I really enjoy the simplicity of Japanese cuisine. A few ingredients can whip up a quick and tasty dish. I absolutely love enoki mushrooms, which are very popular in Japan. They are white and slender, with a very delicate flavour (they converted me from a mushroom hater). Like most mushrooms, they absorb their taste from the rest of the dish.
In this dish, they are paired nicely, and blend in almost interchangeably with somen noodles (can you spot the tips in the photo?). Somen noodles are a fine white noodle made with wheat flour, and are the queen of Japanese noodles as they were a favourite of the imperial palaces and Buddhist temples. They are mostly machine-made but homemade noodles are pulled and rested at great lengths to make such slender noodles. Undoubtedly, the thin noodles are a joy to eat. They are typically eaten chilled during the summer months, but this dish, Enoki somen (Enoki mushrooms with somen noodles), adapted from The Japanese Kitchen by Kimiko Barber, pairs both in a warm dashi broth. I wasn’t sure what leftovers would look or taste like, so I modified to recipe to serve 1 and it was very filling.
This was a lovely noodle dish, a cross between noodles and soup.. a soup rather overflowing with noodles, or noodles dressed lightly with broth. Either way, I loved its simplicity and taste. Enjoy!
A note about finding these ingredients in Toronto:
Somen noodles – Likewise, they can be found at all Asian stores and well-stocked grocery stores like Loblaws.
Enoki somen (aka Enoki mushrooms with somen noodles)
3 oz dry somen noodles (1 serving)
1 oz fresh enoki mushrooms
3/4 cup dashi (vegetarian)
1 tbsp soy sauce (light if you don’t want to discolour the broth)
1-2 tsp mirin
1 green onion, chopped, to garnish (optional)
1. Bring a large saucepan of water to boil and add the somen noodles. Cook according to the package’s directions, approximately 2 minutes. Drain and rinse in cold water.
2. Trim the stalks of the enoki mushrooms, then chop into small pieces.
3. Heat the dashi, soy sauce and mirin in a saucepan, but do not let boil. Add the noodles and mushrooms and cook for approximately 3 minutes, until done.
4. Garnish with green onion, if using.