Portabella Mushrooms & Noodles

I love Asian-inspired dishes, but they are often drowning in salt, soy sauce and oils. I wanted to create a hearty noodle dish without these ingredients, but still full of flavor. Toward this, I include garlic, cilantro, ginger, curry and lime juice. And for those that like it a little spicy, some optional red pepper flakes. Enjoy!


1 cup water
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons white, hulled sesame seeds
2 medjool dates, pitted
1-1/2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
1 teaspoon yellow curry powder
1/2 teaspoon salt-free poultry seasoning
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional; these are hot)

1 package (8 oz.) soba noodles (see Notes below for other noodle options)
water to boil noodles

water to sauté
1 yellow onion, diced
1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic (about 2-3 cloves)
3 portabella mushrooms, diced into 1/2-inch squares
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 cup soy beans (shelled “edamame,” found in the freezer section)
1 bunch kale (any type, I like curly), cut into bite-size pieces (5-6 cups)
1 cup cilantro leaves, roughly chopped (measure then chop)

1. Place all of the sauce ingredients into a blender and set aside to soak (before blending later). Start a large pot of water to boil for the noodles and cook the noodles according to the package (5 to 10 minutes). Drain, rinsing with cool water. Place the cooked, drained noodles back into their cooking pot and set aside.

2. Chop the vegetables and herbs before you start cooking: mushrooms, onion, bell pepper, kale, garlic and cilantro and place into bowls or onto a plate so everything is ready to go.

3. Set a large skillet (or another large soup pot) to high heat. Once the pan is hot, add the onions and sauté with a couple tablespoons of water, stirring so as to avoid sticking, 1-2 minutes. Add the garlic, bell pepper, mushrooms, kale and soy beans, and stir. Reduce heat to medium. Place the cover on the pan and let cook for 5-7 minutes, still stirring occasionally. (You can add a little water at this point, but as the mushrooms cook, they will release a lot of liquid, so adding more is usually not necessary.)

4. While the vegetables are cooking, blend all of the sauce ingredients that have been soaking, until smooth. Add the sauce to the pot of noodles, along with the sautéed vegetables and cilantro. Stir thoroughly. You don’t need to cook it any further at this point; after stirring it all together, it should be warm enough to serve if your noodles were still hot. But if not, heat for a couple more minutes to warm through. Optional: garnish with some sesame seeds, chopped cilantro, or grated nuts.

Preparation: 35 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Serves: 4-6


Soy beans: If you are avoiding soy, you may substitute frozen peas.

Portabellas: Portabella mushrooms are large capped mushrooms (up to 6 inches in diameter) and also come packaged as “baby portabellas,” which are about half the size. For this recipe, use the larger ones.

Noodles: There are so many options today for noodles, aside from basic wheat noodles (see below). Often in Asian dishes, soba noodles (made from buckwheat flour, often mixed with another type of flour) are used, or rice noodles. I also like brown rice as well as quinoa noodles, both of which hold up very well after cooking (in the old days they would be kind of sticky and too soft). I have made this dish with soba-wheat noodles (shown in my photos of the dish) as well as quinoa-brown rice noodles, and both were very good. The soba noodles are a bit more delicate and softer, while the quinoa noodles were more robust and springy.

Noodle alternatives: If you are not into noodles, try substituting some peeled and cubed winter squash (butternut, kabocha, delicata) in with the sauted vegetables. Spaghetti squash would also be nice. Aside from squash, try some brown rice, diced potatoes, or broccoli and cauliflower florets.

Below: There are many types of whole-grain pastas nowadays, besides wheat, including quinoa, brown rice, and buckwheat/soba. Some pastas, such as quinoa or buckwheat, may also have some wheat in them, so if you are gluten-intolerant, be sure to read the labels.


Below: The completed dish garnished with white, hulled sesame seeds. These can be found in the bulk section of health food groceries. Smell them to make sure they are not rancid, which can be the case with these seeds if they are old (the white sesame seeds do not have hulls/protective outter coverings, so they spoil faster than sesame seeds with hulls, which are grayer in color).


Below: Garnished with some grated walnuts. By using a rotary cheese grater, you can grate any type of nuts or seeds on top of savory or sweet dishes, just to give a little richness without going overboard.


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  1. says

    This looks wonderful! I am on a major Asian cooking kick lately – I’m thinking the freezing cold weather where I live has me craving warm, spicy foods. In the past week I’ve made Kung Pao Tofu, curried butternut squash soup, and Trader Joe’s Mandarian Chicken-less Morsels, and been to a Vietnamese restaurant (all of my info is at http://www.veganiowan.com)!

  2. Susan says

    Made this last night – added some asparagus. Was very yummy but next time I might find a way to make the sauce a little thicker and might add another date or two, Served it for a big dinner along with omnivore food and the vegetarian and I gobbled it up. thanks for the recipe – it’s a keeper.

  3. Adrienne says

    Made it, loved it! And in spite of big appetites there’s one extra serving that I get to take for lunch tomorrow…woo hoo!

  4. says

    Hey, I’ve just made this, with diced sweet potato instead of the noodles. I’m eating it right now and it’s absolutely amazing!! This sauce is divine – I never think of using curry powders in anything but ..curry!! But this will be made again and again :). I’m unwell right now and this dish feels so comforting. Thank you!!
    P.S, would you mind me adding you to my Blogroll in the future??

  5. Susan says

    Made this a couple of days ago – it was good that night, but nothing compared with what it tasted like cold the next day – it was all I could do not to finish the entire leftover containers. The flavors really developed. Yum and thanks!

  6. Kris McCormack says

    This is another super recipe. Thanks Cathy! We found that our soba noodles were a bit soggy the next day, when we dove in to our leftovers, warmed slightly to take off the chill of refrigeration. Next time I make this dish, I plan to mix only enough vegetables and noodles to eat immediately. Extra noodles and vegetables will get stored separately. That way, when we’re ready for leftovers, I can warm the vegetables and combine with the still-firm noodles.

  7. Brent Torrance says

    This was excellent. I like a lot of heat in most food and a tsp. of gochujang paste (the better, hotter, more complex cousin of sriracha) was the crowning touch.

  8. Sophie says

    This recipe was super easy to make and tasted SO GOOD! I’ve been salt free for almost 4 days now thanks to all your recipes and I never thought I could ever be salt free (failed many times before)! I made some substitutions (whatever I had in the cupboard): 8 teaspoons of raisins instead of dates, pumpkin seeds instead of sesame, garam masala instead of curry. For the salt free poultry seasoning, I used: garlic powder, sage, thyme, pepper, coriander, rosemary, cayenne, nutmeg, red pepper flakes. I used a lot of herbs/spices so the sauce turned out creamy. It was still super tasty the next day with refrigeration and microwaving. THANK YOU SO MUCH for changing my life and health!

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