This Cha Soba Noodles with Ginger, Mushrooms and Pork is a lovely and quick Asian meal. We loved the spicy, gingery, tangy and slightly sweet notes it had to offer.
If you can find them (which I couldn’t), cha soba noodles are subtly flavored with green tea and pair well with the flavors of the pork. Look for them where you buy noodles. If you can’t find cha, then substitute regular soba noodles. In fact, you may even want to purchase the “ready to serve” brand, which saves a bit of time. It comes with two individual 7-ounce packages. Keep in mind, when seven ounces of dried soba noodles are cooked, you’ll have more volume than the already cooked kind.
Anyway, I beefed up the amount of ground pork and shiitake mushrooms by 25% each, but kept the remaining ingredients the same. In the last few steps, I reengineered the process a tad. Instead of removing the cooked pork mixture to another bowl (why bother?), I just added the scallions and mushrooms directly to the pan with the meat. Once the scallions were softened, I stirred in the cilantro.
Cha Soba Noodles with Ginger, Mushrooms and Pork
- 7 oz. cha or regular soba noodles
- 2 Tbs. canola oil
- 5 cups thinly sliced fresh shiitake mushrooms
- 1 lb. ground pork
- 1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/4 cup finely minced fresh ginger
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar
- 1/4 cup mirin
- 1 cup thinly sliced scallions
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
- 2 tsp. toasted sesame seeds
- Cook the noodles according to package directions until al dente. Drain, rinse with cold water, and set aside.
- Heat 1 Tbs. of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden-brown and beginning to crisp on the edges, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
- Swirl the remaining 1 Tbs. oil in the same skillet. Add the pork and pepper flakes, and cook, breaking up the pork with a wooden spoon, until cooked through and no longer pink, about 5 minutes.
- Add the ginger and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Add the soy sauce, vinegar, and mirin. Bring to a simmer while scraping up the bits on the bottom of the pan. Reduce the heat to medium low, and continue to cook until the liquid is reduced by about half.
- Transfer the pork mixture to a large bowl, tossing to help cool slightly.
OR, as I did, just add the scallions and mushrooms directly into the skillet with the pork.
- Add the scallions, cilantro, and mushrooms to the skillet, and cook until the scallions soften. Transfer to the bowl with the pork, and toss to combine.
- Divide the reserved noodles among four plates, top with the pork and mushroom mixture, sprinkle with the sesame seeds, and serve.
By Emily Peterson from Fine Cooking