I subscribe to a lot of food magazines- Cook’s Illustrated, Bon Appetit and Every Day with Rachel Ray among others. While I find some of the things in Rachel Ray’s magazine a little hokey (such as the nicknames for certain foods), and there are months where I’m not really compelled to make any recipes, there are other times where I get one of her magazines and I want to make everything, and this is what keeps me a subscriber. That, and I’ve yet to make a recipe of hers and not like it. This past issue (the April issue) was one of the later. There were so many recipes I wanted to try, and up first were these mushroom and shrimp noodle bowls. Making this recipe also gave me an excuse to buy five-spice powder, an ingredient that I’ve never cooked with before. I loved the complexity it gave this dish, and while it still would have been tasty without it, it gave it a little extra something that added more interest to these noodle bowls. There are many variants of five-spice powder, so depending on the mixture you buy it could contain star anise, cloves, cinnamon, Sichuan pepper, fennel (these five are common ingredients), anise, ginger, nutmeg, tumeric, black pepper, orange peel or galangal. Therefore, your noodle bowls may have variation in flavor depending on the brand of five-spice powder. I bought a blend at Whole Foods (the only blend I could find), and theirs contained orange peel, tamari powder, lemon peel and organic spices (which spices are not specified). Regardless of what may or may not have been in the mix, I loved the flavors in this dish.
Mushroom and Shrimp Noodle Bowls
Salt and pepper
1 lb spaghetti (regular or whole wheat)
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
3/4 mixed mushrooms (i.e. shiitake, cremini, hen-of-the-woods or maitake)
1/4 head savoy or napa cabbage, thinly sliced
1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced on the diagonal
1 small red chile pepper, thinly sliced
3-4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, grated
1 lb medium shrimp, shelled and deveined
1 tsp Chinese five-spice powder
2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1/4 cup tamari, soy sauce, or liquid amino
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, and cook spaghetti until al dente.
2. While the spaghetti is cooking, heat the oil in a large (12-inch) skillet over high heat. Add the mushrooms and stir-fry 3-4 minutes until any liquid evaporated, and they become browned. Add the cabbage, scallions, chile pepper, garlic and ginger. Season with pepper. Stir-fry, stirring constantly, for 2-3 minutes.
3. Add the shrimp and the five-spice powder. Stir-fry, stirring constantly, for about 2 minutes until the shrimp turn pink. Add the chicken or vegetable stock and the tamari or soy sauce, lower the heat to medium, and continue to cook until the shrimp are cooked through.
4. Serve the mushroom and shrimp mixture over the pasta. Either mix together, or place the pasta in bowls and ladle the shrimp-mushroom mixture over the top.