Weekly Winner: Shiitake and Spinach Shine in Sensational Supper

mushroom udonMy ongoing love of noodles continues, and lately my taste buds have been craving the Asian variety.  My surprise, however, came when I discovered I don’t need meat to be totally satisfied and in love with a dish.  That dish is: Udon Noodles with Shiitake Mushrooms and Spinach from Milk Street Magazine.  Another surprise, these were not the big, fat, chewy udon noodles that I’ve been obsessing over lately but the thinner, dried variety.  These made for a totally luscious bowl of noodles and I wouldn’t change a thing!

Udon Noodles with Shiitake Mushrooms and Spinach

Serves 4

Ingredients:

10 oz dried udon noodles

3 Tbsp grapeseed oil (divided)

1/4 cup dry sherry

1/3 cup soy sauce

2 tsp white sugar

1 lb fresh shiitake mushrooms (stemmed, caps thinly sliced)

1/2 tsp kosher salt

5 oz baby spinach

1/2 tsp white pepper

Toasted sesame seed oil (for garnish)

Sesame seeds (for garnish)

Procedure:

  • Bring 4 quarts water to a boil, add udon noodles and cook, stirring, until al dente.  Reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid, then drain.  Rinse with cold water and then drain again.  Toss with 1 tablespoons oil
  • In a small bowl, stir together sherry, soy sauce, sugar and set aside.
  • In a 12-inch skillet over medium-high, heat remaining oil until shimmering.  Add mushrooms and salt, then stir to coat. Cover and cook, stirring, until the mushrooms are tender and well-browned, 5 to 7 minutes.
  • Add spinach and the sherry-soy sauce mixture, then stir, scraping up any browned bits.  Cook over medium, tossing with tongs, until the spinach is wilted, about 30 seconds.
  • Add the udon, pepper and 1/4 cup of the reserved cooking water.  Cook, tossing, until the noodles are heated through, about 1 minute, adding more water if the noodles appear dry.  Serve drizzled with toasted sesame oil and sprinkled with sesame seeds.