YIELD: 4 (1 cup pasta, 1 cup vegetable) servings

1⁄3 cup tamari or soy sauce
¼ cup honey
½ tsp. cayenne pepper
¾ tsp. five spice powder
1 (8 oz.) package dried udon noodles
5 cups water
½ lb. fresh asparagus, cut into 1” pieces
2 Tbsps. cooking oil
1 (8 oz.) package white or crimini mushrooms, sliced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
½ tsp. five spice powder
pinch of salt

1. Whisk the tamari or soy sauce, honey, cayenne and 5-spice together in a small bowl and set aside.  Cook the udon noodles according to package instructions, drain and set aside (you might want to drizzle a small amount of oil on the noodles to prevent them from sticking).

2. While the noodles are cooking, bring the 5 cups of water to a rolling boil and add the asparagus.  Blanche them for no more than 45 seconds, then remove with a slotted spoon and set aside in a small bowl.

3. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium high heat.  Add the garlic and cook until golden brown and fragrant.  Next add the mushrooms, five-spice powder and salt, and stir-fry for 1-2 minutes.  Add the blanched asparagus and cook for another 2-3 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.

4. Finally, add the noodles & prepared sauce to the vegetables and mix well.

Photo and recipe: The Mushroom Council/Poor Girl Eats Well