i heart bunashimeji!

I've been craving a Far East-inspired dish for quite some time, but never really got around to making anything remotely close.  Welp, it seems as though this idea possessed me the other day, and the following dish was the result! I returned to my favorite old Japanese grocery store up the avenue a bit and, as per usual, got some pretty phenom stuff.  Nira (chinese chives), fresh lotus root, and some beautiful salmon that was pretty much a steal! 100% buckwheat soba noodles? Got 'em.  I was able to combine a few of my favorite things in life into one dish, and it turned out stunning.  Give it a try!

Bunashimeji Mushroom and Pea Shoot Saute, Salmon, Spicy Sesame Soba
Serves 2
2 T coconut oil 
1/2 lb. salmon filet, skinned and portioned into two
1 lg garlic clove, minced (~1 tsp minced)
4 cups pea shoots, washed & roughly torn
2 cups bunashimeji (beech) mushrooms, separated
3 T soy sauce
about a quarters' diameter bunch of soba noodles (seriously)
1 t sesame oil
1/2 t hot chili oil
Fresh ground black pepper

This recipe is so quick and easy that it hurts my feelings (and makes me happy at the same time).  This is speed cooking! I'm going to give a straightforward play by play, so it's a little different from some other recipes.  Regardless, prepare yourself.  Get one saute pan out, a medium saucepan, and a cast iron skillet.  Two saute pans with a saucepan can work as well...and you are ready to go!

First, season the salmon fillets with salt and a bit of pepper.  Let sit out.  Fill the saucepan about 3/4 of the way with water, heat up over high heat, and bring to a boil. At the same time heat the saute pan over medium heat, and add in 1 T coconut oil.  When the oil heats up, toss in the minced garlic and cook for about a minute.  Next, toss in the pea shoots and ensure they get coated with the garlic/oil combination.  Cook, tossing occasionally, for about two minutes until the leaves start to wilt. While the pea shoots are cooking, heat up the cast iron pan over medium/medium-high heat. 

Once the pea shoots are bright green and al dente, add the mushrooms, and toss to combine. Cook for about 1 minute, and drizzle in the soy sauce. Toss a few times, and let cook.  Bring down to a simmer.  

At this point, the water should be boiling. Toss in the soba noodles and gently stir until they are completely immersed in the water.  Boil for 4 minutes.

Heat up the last 2 tablespoons os coconut oil in the cast iron pan.  Once it is melted and up to heat, place the salmon in the pan, seasoned side down.  Let cook...and don't touch it! 

So at this point, three things should be happening. The pea shoots and mushrooms should be gently simmering away, the soba noodles should be boiling, and the salmon should be getting a nice sear on it.  
When the soba noodles are done, drain them quickly, and place in a bowl.  Toss with sesame oil and chili oil - the more chili oil, the merrier in my book!  Set aside.

Keep an eye on the salmon - once it is easily removed from, without sticking to the pan (about 5 minutes), it's ready to flip.  It should be beautifully golden on the one side, and only need about a minute to cook just through to a medium-rare. 

Plating time!  Between two plates, divide the soba noodles and the pea/mushroom saute. Place the Salmon on top of the saute and top with a couple of beech mushrooms.  I decided to get fancy and add chinese chives and lotus root, but that's obnoxious and not necessary.

Seriously, the result of this dish is ridiculous.  So simple, and phenomenally tasty...not to mention super healthy as well!  100% buckwheat soba noodles are my guilty pleasure.  Tossed with a little sesame oil and chili oil, you can't get much better than that! But you can...by added this veg saute and some salmon. What! The bunashimeji mushrooms are delicate and soft, and add a nice texture to the saute, while the peas give it an overall sweetness.  The coconut oil used throughout gives a really subtle nuttiness to the dish. I highly suggest using coconut oil to cook with. If you get that golden sear on the salmon, it adds a definite crunch to each bite.  Overall, a beautiful dish which a huge depth of flavor!


Thanks for sharing.
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