Brown Butter Mushrooms, Greens, and Soba Noodles

November 17, 2017

Test Kitchen-Approved

Author Notes: This dish is further proof that brown butter makes everything better. In a soba noodle dish where you’d expect soy sauce and friends, brown butter and fish sauce join together to make a rich, nutty, umami bomb of a sauce. And by sautéing mushrooms and greens in the sauce, they take on a complexity that surprises given their quick turn in the pan. The whole thing takes about 15 minutes from start to finish—the type of dish that’s so good I’ve found myself eating it straight from the pan.

Serves: 4


  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce (I like the Red Boat brand)
  • 1/2 teaspoon chile-garlic sauce, or to taste (virtually any type of chile sauce will work here)
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced (cremini, shiitake, or a combination)
  • Finely grated zest of one large lime (juice reserved)
  • 2 to 3 cups roughly torn kale, chard, or spinach leaves (about half a small bunch)
  • 6 ounces soba noodles
  • kosher salt, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
In This Recipe


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  2. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter and cook until it turns brown and smells nutty, about 4 to 6 minutes. Stir frequently, scraping up any bits from the bottom so they don't burn.
  3. Add the fish sauce, chile-garlic sauce, and lime zest to the brown butter, stirring to integrate. The fish sauce will smell strong at this point, but it’ll mellow as the dish comes together.
  4. Add mushrooms and sauté until tender, about 4 to 6 minutes, over medium heat, then add the greens and sauté a few minutes longer. (If using young, tender greens, skip this step and add them at the end with the soba noodles.)
  5. Meanwhile, cook the soba noodles according to package directions.
  6. When the soba noodles are done, drain and immediately add them to the skillet. Add 1 teaspoon sesame oil and 1 tablespoon of lime juice, and toss together until the noodles are evenly coated with the brown butter sauce. Taste for seasoning and balance, adding kosher salt, more lime juice, or sesame oil if needed.

More Great Recipes:
Butter|Lime Juice|Mushroom|Noodle|Sesame Oil|Vegetable|Summer|Fall|Spring|Winter|Vegetarian|Entree

Reviews (5) Questions (0)

5 Reviews

daniel March 10, 2018
A simple process, that takes but little time from start to finish. A reasonable means for an Umami fixin'. In accordance with my tastebuds, I recommend adding 1/4 to 1/2 a tsp.
mac January 10, 2018
This was relatively easy to make and very delicious. I would only maybe add more chili garlic paste for a tad more kick. Be forewarned, your house will smell like fish sauce for a while
Suzanne W. January 5, 2018
This dish was amazing. The mix of flavors while still being so simple was fabulous. Definitely a keeper!!!
Author Comment
EmilyC January 5, 2018
So, so happy to hear this!! Thanks so much for trying it and letting me know!
Sonia M. January 2, 2018
The method of making brown butter is similar to making GHEE ( clarified butter) where the butter is cooked till the milk solids separate from the fat to give clear transparent ghee after the browned milk solids are strained . Ghee adds a delicious flavour to Every thing its added to.