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Japanese Soba Noodles with Mushrooms

Our  Japanese courses are some of the most popular courses at our cookery school, and it's no mystery why. Japanese cuisine is known for its health benefits and is inherently vegetarian-friendly, making heavy use of tofu and fresh vegetables. But most importantly, vegetarian Japanese food is delicious! Full of fresh, satisfying flavours and irresistible umami thanks to exotic mushrooms like shitake and shimeji mushrooms. Here is one such vegetarian Japanese recipe that puts mushrooms at the centre of the plate. In addition to shimeji mushrooms, it also features broccoli and soba buckwheat noodles. Use tamari to make this dish totally gluten-free. 

The mushrooms and noodles are seasoned with  Goma Ae is a Japanese sesame sauce, traditionally made in a Japanese Suribachi ridged pestle and mortar. At home you can use smooth pestle and mortar, mini blender, or wet and dry spice grinder.

Japanese Soba Noodles with Shimeji Mushrooms, Greens and Goma Ae


Dietary:Vegan, Gluten Free Option

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes


  • 125g shimeji mushrooms
  • 200g broccoli (or purple sprouting broccoli, kale, cavolo nero, chard, green beans or a mix)
  • 1 tbsp untoasted sesame oil


  • 6 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 2 tbsp shoyu (or tamari for gluten free option)
  • 2 tbsp light brown sugar
  • 3-4 tbsp water
  • 160g soba buckwheat noodles
  • sesame seeds for sprinkling

Making Japanese Goma Ae with a mortar and pestle


  1. Prepare the broccoli into florets and wash the greens.
  2. To make the Goma Ae, toast the sesame seeds in a dry frying pan on a gentle heat until golden in colour. It is very easy to burn sesame seeds, when you are roasting them always move the pan around on a low heat.
  3. Then grind the sesame seeds in a pestle and mortar or in a mini blender, until they become a paste, adding the shoyu and sugar. Add enough water to mix to the consistency of double cream.
  4. Steam the vegetables till just cooked and still bright green. Refresh with cold water if not using at once.
  5. Pull the shimeji mushrooms apart gently and cut off any woody ends. Stir-fry the mushrooms quickly in the sesame oil.
  6. Cook the noodles for 5-6 minutes in a pan of boiling water (or according to the packet instructions) then drain and place in a mixing bowl. Stir through half of the Goma Ae dressing.
  7. Place the hot noodles into a serving dish
  8. Re-heat the greens and mushrooms and place on top of the noodles and drizzle over the remaining Goma Ae dressing.
  9. Serve at once sprinkled with sesame seeds.

Vegetarian Japanese Soba Noodles with Mushrooms and Goma Ae

Looking for more vegetarian Japanese inspiration? Check out our upcoming  Japanese courses

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Image Credit: Rob Wicks