November 09, 2010

Chicken, mushroom and miso sauce with soba noodles

In all honesty I have to say I'm not a big fan of noodles (please don't judge). I didn't grow up eating them and I never really developed a taste for them in later life, like I did for so many other ingredients I also didn't grow up having (like seaweed, which I now love). My half-Japanese partner, however, did grow up eating noodles, and still likes them every now and then. In fact, soba noodles is the only thing he ever cooks by himself, usually on weekends for lunch if I'm not at home.

So to make up for the lack of noodle dishes in our household, I made this chicken, mushroom and miso sauce to serve with soba. I've made a similar dish in the past, but this time I added oyster and shiitake mushrooms and some wakame for the extra flavour. Lets hope this satisfies the noodle cravings until we hit Japan in a few weeks' time!

Chicken, mushroom and miso sauce with soba noodles

1 tsbs olive oil
500g free-range chicken mince
knob fresh ginger, grated
3 shallots, finely chopped
4 large tbsp shiro miso
1 tbsp less salt soy sauce
1 tbsp cooking sake
1 tbsp mirin
1 tbsp brown rice vinegar
pinch of shichimi togarashi
100g fresh oyster mushrooms
40g dried shiitake mushrooms
2 tbsp wakame (dried seaweed)
sesame oil
sesame seeds

organic soba (buckwheat) noodles, to serve
sesame seeds, extra, to serve

Start by soaking the shiitake mushrooms in warm water for about 30 minutes. Once soaked, transfer into a saucepan, cover with water and add 1 tablespoon of less salty soy sauce. Bring to boil and let simmer for 10-15 minutes or until the mushrooms are tender. Drain and set aside.

Heat the olive oil in a frying pan, add the chicken and cook for 5-10 minutes breaking it into smaller pieces and turning it as you go. Add the ginger and the shallots and cook for a further few minutes.

In a bowl, mix the miso with 1 tablespoon of less salty soy sauce, cooking sake and miring and add water to form a smooth but watery paste. Add the miso paste into the saucepan and stir through. Add the brown rice vinegar, a pinch of shichimi togarashi, all mushrooms and wakame, mix well to combine and let simmer for 10 minutes. Season with a tiny drizzle of sesame oil and a couple of tablespoons of toasted sesame seeds, stir well. Cover, turn off the heat and let sit until the noodles are cooked. Cook the noodles according to packet instructions (I cooked mine in boiling water for about 3 minutes). Serve the noodles with the sauce and sprinkle with some extra sesame seeds.