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Grilled Shiitakes with Mojo Oriental & Somen Noodles

Ben Fink

Servings: four as a light dinner.

Somen noodles are sold in Asian groceries and many supermarkets. Use capellini if you can’t find them.


  • 16 large shiitake caps, cut into quarters (or 32 smaller shiitake caps, cut in half)
  • 1/4 cup whole cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. Sichuan peppercorns (optional)
  • 2 cups homemade or low-salt canned chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup toasted sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar 
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh ginger
  • 1/2 habanero chile, seeded

For the somen noodles:

  • 8 oz. dried somen noodles
  • 1 Tbs. toasted sesame oil 
  • Minced garlic chives or chives for garnish (optional)
  • Black and white sesame seeds for garnish (optional)

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 520
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 180
  • Fat (g): 20
  • Saturated Fat (g): 3
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 8
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 8
  • Cholesterol (mg): 0
  • Sodium (mg): 2110
  • Carbohydrates (g): 77
  • Fiber (g): 5
  • Protein (g): 11


  • Thread the shiitake caps on 8 short wooden skewers. Arrange the skewers in a shallow, nonreactive pan.
  • To make the mojo, toast the cumin and peppercorns in a dry saucepan over medium-high heat until they’re quite aromatic. Grind them in a spice or coffee grinder and return them to the pan. Add the stock, sesame oil, honey, soy sauce, vinegar, ginger, and habanero. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. After 5 minutes, remove the habanero; continue to simmer the sauce until it’s reduced to 1-1/2 cups, about another 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and strain the sauce through a fine sieve; let cool slightly. Pour the mojo over the shiitake skewers; let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes to 2 hours.
  • Light a grill or broiler. Remove the skewers from the mojo, letting any excess drip back into the pan. Transfer the mojo to a nonreactive saucepan and simmer until reduced to about 1/2 cup. Meanwhile, grill or broil the shiitakes until well-browned, 3 to 6 minutes.
  • Boil the somen noodles until just al dente (about 1 min. after the water comes back to a boil), drain well, and toss with the sesame oil. Mound the noodles in four shallow bowls, top with the grilled shiitake skewers, and drizzle with the reduced mojo.


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