Shimeji Mushroom Glass Noodle Stir Fry
” I said let’s all meet up in the year 2000.
Won’t it be strange when we’re all fully grown.
Be there at 2 o’clock by the fountain down the road.
I never knew that you’d get married.
I would be living down here on my own
on that damp and lonely Thursday years ago. “
Disco 2000, Pulp
That song! The year was 1995. Tell me you remember it.
I certainly do. I was 16, in Standard 9 (Grade 11) and on the cusp of freedom, or so I thought. I was straddling my childhood and a tomorrow I could not imagine, but was eager to lick. Possibly fuelled by the essay topic du jour “in the year 2000” and bad television, I imagined the new millenium to be a shiny thing that brought, not technological wizardry and travel by jet-pack, but…the affection of boys. And possibly sex. Well the option of it. And a rapid exponential growth in wisdom and sense of humour. These were, after all, the only ways I knew I could ever win the heart of a boy. And if not for that, then I might as well have given up before I started. Doomed I was with my baggy t-shirts covering an awkward body, Doc Martins (how I begged my folks for those) on my feet and hair tied up, so self-conscious was I of my naturally curly hair.
I can confirm that I lost the ill-fitting t-shirts by 1997, discovered a (slim) body under them ready for ‘hipster’ jeans (as in the type of jeans that sit on the hips, the skinny jeans of the late 90’s), slowly and reluctantly replaced the grungy Doc Martins with feminine kitten heels and allowed the curls to frame my face. Black lacy brassieres eventually made an appearance as the tatty melange coloured sporty ones shacked up in the back of my drawer. As for the boys, there was one. Possibly the best varsity boyfriend a girl could hope for. And yes, he must have been enamoured by the fact that I was studying medicine at the time and more specifically that I brought a bag of standard issue bones of a human skeleton back to my res. Good fella.
I can’t say if things were actually simpler back then. I had my share of tough decisions and compromise situations and handled them as best as a young me in the year 2000 could, I reckon. I sometimes wonder how all the school mates, whom I thought I’d meet by that fountain in the year 2000 and beyond, have fared. I know some of the stories, but not all. Facebook tells you only so much, and as twitter takes over it becomes less and less of a place to share personal information.
For all of you who also imagined the year 2000, I hope it was more of a ride than the stories you wrote about in essays. My only gripe is the damn jet-pack. Airline travel is horribly cumbersome, still.
Oh, and if you’re wondering, the hipster jeans died with my slim curves in early 2000s. Sadly.
Originating in East Asia and Northern Europe, delicate shimeji mushrooms on long stalks are excellent in a quick stir fry. And back in 2000 I was the stir fry queen. I even bought my vegetables in bulk and prepared them in 2 meal bags and froze them in readiness for the weeks ahead.
On a bed of glass noodles, dressed in Asian flavours with spring onions, garlic sauteed shimeji mushrooms make a very quick and easy vegetarian meal.
2 cups glass noodles, prepared (use soba, ramen, vermicilli, even spaghetti)
1 1/5 cup shimeji mushrooms, washed
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
2 T vegetable oil
1/2 t palm sugar
2 T soya sauce or ponzu
juice half lime or 1 T rice wine vinegar
1/2 t sesame oil
1 large spring onion, snipped
Place noodles (warm or cold) in a serving bowl and set aside.
Slice mushrooms from base of stalk, using as much of stalk as you’d like.
In a pan on medium heat, add the vegetable oil.
Add mushrooms and garlic and stir fry for a minute or two until mushrooms soften, but not so long that they shrink.
Add sugar and remaining ingredients to pan, stirring. When the sugar dissolves, remove from heat, a minute or so.
Add noodles to pan and toss to and mix. Return stir fry to serving bowl.
Check seasoning and serve warm or cold.
* add a bit of green chilli for heat if preferred*