This is a big bowl of comforting goodness. I love mushrooms in any shape or form but when they’re braised in a sticky soy-rich sauce and paired with soft noodles they really become a thing of beauty. This is an easy dish to prepare and substantial enough to stand on its own as a main dish or you could serve it as a part of a multi-course Asian meal. I used Hokkien noodles from the supermarket but this recipe deserves a trip to the local Asian grocer for a bag of fresh Chinese wheat noodles which will make it even better, but at a pinch good quality Hokkien noodles from the super market will still be very good. You can make this dish vegan by using mushroom flavoured dark soy sauce.
Ingredients – Serves 4-6 (reheats well) Adapted from Woks of Life
6 large dried shiitake mushrooms
240g oyster mushrooms, wiped clean and toes into bite size strips
240g shimeji mushrooms (or any other type of mushroom), wiped clean and sliced
3 tablespoons oil
4 shallots, finely chopped
3 spring onions, with the white parts chopped and the green parts julienned
1½ tablespoons dark soy sauce (use mushroom flavoured soy to make this dish vegan)
3 tablespoons light soy sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
The dried mushroom-soaking water, plus enough water to yield 2½ cups of liquid
1½ pounds fresh wheat noodles or other noodles of your choice
½ teaspoon sesame oil
Salt, to taste
Place the dried shiitake mushrooms in a bowl and cover with 2 cups of hot water for at least 30 minutes or until they are completely re-hydrated. Squeeze the water out of the rehydrated Shiitakes, then slice them thinly. Remember to save the mushroom soaking liquid.
Heat the oil in a wok or thick-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add the chopped shallots and white parts of the spring onions. Cook for a minute or two until the shallots turn translucent. Turn up the heat to high and add in all of the mushrooms, and spread them evenly across the wok.
Turn up the heat and let cook for a couple of minutes before stirring. Keep a steady heat to cook off any water in the mushrooms. Only stir when one side is browned slightly, and repeat the searing process until all of the mushrooms are browned and any liquid in the pan has been cooked off.
Turn the heat down to medium, and add the dark soy sauce, light soy sauce, the sugar, and 2½ cups of liquid––the mushroom water and fresh water combined. Cover partially and simmer for 20 minutes. In the meantime cook the noodles according to package directions and drain well.
After the mushrooms have been braising for 20 minutes (there should still be a good amount of sauce in the pan), add the cooked noodles, the sesame oil, and the julienned green parts of the scallions. Toss everything together so the noodles get fully coated in the mushroom sauce. Salt to taste and serve with chili oil or your choice of spicy condiment on the side.