Pickled Shiitake Mushrooms:
3–4 ounces fresh shiitake mushrooms
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon salt
4 ounces soba noodles
4 large leaves kale
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon reserved mushroom brine (above)
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
1 tablespoon soy sauce, divided
8 ounces chicken breast or tofu
2 teaspoons cooking oil
For the mushrooms: In a small pot, combine vinegar, honey and salt. Bring to simmer and stir to dissolve solids. Turn off heat. Add mushrooms and stir to coat them all. It won’t be enough brine to immerse them all, but squish them down in there, gill-side down, and stir occasionally until you need them.
Start boiling water for soba noodles. Cook as directed (usually about 7 minutes).
Remove thick stems and thinly slice the kale. Mix it with the salt in a large bowl. Massage the kale and salt, using your hands, to soften it. It just take a minute or so and it’s ready when it’s all a darker green.
Remove soaked mushrooms from the brine and add one tablespoon of the brine to the kale bowl. Slice the mushrooms.
Toss the kale around then add the sesame oil, ginger and half the soy sauce. Stir well.
Drain the noodles and rinse briefly with cool water. Shake to dry. Toss with kale mixture. Add sliced shiitakes and toss again. Let sit at room temperature while you cook your protein (or just serve now).
Slice the chicken or tofu thinly and drizzle with remaining soy sauce. Heat the oil in a heavy skillet and add the protein. Cook three minutes on each side until browned and cooked through. Remove.
Serve bowls of noodles and kale topped with sliced chicken and pickled shiitakes.
Nutrition info is with chicken breast