Momofuku Ginger Scallion Noodles with Japanese Mushrooms

FullSizeRenderI came home from work the other day and opened my fridge.  I had green onions, an English cucumber, ginger, garlic, and shimeji and matsutake mushrooms.  I had the same existential crisis that I do periodically when I come home from work exhausted and mentally drained, “what do I make for dinner?”  I wanted something I could whip up quickly because I couldn’t wait to wind down to my new book, “I Am Having So Much Fun Here Without You.” I decided to open up my Momofuku cookbook which I bought during my last trip to Portland and came across 2 of the easiest recipes in the book. Ginger Scallion Noodles and Quick-Pickled Cucumbers. Both require no cooking whatsoever, and the word quick in the second recipe was all I needed to see to end my dinner crisis.

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The Ginger Scallion Sauce turned out to be a slight variation of the ginger scallion sauce eaten with Hainanese Chicken (one of my absolute favourite sauces of all time).  Both sauces work well with this dish.  David Chang recommends adding a heaping spoon of the sauce to a bowl of hot noodles and then topping with Quick-Pickled Cucumbers, pan-roasted cauliflower, and bamboo shoots (I’m not a fan).

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I decided to add oyster sauce and shimeji and maitake mushrooms to my ginger scallion noodles. I could have stopped there but I decided to eat it with the Quick-Pickled Cucumbers and fried shallots (homemade from my grandma). It was delicious!  The beauty of this dish is you can omit the mushrooms or replace with any other vegetables you have on hand such as broccoli, green beans, cauliflower (as David Chang suggests), zucchini, bean sprouts, etc. The Quick-Pickled Cucumbers were a nice salty sweet contrast to the gingery sauce.  I suggest doubling up the recipe for the cucumbers because you’ll find yourself eating it straight out of the jar or topping it on other rice or noodle dishes.

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For the Ginger-Scallion Sauce, I decided to grate the ginger thinking it would be easier.  It required an upper arm strength that I absolutely do not have. I had to stop frequently to rest as the recipe called for a 1/2 cup of finely minced ginger (the entire giant knob that you see in the picture is what I grated). That was perhaps the hardest part about making this meal.

I ended up with a lot of Ginger-Scallion Sauce in the fridge. I’m going to make more noodle dishes with it, add it to fried rice, add it to grilled meats and maybe grilled fish. So one workout of grating a large knob of ginger for slightly more toned arms (a girl can dream, can’t she?) and many more delicious meals for the rest of the week?  Definitely worth it.

– SS

Tip: To peel ginger, use a spoon to scrape the skin off. 

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Momofuku Ginger Scallion Noodles with Japanese Mushrooms

What you need:
1 package of shimeji mushrooms (or 100 grams of any kind of mushroom you prefer, feel free to use a variety)
2 pcs. maitake mushroom, sliced thinly (optional, I just happened to have them in my fridge)
2 packages of fresh ramen (or any other noodle you prefer, you can also use instant ramen noodles)
4 T oyster sauce, or more to taste
6 T Ginger Scallion Sauce (recipe below) or Hainanese Chicken Ginger Scallion Sauce (recipe below)
4 cloves of garlic, minced
Quick-Pickled cucumbers (recipe below)
Fried shallots (available at Asian groceries or you can make your own)

What to do:
1. Make Quick-Pickled Cucumbers and Ginger-Scallion Sauce (David Chang’s or Hainanese Chicken version).  See recipe below.

2. Sauté garlic in olive oil and add mushroom once fragrant.

2. Once mushroom is soft, add noodles and mix with mushroom and garlic in pan.

3. Make a hole in the centre of the pan and add oyster sauce and the ginger scallion sauce.  Mix sauce in the centre then toss together with noodles.

5. Remove from pan and transfer to a bowl.  Serve with another spoonful of ginger scallion sauce, some quick-pickled cucumber and top with fried shallots.

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Quick-Pickled Cucumbers
Recipe from David Chang’s, Momofuku cookbook

What you need:
4 medium Kirby cucumbers (I used an English cucumber and it worked just fine)
2 T plus 1 tsp sugar
2 T kosher salt

What to do:
1. Slice the cucumber thinly (even better if you have a mandolin) and place in a non reactive bowl (I put it straight into a mason jar).

2. Add sugar and salt.

3. Refrigerate for at least an hour (the pickled cucumbers can be kept in the refrigerator for up to a month).

4.  If the cucumbers are too salty, rinse it in cold water, dry with a paper towel and then add salt and sugar again.

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Ginger-Scallion Sauce
Recipe from David Chang’s, Momofuku cookbook

What you need:
2 1/2 cups thinly sliced scallions (green and whites, I used 2 bunches)
1/2 cup finely minced peeled ginger (or grated with a microplane grater)
1/4 cup grapeseed or other neutral oil (honestly, any cooking oil will do.  I used olive oil)
1 1/2 tsp usukuchi (this is a light soy sauce, I just used good old Kikkoman)
3/4 tsp sherry vinegar
3/4 tsp kosher salt, more to taste

What to do:
1. Mix together the scallions, ginger, oil, soy sauce, vinegar, and salt in a bowl (I used a mason jar).

2. Taste and check for salt, adding more if necessary.

3. Let sit for 15-20 minutes before eating.

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Hainanese Chicken Ginger Scallion Sauce

What you need:
1 cup vegetable oil (you can also use peanut, canola or olive oil)
2 inch knob of ginger, peeled and finely minced (or grated with a microplane grater)
2 cups green onions, thinly sliced (green and whites, about 24 scallions)
Kosher salt

What to do:
1. Heat oil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until shimmering. Meanwhile, combine scallions and ginger in a medium bowl and season well with salt. When oil is hot, pour over scallions and ginger. It should sizzle for a few seconds. Allow to cool.

2. Add more salt to taste.

2. Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

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