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Udon with Mushrooms, Miso, Greens & Sesame
Salty, savory miso gives this veggie noodle dish more complex flavor.
1 large shallot, halved and very thinly sliced lengthwise
8 to 12 oz. maitake mushrooms, pulled into long pieces
Non-aerosol neutral-flavored cooking spray
Shichimi togarashi (Japanese spice blend) or salt and pepper
10 to 12 oz. dried udon noodles
3 tbsp. neutral-flavored oil
12 to 16 oz. shiitake or mixed mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
1 lb. rainbow or green Swiss chard, leaves sliced and stems chopped
1 large leek, white and pale-green parts only, halved lengthwise, then thinly sliced crosswise
4 cloves garlic, chopped or grated
1-inch knob of fresh ginger, peeled and grated or finely chopped
Finely ground white or black pepper
2 tbsp. mirin (rice wine)
2 tbsp. red miso paste
1 tbsp. tamari or soy sauce
1 quart vegetable stock
1 tbsp. toasted sesame oil
Sesame seeds or shichimi togarashi (Japanese spice blend), for serving
Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the udon.
Arrange a rack in the upper third of the oven; preheat to 450°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Arrange the shallot and maitakes in a single layer on the parchment. Spray with the cooking spray and season with the shichimi togarashi. Roast until the mushrooms are tender and crispy at the edges, 15 minutes.
Add the udon to the boiling water; cook until al dente. Drain and rinse under cold water. Transfer to a bowl and drizzle with about 1 1/2 tsp. oil.
In a large pot, heat the remaining oil, two and a half turns of the pan, over medium-high. Add the shiitakes and cook, stirring often, until browned in spots, about 5 minutes.
Add the chard stems, leek, garlic, and ginger to the pot with the shiitakes; season with white pepper. Add the mirin, miso, and tamari, then add the stock. Bring to a simmer. Add the chard leaves and cook until wilted, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the sesame oil; season.
Divide the udon among bowls. Ladle the broth and mushrooms on top. Garnish with the sesame seeds and roasted shallots and mushrooms.