I love dishes like this that contain only a handful of ingredients and can be made using one pan.
Despite how simple this dish looks, it contains a wonderful mix of flavors and textures, and it’s plenty nutritious and filling. You can also alter this dish in a variety of ways if you want to create a more substantial meal or simply for looks. I’ve made a few suggestions below.
I made this dish last week for lunch, and planned to eat the remaining portion the next day. But it was so delicious, I devoured the second portion for dinner that same day.
1 tbsp avocado oil (or other mild-flavored oil)
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
3/4 cup chicken or vegetable stock
6 oz mushrooms*
4 oz pea shoots
1 package soba noodles
Sea salt and fresh-ground pepper to taste
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
1 generous pinch red pepper flakes (optional)
*I like to use tree oyster mushrooms because I can buy them very local, and they have a wonderfully silky but firm texture. Shitake would also work well. Using white button or cremini will take away from the texture and Asian-inspired flavors of this dish.
Bring a pot of water to boil, and cook the soba noodles per their instructions. (The brand I buy cook for 4 minutes.) Drain and rinse repeatedly with cold water until the noodles are no longer warm to the touch. Set aside.
While the water for the noodles is heating up, heat the avocado oil in a 12-inch cast-iron or other skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic, and cook, stirring occasionally until tender and fragrant–about 2-3 minutes. Add in the stock and cook for 5-7 minutes or until the stock reduces by half. (You may want to turn up the heat here to medium-high.)
Add in the mushrooms and cook until very tender, 4-5 minutes. Add in the pea shoots and cook until just tender and bright green. Season with salt and pepper. Toss the vegetable/mushroom mixture with the noodles making sure to include any left over juices, too. Drizzle the sesame oil, sprinkle on the red pepper flakes if using, and serve immediately.
Note: If you want to add more protein, consider adding sauteed prawns or fresh crab–both are delicate enough that they won’t overpower the delicious but light flavor of the pea shoots.