It's hard to avoid beginning too many posts with "I love <insert name of recipe I'm blogging about here>..." because, well, why would I cook stuff I don't like and then tell you to eat it? The thing is, I really, really love noodles. Noodles are not only my homeboy, but they are also a biological requirement for my diet. That is, if I don't have them often, I will cry. Udon, a thick wheat noodle popular in Japan, are one of my favourite types, and they go perfectly with a simple vegan dashi broth like in the recipe below.
Not surprisingly, this isn't the first time I've blogged about an udon noodle recipe. This is similar in basic ingredients, but packs a little more flavour in with the additional vegetables and toasted sesame seeds.
If you don't have toasted sesame seeds and don't know how to make them, it's easy! Just heat a large pan over medium heat and dry fry sesame seeds for a few minutes, shaking the pan often to ensure they toast evenly.
Mushroom and Asparagus Udon Noodles
- Place the dried shiitake mushrooms in a small saucepan over low heat. Pour the boiling water over and leave for 20-30 minutes. Remove the mushrooms, pressing as much liquid out as possible, and set aside to cool for a few minutes. Once cooled, trim the stem off, slice the caps, and place them back in the broth. Add the soy sauce, mirin, and salt.
- Prepare your noodles per the package instructions.
- Heat a wok to a high temperature and add the oil. Stir fry the onion and asparagus for 3-4 minutes. I tend to steam the fresh mushroom, but if you'd rather omit this step you can chuck them in the wok, too.
- To serve, place the noodles on a plate with a curved lip, or in a bowl, alongside the steamed mushrooms and stir fried vegetables. Pour the dashi broth over the noodles and garnish with slivers of pickled ginger, toasted sesame seeds, and spring onions or chives. Sprinkle with a little bit of sesame oil for added flavour.