delicious Vegan Recipes for Every Day of The Week by Isa Chandra Moskowitz.  As soon as I saw it I thought of all the bowls of yakisoba that I had scarfed down in San Francisco over the years. For this version I used two of my favorite vegetables, cremini mushrooms and fresh spinach. I added sweet red pepper to give it a little pop of color and flavor. The sauce is shoyu (soy and wheat) and mirin (rice cooking wine) and a little chili sauce. Mixed together with noodles, ginger, garlic and scallions it is a delicious and satisfying dish. I could eat this every day. Once the vegetables are prepped, this goes together pretty quickly.

INGREDIENTS

  • 8 oz cremini mushrooms, cleaned and stems cut off
  • 2 bundles fresh spinach, cleaned
  • 1 sweet red pepper, stem removed and peeled
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
  • 3 tbsp shoyu (or other soy sauce)
  • 2 tbsp mirin
  • ¼ teas sriracha (or other preferred chili sauce
  • 1 tbsp plus 1 teas toasted sesame oil
  • 1-2 Kombu leaves
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 packages (7.7 oz each) of fresh yakisoba stir fry noodles (thin noodles) or 14 oz of fresh udon noodles (fat noodles)
  • ½ cup of scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds

METHOD

Prep vegetables: slice mushroom caps, chop red pepper and rough-chop the spinach. Put Kombu in water and bring to a simmer and continue to cook at a low simmer while cooking other vegetables. Mix the shoyu, mirin and sriracha into a small container and set aside.

Heat oil in large skillet or sauté pan and sauté the red pepper, stirring frequently, for about four minutes. Add the mushrooms to the pan with the pepper and let cook at medium heat for ten to twelve minutes until the mushrooms soften and lose their water. Add the chopped spinach and stir occasionally until the spinach has cooked. Stir occasionally and incorporate the spinach into the mushrooms and pepper.

When the spinach has wilted move the vegetables to the sides. At this point put the noodles in the Kombu broth and let them soften and separate. Now add the teaspoonful of oil to the center of the pan with the vegetables. As soon as the oil gets hot add the garlic and ginger to the pan and cook for one minute. Then stir everything together until the garlic and ginger are distributed throughout the vegetables.

Add the shoyu, mirin and sriracha mixture to the pan and stir to coat all the vegetables. Now use tongs to transfer the noodles from the Kombu broth to the vegetable pan. Gently toss the noodles and vegetables together so that everything is distributed. Add a few spoonsful of Kombu broth to the pan and let everything simmer for a few minutes to make sure everything is hot and that the noodles have absorbed some of the sauce. Taste for seasoning and add more shoyu as desired. Add the sliced scallions and stir to distribute. Sprinkle the toasted sesame seeds over the food.

SERVINGS: This recipe makes two generous servings or four smallish servings.

NOTES

I am a firm believer that recipes are starting points and as long as you keep the proportions, you can develop your own favorites. You can vary the vegetables in this recipe depending on what you like or what you have in the refrigerator. You will need about five cups of vegetables for this amount of sauce and noodles. I can’t wait to try this with asparagus and morel mushrooms with some thinly shaved carrots and garlic scapes. You could also add tofu pieces sautéed in sesame oil at the end of the cooking.

If you use the fat udon noodles in this recipe, put the noodles in the Kombu broth before you start sautéing the vegetables to allow them to soften sufficiently before mixing them with the vegetables.

Kombu is a dried sea vegetable and it makes a light broth. If you can’t find it you can use vegetable broth instead to soften the noodles.