Mushroom noodle soup

Mushroom noodle soup



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The dried black mushroom is the most common type within Chinese cuisine. Featured in the popular Buddha’s Delight dish (a vegetable mélange typically consisting of but not strictly to these mushrooms, carrots, fried tofu, mange tout and tiger buds) they are cultivated in mountainous forests across Southern China, harvested then dried. The drying process concentrates its characteristic woody, heady flavours and like its Italian relative the dried porcini, must be rehydrated before cooking. Rehydrate the mushrooms in cold water if possible to preserve their flavour and only with hot water if you’re short on time. Always try to reserve the soaking juice which makes an excellent vegetable stock base.

The second mushroom in this recipe is the popular enoki (as coined by the Japanese) or the Chinese termed, Golden Needle mushrooms. A much milder, sweeter taste, it only requires a short cooking time and is mostly used for soups. Placing raw beansprouts and spring onions into the soup bowl and then pouring hot stock on top means your beansprouts stay crunchy and the fragrance from the spring onions is released just before serving.

Soak the dried black Chinese mushrooms with just enough cold water to cover them for 1-2 hours. Slice mushrooms which should be soft and plump, removing any hard stalks. Reserve the stock that these mushrooms make
Chinese mushrooms
Whilst waiting for the mushrooms to soak, prepare the garlic oil. Slice the garlic thinly and fill a small saucepan with enough vegetable oil till it is 1.5cm deep. Heat oil and fry the garlic till it turns golden, remove from oil and drain on kitchen paper. Reserve the oil
Place noodles, bean sprouts and spring onions in soup bowls
Heat stock in a pan until it reaches a rolling simmer, adding in mushroom stock. Drop in both mushrooms and blanch gently for about 30 seconds
enoki mushrooms
Pour stock and mushrooms into bowls, over the noodles and stir gently to integrate all the ingredients
Drizzle with some garlic oil, top with garlic chips, add seasoning and enjoy
mushroom broth
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