Sunflower Butter and Miso Tsukemen with Marinated Mushrooms

Tsukemen and Soba with Five Types of Mushrooms

Health-Supportive Culinary Arts student Eudora Erickson won last week's miso-focused market basket challenge with a Japanese labor of love.

Each week our campuses are closed in response to coronavirus stay-at-home orders, we're hosting a voluntary virtual market basket challenge for students and alumni. This week, Chef Barry Tonkinson's ingredient list said miso was a must-use component, and @everyday.euphoria won us over with her first miso broth and umami richness.

As a Japanese-American, I was excited to see miso, mushrooms and tamari listed as focus ingredients for this week’s market basket challenge. These are ingredients I imagine when thinking of Japanese food, and others like red pepper, sunflower seeds and papaya got me excited to create an umami-rich plant-based dish.

Tsukemen and soba noodlesIt was an emotional week for my family because if the pandemic hadn’t happened, my mom would be here from Japan as we headed to my sister’s college graduation on May 9. I miss my mom and sister, and I was inspired to make a dish that I could share with them when I see them next.

I decided to make tsukemen, meaning dipping noodles, which uses a thicker and saltier broth than ramen as you dip the noodles right before you eat. You can eat the dish hot or cold, and ramen noodles and soba are great to use.

I found most of the ingredients listed here at a regular grocery store! In fact, the only ingredient I absolutely needed from the Asian market was the dried shiitakes, which my boyfriend graciously went shopping for late Thursday after work.

To make an umami-rich vegan broth, I made a mushroom scallion-infused oil to heat the miso and gochujang (my +1 ingredient), and I added roasted sunflower, seed butter and mushroom broth. The sunflower seeds added an extra layer of creaminess, and the gochujang adds a rich flavor from the fermented chilis that complement the miso. I used five types of mushrooms including dried shiitakes, a pack of mushroom mix (with baby bella, oyster and fresh shiitake), shimeji and enoki.

The recipe is a labor of love and requires some time before it all comes together, but it is a lot of fun and holds up well for leftovers. With rich and savory flavors from many avenues, it is truly a flavor bomb! See the end for some substitutions as you can simplify this a bit if you would like.


Sunflower Butter and Miso Tsukemen with Marinated Mushrooms and Soba Noodles

Yields 4 servings

Sunflower Seed Butter


  • 2 cups raw sunflower seeds
  • 2 teaspoon cane sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Roast sunflower seeds on parchment paper for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Once the sunflower seeds are browned and fragrant, remove from oven.
  4. Once seeds cool, mix in a food processor for 4-6 minutes. The seeds will first turn into powder, and as the oil releases, it will turn into thick butter.
  5. Add sugar and salt and pulse a few times more
Mushroom Scallion Oil

This oil is great to use because it infuses the broth with a rich scallion flavor, without adding the scallion.


  • 2 cups canola oil (or other neutral tasting oil)
  • 1 1/2 stalk scallion, chopped
  • 2-3 dried shiitake mushrooms


  1. Add all ingredients to small saucepan and heat on low/medium.
  2. Continue heating the oil (~5 minutes) until the scallion becomes fragrant and the mushrooms begin to bubble.
  3. Turn off heat and let sit for 15-20 minutes. Discard scallions and shiitake, and only keep oil.
Marinated Mushrooms and Broth


  • 8-10 dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 3.5 cups water (separate into 2 cups and 1.5 cups)
  • 1/2 vegetarian bouillon cube
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1-inch piece ginger, sliced
  • 1 1/2 tbsp tamari
  • 1 1/2 stalk of scallion, sliced
  • 2-2 1/2 cups mushrooms, fresh sliced (I used shiitake, baby bella, oyster and shimeji)


  1. Soak dried shiitake mushrooms in 2 cups of water for 30+ min
  2. Separate rehydrated shiitake mushrooms from water and save soaking liquid. Discard stems, and slice tops of shiitake mushrooms
  3. Boil 1.5 cups of water in a small saucepan and add 1/2 vegetarian bouillon cube
  4. Add garlic, ginger, tamari, scallion, fresh mushrooms and rehydrated shiitake mushrooms to saucepan.
  5. Reduce to simmer and cover for 20-30 minutes. Turn off heat once mushrooms are cooked and have absorbed flavor.
  6. Separate mushrooms from broth. Remove garlic, ginger and scallions and discard. Only save mushrooms (which will be used as the topping), and separately save broth.

chopped mushrooms for marinade

Tsukemen and Soba


  • 1/2 small papaya, deseeded (yielding ~3/4 cup)
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons mushroom scallion infused oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, minced
  • 1 tablespoon miso
  • 1 tsp gochujang (use 2 tsp if you prefer spicier broth)
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seed butter (use 1-2 tbsp more for thicker and creamier)
  • 1 1/2 cup reserved shiitake liquid
  • 1 cup mushroom broth
  • 1 package soba noodles
  • 1 package enoki mushrooms (optional)
  • Sliced scallion, for garnish


  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Roast bell pepper for 40-50 minutes, until slightly charred.
  3. Roast papaya for 30 minutes, until soft and juicy.
  4. In a non-stick pan, heat scallion infused oil on low-medium (not high!).
  5. Add garlic and ginger and cook for 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
  6. Add miso and gochujang and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  7. Add sunflower seed butter and cook for 1-2 minutes until paste is medium brown.
  8. Add roasted red bell pepper and cook for 1 minute.
  9. Add reserved shiitake liquid and mushroom broth, stir and bring to light simmer.
  10. Turn off heat. Cool. Add roasted papaya, then blend.
  11. If eating hot, bring mixture back to heat until light simmer. Depending on desired thickness, add additional liquid (remaining broth or vegetable broth/bouillon).
  12. If eating cold, option to add additional liquid before cooling. The mixture thickens in the fridge, so adjust accordingly.
  13. Cook soba noodles according to instructions.
  14. Steam or boil enoki mushrooms for 3-5 minutes (optional).
  15. Serve soba noodles and tsukemen broth separately. Add marinated mushrooms and enoki mushrooms on top of tsukemen broth, with scallion garnish. Dip noodles into broth before eating, without letting them sit too long in the broth to maintain the texture of soba.

Substitutions and Notes

  • If you can’t get papaya, it’s still good without.
  • If you can’t get shimeji or enoki mushrooms, replace with more fresh shiitake in the marinade. Do not substitute the dried shiitake!
  • If you don’t have bouillon cubes, substitute vegetable broth.
  • You could use mirin or sake to deglaze the miso and gochujang following step 6 of tsukemen.
  • To make this into a ramen broth, add more mushroom or vegetable broth, and add extra scallion-infused oil.

See more students' market basket-winning recipes and explore Health-Supportive Culinary Arts at ICE.

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