Feature

Recipe of the week: Late-night Japanese noodles

Everybody needs a few midnight dinner dishes.

Everybody needs a few midnight dinner dishes, said Kate Heddings in Food & Wine. After a long day running his restaurants in Austin, Top Chef winner Paul Qui often simply doctors some instant ramen noodles with mushrooms, scallions, mayonnaise, and a bit of mentaiko, or fish roe. “The dish is addictive,” so the concept is worth experimenting with even if you have to make substitutions.

  • ¼ cup mayonnaise (preferably Kewpie) 
  • 3 tbsp mentaiko 
  • 2 tsp spicy sesame oil 
  • two 3-oz packets dried yakisoba or instant ramen noodles 
  • 1½ cups low-sodium chicken broth 
  • 1 tbsp grapeseed oil 
  • 7-oz package enoki mushrooms, bottom halves discarded, top halves coarsely chopped 
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced 
  • 4 shiso leaves, stemmed and finely shredded 
  • 1 large sheet seasoned nori, shredded

In a bowl, gently stir the mayonnaise with the mentaiko, sesame oil, and ½ cup of water.

In a large, deep skillet, combine the noodles with the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Cover and cook over moderately high heat until the noodles are softened and the broth is nearly absorbed, about 3 minutes. Add the grapeseed oil, then stir in the mushrooms and scallions and cook, stirring occasionally, until the broth is completely absorbed and the scallions are softened, about 2 minutes. Stir in the mentaiko sauce and cook, tossing, just until the noodles are evenly coated.

Garnish with the shiso and nori. Makes 4 servings—and pairs well with an American lager.

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