Adapted from Cal Peternell's Twelve Recipes, vegetable chow mein-ish has become a family favorite.
A few notes: The original recipe calls for 1 pound of spaghetti (you don't need to use soba or egg noodles or other Asian noodles to have success with this recipe). I like to make it with more vegetables and fewer noodles, which is how the recipe is written below.
Because all of the vegetables sauté at the same time, it’s important to prep them all before you start cooking. You can do this hours ahead of time and leave them out till you’re ready to cook.
Carrots: I haven’t even been peeling them. I just trim off the ends and run them down my mandoline. You can grate the carrots using a box grater or the shredder attachment to a food processor, or you can cut them by hand. —Alexandra Stafford
grapeseed or other neutral oil
loosely packed julienned carrots
1 1/2 cups
thinly sliced white or yellow onions
asparagus, end trimmed, sliced on the bias 1/4-inch thick (about 3 cups)
1/4-inch-thick slices shiitake mushrooms (from about 7 ounces)
1/2 to 1 teaspoons
kosher salt, plus more to taste
In a small bowl, mix the soy sauce, vinegar, and sesame oil with 1/4 cup water. Set aside.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add the soba noodles and cook according to package—mine have been taking about 6 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over high heat and add the grapeseed oil, carrots, onion, asparagus, and mushrooms. Add ½ teaspoon salt and immediately turn the heat down to medium. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, 7 to 10 minutes—taste a piece of the asparagus to test for doneness. Add the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt if desired (I always do.) Turn the heat to low, push the vegetables aside, add the garlic and pepper flakes if using.
Drain the soba noodles, run under cold water, then transfer to a bowl of cold water. Use your fingers to loosen any strands that are stuck together—this will ensure untangled soba noodles in the finished dish. (I learned this from this Food52 post: https://food52.com/blog/10282-how-to-cook-soba-noodles)
Drain the soba noodles again, and add them to the pan of vegetables along with the edamame and sauce. Toss to coat and let sit on stove until noodles are heated through. Serve immediately with hot sauce on side, if using.