Weeknight Soba Noodles with Mushrooms

I really meant to post this recipe over a week ago. I had the photos edited, the recipe ready to write up and then… my computer died. Not just had some technical issues, but went to sleep one night and didn’t wake up. This wouldn’t be so traumatic if I weren’t a full-time freelance designer who relies completely on my computer to earn a living. I might have even shed some tears over it this week. Maybe. A few. Or a lot. Nothing like a 30-something woman dropping big mascara-filled tears on her desk over a silly machine.

Thankfully, my friends at the Apple store are miracle mac doctors and were able to replace the part of my computer that crashed in less time than they estimated, and I am back up and running. Phew! Of course, all the photos I had edited just last week disappeared into the computer abiss so this morning it was back to the drawing board.

I have been telling friends about this recipe since I made it. It was easy, delicious AND vegetarian. J is starting to slowly accept my money-saving vegetarian meals nights, helped a lot by all these filling meatless recipes I am finding. He gave this dish two thumbs up. And the best part… this recipe actually tasted better straight out of the fridge the next day when we ate it for lunch.

This is a 30-minute meal, perfect for a weeknight. It’s not the cheapest meal to make since it calls for some ingredients you might now have on hand already, but it makes a big bowlful enough for 4 people as a main course or 6-8 as a side.

Adapted from The Smitten Kitchen

Ingredients:

For sauce
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup soy sauce
2-3 teaspoons garlic chili sauce — use only 2 tsp if you don’t want it super spicy (in the Asian food aisle)
1 T packed brown sugar

For noodles
3 T sesame seeds
1/4 cup sesame oil
2 T finely chopped peeled ginger
1 T finely chopped garlic
10 oz. fresh shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and thinly sliced
I Napa cabbage, thinly sliced (8 cups) — really any green cabbage will do
6 scallions, thinly sliced
8-9 oz. soba noodle (buckwheat noodles–they were with the regular pasta noodles in my grocery store)
1 cup frozen shelled edamame

To Prepare:

• In a small bowl, stir together all the sauce ingredients until combined and set aside.

• Toast the sesame seeds over medium heat in a large, dry (non-oiled) skillet until golden brown, stirring them often so that they don’t burn. Pour into a bowl and set aside.

• Heat sesame oil in your skillet and add your ginger and garlic, stirring for about a minute. Add the shiitake mushrooms and saute, stirring often, until the mushrooms are a golden brown, about 5-6 minutes. Reduce your heat to a medium and add the cabbage and most of your scallions (save a handful or so to sprinkle over the finished pasta as a garnish), stirring to combine. Let this cook for about 6 minutes until the cabbage is a tender crisp (not soggy), then add the sauce and simmer for 2 minutes.

• While your cabbage is cooking, boil the soba noodles along with the edamame as you would any noodles, cooking them in salted boiling water according to package directions–until tender. Once cooked, drain and rinse in cold water.

• Transfer noodles to a large bowl and combine with the sesame seeds and veggie mixture. Sprinkle the top with a handful of scallions.

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