I love a good teriyaki sauce provided it’s not too cloyingly sweet. Which, unfortunately, always seems to be the case with most dishes/recipes associated with the name. So although I say teriyaki here, you’ll find that it doesn’t really have that same sweetness that you might expect from it. All the same flavours, only, not as sugary. (If you’d like to bump up the sugar, by all means do.)
Now that we have that part out of the way, onto my spiel about mushrooms and how they react to heat. I talked about it in my previous post, but here’s a quick recap without going into too much detail. Mushrooms have a high water content making them susceptible to leach out all their liquid whilst cooking under low temperatures. Aka making them soggy. So tl;dr: cook them at the highest temp and as close to the heat source as possible. Here I roasted them at 220 C, and in the top rack of my oven—both of which are crucial—to ensure maximum browning.
500 grams of mushrooms and it serves 2?! Not a typo. They shrink and shrivel up as they cook, so you’d be surprised at how this huge mound gets reduced to such a scant amount of straggly bits in the end. If you’re not able to get your hands on bok choy, broccoli makes for a good swap.
It’s common to have a ‘wok sauce’ to season your stir-fries. It usually has soy, aromats such as garlic and ginger, and oyster sauce/vinegar etc. depending on the dish. I knew I wanted to roast the mushrooms in a teriyaki marinade so I went ahead and did that. I then realized as I was getting to the part of making my wok sauce that I’d have all the mushrooms juices remaining. Would be a shame to throw it out, so why not double it as a wok sauce? I rolled with that thought and here we are. Marinade + wok sauce combined.
You stir a bunch of ingredients together and marinate the mushrooms in it. Before roasting, squeeze out the mushroom juices back into the same bowl and voila, that’s your wok sauce. This watery “sauce” gets reduced to form a sticky glaze in the pan. It’s genius (not so humble brag), you’ll see how.
Note: I’ve used my homemade chilli oil here. The amount of chilli flakes in the recipe has been adjusted based on the addition of chilli oil. If you plan to use only chilli flakes, I would start with 3 teaspoons, taste the final dish, and add more if necessary.
SOBA NOODLES WITH ROASTED TERIYAKI MUSHROOMS & BOK CHOY
- 200 grams soba noodles (or rice noodles)
- 500 grams button mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 1 large or 2 small heads of bok choy, roughly chopped
- 6-8 spring onions stalks, chopped
- 5 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 2 in. piece of ginger, finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons sesame seeds
- 3 teaspoons oil
- ¼ teaspoon toasted sesame oil (optional)
Marinade & wok sauce:
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 ½ tablespoons chilli oil (optional - see notes)
- 2 teaspoons chilli flakes (see notes)
- 2 teaspoons sesame seeds
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 in. piece of ginger, minced
- Preheat the oven to 220 C.
- Boil the noodles according to packet instructions. 2 mins before they finish cooking, add the bottom parts of the bok choy to the same pot. Drain them out together and run under cold water so the noodles don’t clump.
- Separate the spring onion tops from the whites. Set aside with the bok choy tops.
- Mix together all the ‘marinade & wok sauce’ ingredients in a large bowl. Tip the mushrooms in and toss with your fingers to coat. Let it sit for 10 mins.
- After 10 mins squeeze out the mushrooms firmly using both your hands. Do this in small handfuls to get as much of the water out as possible. Catch the juices in a bowl and retain. This along with the remaining marinade in the bowl is your wok sauce*.
- Lay the mushrooms out in a single layer on a large baking tray; few overlaps are fine. Roast for 15 mins in the top rack of the oven.
- Meanwhile make the noodles: add oil to a large wok/pan and sauté the bottom parts of the spring onions, ginger, and garlic.
- Once the spring onions start to colour around the edges, tip in the wok sauce* that we set aside earlier. Bump up the heat and cook until most of the water evaporates and you’re left with a sticky glaze.
- Add the noodles and bok choy, bok choy tops, spring onion tops, roasted mushrooms, sesame seeds, and toasted sesame oil. Toss it all together, adjust seasoning, and serve.