I’m so happy to be back as a guest blogger for Mushrooms Canada. I’m Christina Austin and I blog over at Strawberries For Supper where I share my favourite recipes for home cooks.
I’ve been working with Mushrooms Canada for a while now, so I feel comfortable enough to share a little secret about myself here. I don’t know how to use chopsticks. Yes, I am that person who goes out to the Vietnamese restaurant and sheepishly has to ask for a fork. You see, I’m not wretchedly uncoordinated, but I don’t want to embarrass myself in public as I fumble my way through a meal with chopsticks as I breach that learning curve. When I’m at home with take-out, I simply fall back on the quickest way I know how to get the food into me.
When I make this soba noodle bowl, I grab my fork and spoon and dive in with nary a chopstick in sight. I suppose I could really make an effort and become a proper chopstick using expert, but when I’m craving this dish, I can’t wait to devour it.
The recipe has some very simple Asian flavours that are easily purchased at your neighbourhood grocery store. A little soy sauce, some rice wine vinegar, and some fish sauce brings such a comforting, yet flavourful base to a simple store-bought vegetable broth. The soup is brimming with mushrooms and it is finished off with a mound of sliced baby bok choy, a generous quantity of soba noodles, and a little drizzle of sesame oil. I greedily eat a huge portion while I breathe in the gorgeous aroma of all those ingredients melded in the steam of the soup.
This recipe is a weeknight favourite for my husband and me. It is quick to put together but it is best served right away. A great tip if you are busy chasing kids or aren’t sure exactly what time someone is coming home for dinner, is that you can make it up to the point right before you add the bok choy and soba noodles to the broth. Just put the lid on the pot and gently simmer until you are about ready to serve dinner. The bok choy and noodles only need about one minute to come up to temperature before serving. By slicing the crunchier white part of the bok choy very thinly, all the bok choy can be added to the soup at the end and it will cook just enough to maintain a lovely tender crisp texture of the bok choy throughout the soup.
I hope this recipe becomes a favourite of your house as much as it is in mine.
Mushroom and Soba Noodle Bowl
Prep Time: 15 minutes | Cook Time: 15-18 minutes
2 tsp canola or vegetable oil
3 baby bok choy
100 g shiitake mushrooms
150 g cremini mushrooms
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
1 garlic clove, grated or crushed
2 tsp soy sauce
2 tsp rice wine vinegar
½ tsp fish sauce (optional)
1 900ml tetra pack of vegetable broth
180 g soba noodles
½ tsp sesame oil
1. Wash the bok choy and slice the white part of the bok choy very thinly. Chop the green leaves of the bok choy into larger, bite size pieces and set it all aside.
2. Cut the tough, dirty end off the shiitake mushrooms and discard. Cut the main part of the shitake mushrooms into halves or quarters, depending on their size. Slice the cremini mushrooms.
3. Heat the canola oil in a large saucepan over a medium high heat.
4. Toss in all the mushrooms and sautee for 5-8 minutes or until they have browned slightly and reduced down.
5. Meanwhile, in a separate pot, boil a large amount of water and boil the soba noodles for no more than two minutes. Drain in a colander and rinse with cold water. Set the noodles aside.
6. Add the grated ginger and garlic. Stir it around with the mushrooms to cook for less than one minute before adding the soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, and fish sauce (if using).
7. Pour in the vegetable broth and cover the pot. Let it simmer together for 3-4 minutes.
8. Add all the bok choy at once and stir. Let it wilt and simmer for 1 minute.
9. Add the soba noodles and serve immediately.
This comforting bowl is packed with such fresh, delightful flavours! It's a great transitional dish to take us from wintery cravings to spring freshness. Another big thanks to Christina for sharing her inspiring recipes.
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