4tablespoonssunflower oil (or other mild vegetable oil)
1tablespoonmirin or white wine
3tablespoonstoasted sesame oil
4tablespoonstamari or soy sauce
2tablespoonssesame seeds, toasted (black or otherwise)
ichimi togarashi or other chile flakes, optional for heat
Have all your vegetables prepared before you get started; the cooking will happen quickly. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil, and keep it covered and simmering until you're ready to cook the noodles.
Meanwhile, coat a large, heavy-bottomed skillet (such as cast-irowith 1 tablespoon of the sunflower oil and heat over a medium-high flame until it shimmers. Add the tofu in a single layer and cook on the first side until golden, 1-2 minutes. Flip and cook on the second side until golden, 1-2 minutes. Remove to a plate. Repeat with the remaining tofu, adding more oil to the pan as needed.
Add another tablespoon of oil to the pan, swirl to coat, and add the mushrooms, garlic and ginger. Cook on medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until the mushrooms are tender, about 5 minutes. Pour the mirin over the mushrooms – there will be much sizzling – and stir up all the good stuff on the bottom of the pan. Remove the mushrooms to a large bowl.
Add a bit more oil and cook the scallions until bright green, 2 minutes, and add to the bowl with the mushrooms. Repeat with the asparagus, then the pea greens, cooking just until wilted and adding more oil as needed.
Add the noodles to the boiling water and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Meanwhile, re-warm the vegetables in the skillet. Drain the noodles well, then put them back into the now-empty pot and add the hot vegetables. Pour the toasted sesame oil and tamari over the noodles and toss with tongs to coat. Sprinkle in the sesame seeds and tofu, and give one more gentle toss. Taste for seasoning, adding more tamari or sesame oil if you feel it needs it.
Serve the noodles in wide bowls and pass the togarashi for those who like a kick. Leftovers keep well for a day or two and can be reheated in a skillet.
Feel free to play fast and loose with the vegetables here. Other tasty choices would be baby spinach, broccoli or broccolini, Brussels sprouts, or peas of any sort.Nutritional values are based on one of three servings.
Hot Sesame Rice Noodles with Asparagus, Shiitakes and Pea Shoots recipe by Alanna Taylor-Tobin of The Bojon Gourmet. Source: https://bojongourmet.com/hot-sesame-rice-noodles-asparagus-mushrooms-vegan-gluten-free/.