I'm a real fan of dried Asian mushrooms and a few weeks ago I went off in search of abalone mushrooms which a friend of mine, Geoff Leong, had told me about. Anyway, I think I managed to find them and they looked rather like pom pom mushrooms. I keep five or six types of dried mushroom in my larder at all times and they can be made into a great, tasty and healthy broth. Some of these Asian mushrooms, such as shiitake and black fungus, can be bought ready-sliced, which makes using them quicker as they re-hydrate in no time.
1.5ltrs vegetable stock
60g root ginger, scraped and finely shredded
2tbsp light soy sauce
40-50g dried Asian mushrooms (black fungus, shiitake, cauliflower fungus etc) soaked for between 30 mins and 2 hours, depending if sliced or whole
4 spring onions, cleaned and shredded on the angle
A handful of wild garlic leaves, shredded
60g udon noodles, cooked
Put the vegetable stock in a pan with the ginger and bring to a simmer. Cut the mushrooms into even-sized pieces and add to the stock with the soy and simmer gently for about 30 minutes until tender, adding the noodles at the end. Add the spring onion and wild garlic, season to taste and serve.