We went to the chinese supermarket in Fuengirola yesterday to buy some noodles. Obviously we ended up buying loads more stuff. I love it there, there’s always something new and exciting to try- something you just have to have ! I love the packaging as well I am such a sucker for nice packaging it doesn’t matter what it is. I am always inspired by what is on offer and have to go home straight away to cook with it.
Yesterday we bought some lovely japanese buckwheat noodles in a gorgeous jade green packet.
We also bought an enormous pak choi, some dried shitake mushrooms & some fresh little oyster mushrooms.
This was the biggest pak choi I had ever seen, I just had to have it. They are normally small and slightly wilted looking and a bit disappointing really but this looked delicious. I think pak choi must be part of the Acelgas family because when I was walking Rufus this morning the acelgas growing looked really good as well, they must be near to harvesting them now. The Spanish call pak choi Acelgas Chinas which translates as Chinese Chard.
The Spanish cook the white stalks of the acelgas in butter first until tender and then add the leaves to wilt, which is how I am going to treat this huge pak choi but without the butter!
We also bought some fermented chilli bean paste which is one of my favourite asian ingredients. It gives a really spicy, savoury flavour to loads of dishes, essential store cupboard ingredient..
The other bottle is Shaoxing rice wine, another storecupboard favourite, it gives great authentic flavour but you can use sherry if you can’t get any. We also bought some new props for photos like the chopsticks, little rice bowl & spoon and a red painted white bowl. Asian supermarkets are great for props. They are cheap and look great in photos. Needless to say The Washer Up had to drag me out before I bought more stuff, I do get a bit carried away and excited…..
So those are the ingredients that inspired this dish, here’s how they come together..
Chinese Mushroom & Pak Choi Sesame Soba Noodles
Serves 2-3 Vegetarian
- about 6 dried shitake mushrooms (or whatever dried mushrooms you can find)
- 150-200gr oyster mushrooms
- 1 large pak choi or 3 small
- 2 cloves garlic chopped finely
- 1/2 large spanish spring onion chopped finely (or 3 or 4 scallions)
- 1 tbsp ginger paste
- a handful of fresh coriander including stalks
- freshly ground white pepper
- 2 or 3 tsp chilli bean paste (depending how hot you like it)
- 1 tbsp light soy sauce (I use kecap manis its sweeter & less salty)
- 1tsp brown sugar
- 2tbsp Shaoxing rice wine
- 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
- 2oo gr japanese buckwheat soba noodles (or your favourite noodles)
- sesame seeds
First of all put the dried mushrooms in a bowl and pour over boiling water to cover them. Leave to rehydrate for about 20 mins. Meanwhile put the noodles in a pan of boiling salted water and cook according to packet instructions (about 4 or 5 minutes), drain, rinse under cold water and set aside.
Pull away the pak choi leaves from the root and wash if necessary. Cut the green parts away from the white and set aside then chop the white parts into 1 cm slices. Slice the oyster mushrooms if they are big (I left mine whole as they where mini), then finely slice the rehydrated dried mushrooms, reserving the soaking liquid to add to the dish when cooking.
Finely chop the coriander stalks and keep them separate from the leaves. Heat about a tbsp of veg oil in a wok or large frying pan over a medium heat. Add the spring onions, garlic, coriander stalks and ginger paste then grind over some white pepper stirring constantly. Add the chilli bean paste, mushrooms and the white parts of the pak choi. Stir fry for 1 minute then add the soy sauce (or kecap manis), the sugar, rice wine, sesame oil and 2 spoonfuls of the reserved mushroom liquid. Stir fry for another minute before adding in the cooked noodles(a handful at a time), the green leaves of the pak choi and the chopped coriander leaves. Stir fry again to heat through then taste for seasoning you may need salt or more soy sauce.
Serve in warmed bowls sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds & coriander leaves.
Enjoy in your new asian bowls!!