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This makes an ideal meal for two, especially since the mushrooms and leeks fare better when they aren't crowded during the cooking process.
Cook the Udon noodles following the instructions on the pack.
For the broth, bring the stock to the boil, add the shiitakes, ginger and kombu and simmer for 5 minutes, then turn off the heat and leave to steep.
Meanwhile, set a large heavy-based frying pan (skillet) over a medium–high heat and allow to get hot – around 5 minutes. Remove the rehydrated shiitake mushrooms from the broth, remove the stems and thinly slice.
Coat the pan with oil, increase the heat to high, then add the leek and all the mushrooms (including the rehydrated shiitake). Do not move them around much – they will take around 10 minutes to get golden and crispy in places. Add a pinch of salt and a few grinds of pepper about 5–10 minutes into cooking.
Remove the ginger from the broth and discard, then add the soya milk, tamari, tahini and sesame oil. Bring to a simmer and allow to bubble for 3 minutes, then check the seasoning and add more tamari if desired. Add the udon noodles and take the pan oﬀ the heat, allowing them to warm through in the broth.
To plate, use tongs to divide the noodles between two bowls, then ladle over the broth. Top each bowl with half of the crispy mushroom and leek mixture. Drizzle each bowl with half a tablespoon of the peanut chilli rayu and garnish with the spring onions.
Tip: When cooking mushrooms, there are three rules: 1. high heat; 2. refrain from moving them around too much; 3. only salt them in the last couple of minutes of cooking. This helps to ensure that they properly caramelise.