Noodles...in the asian culture they symbolize longevity...and what could be better than a long life filled with slurping delicious noodles? In the dogs days of summer, I love to make zaru-soba to cool me down and in the chilly nights of winter, nothing warms me up quicker then going out for a pipin' hot bowl of ramen. Today though, I was craving something warm but not too soupy and it definitely had to be something bursting with flavor. Some chewy udon noodles...oh and definitely some mushrooms! I had stopped by Oto's on Sunday night and had been entranced with the mushroom display and had picked up some lovely shimeji mushrooms that had called out to me. (Have you been to Oto's? They have a fantastic mushroom selection.)
Sweet Miso Udon (adapted from a recipe by Love & Lemons)
1 package pre-cooked fresh udon noodles
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons grated, fresh ginger
4 oz. shimeji mushrooms, base cut off & mushrooms gently separated
1.5 tablespoons sesame seeds, lightly toasted
3 scallions, chopped (whites & greens)
1 tablespoon butter
salt, to taste
Sweet Miso Mixture:
2 tablespoons shiro miso paste
1.5 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons mirin
- Prep chopped items and set aside.
- In a small saucepan, combine shiro miso paste, sugar and mirin. Bring to a gentle boil, turn heat down and simmer for 2-3 minutes while whisking continuously. The mixture should bubble slightly but take care to not let it burn. Set aside.
- Boil 1.5 cups water. Add udon noodles, cook for 2 minutes.
- In a medium pot, heat butter until melted. Add garlic, ginger, mushrooms, scallion whites and a pinch of salt and saute until mushrooms are cooked down.
- Drain noodles and add to pot with mushroom/butter mixture.
- Add the sweet miso mixture to noodles, 2 tablespoons at a time and taste. (You might not use all of it and if necessary, add a little water to thin the sauce to your desired consistency.)
- Turn heat off and stir in half the scallion greens and sesame seeds. Taste and adjust seasonings, adding more sauce if necessary.
- Portion into bowls and garnish with the remaining scallion greens and sesame seeds.