It’s fall. It’s time to eat mushrooms. Thanks to the abundance of nature in Pacific Northwest, we have many varieties of both wild and cultivated mushrooms. This is one of the favorite parts in Seattle for me—many mushrooms!
In Japan, I had many mushrooms such as shiitake, shimeji, maitake, enoki, matsutake, nameko, eryngi, and more! However, I never have had chanterelle, lobster, morel, chickrn of woods, and lion’s mane, which are very common in Pacific Northwest, in my hometown. As a mushroom lover, this is such exciting time of year!
I love both fresh and dried mushrooms. Dried mushrooms are great because I can use the soaking water as a stock as well as hydrated mushrooms, for the dishes like soup and rice. Mushrooms are umami rich foods, but dried mushrooms have even more umami. I used dried porcini for this noodle soup, but you can substitute it for two dried shiitake mushrooms too. I bought this dried porcini in Tuscany, Italy during our honeymoon!
I really like the combination of porcini and soy sauce. When I was in the culinary school, I wanted to make mushroom consommé for my graduation course meals. I tried using a few kinds of dried mushrooms to get the stock for my consommé. I liked the porcini stock the best, because it is sweet, umami can pops out with a dash of soy sauce, and not as bitter as dried shiitake stock.
When I cook mushroom, I like using varieties of mushrooms in order to enjoy different textures. For this dish, I used lobster mushroom, maitake, chanterelle, and matsutake, but you can use your favorite assorted mushrooms!
I got these three wild mushrooms (chanterelle, lobster, and matsutake) from Forage & Found Edibles at the Ballard market. The lady there gave me an advice to choose the smaller firm mushroom. Tear maitake and chanterelle into bite size and slice lobster and matsutake for about 1/8 inches. You can clean mushrooms with your hand or a pastry brush gently to remove dirt and wood chips. You don’t want to rinse mushroom, because it gets watery and loses scent.
I used the somen noodle, the thinnest wheat noodle in Japan. Somen is usually dry and cook fast. Somen noodle contains small amount of oil, so it is important to rinse after you boil noodle. Cook the noodle a bit shorter time than the package instruction, because you will heat up with porcini soup.
To make a porcini soup, put sake and mirin in a pot over high heat and boil away the alcohol.
Add soy sauce and porcini water.
Once it comes to boil, add mushrooms and turn down the heat to simmer.
When mushrooms are soft, add two third of green onion, ginger, and cooked noodle.
Turn up the heat to medium high and heat up the noodle.
Pour the noodle soup in a bowl topped with an egg and sprinkle shichimi-togarashi if you like spicy!
- 0.2 oz dried porcini + 1 + ⅔ cups lukewarm water
- 1 ea egg
- 1 package somen noodle or udon noodle
- 1 tablespoon sake
- 3 tablespoons mirin
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce, usukuchi (light soy sauce)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 5-6 oz assorted fresh mushrooms, cut or tear into bite size
- 3 ea white part of green onion, thinly slice
- 3 slices ginger, finely shred
- shichimi-togarashi, some for topping
- Soak dried porcini in lukewarm water for 20 minutes. Drain it to separate hydrated mushrooms and liquid. Reserve porcini water and hydrated mushroom for later use.
- Cook an egg. Bring water to a boil in a pot, place an egg gently and turn the heat down to medium and cook for 8 minutes and 30 seconds. Take out an egg and place in an ice water to cool down. Peel and cut into half. Set aside.
- Cook somen noodle in a boiling water for a little shorter time than the instruction of the package. Drain and rinse well in cold ice water. Drain and Set aside.
- In a pot, put sake and mirin over high heat and boil away the alcohol. Add soy sauce and porcini water. Once it comes to boil, add fresh mushrooms and hydrated porcini. Turn down the heat to simmer. When mushrooms are soft, add two third of green onion, ginger, and noodle. Turn up the heat to medium high and heat up the noodle. Pour the noodle soup in a bowl topped with an egg and shichimi-togarashi.