Emily Dickinson called mushrooms the "elf of plants". They are funny little things - I don't naturally love the taste (or sometimes texture), but they seem so earthy and wholesome that I love seeing them at the grocery store and in the wild.
This week was "celebrate France" week at the store I usually shop at, which meant an abundance of delightful cheeses and mushrooms. I just kept putting mushrooms in my cart and thinking surely, something good will come of this. Sure enough, they came through for me.
I also loaded up on bok choy, not only because it tastes great, but because it's a powerhouse, nutrient dense vegetable. It's associated with reducing chronic disease - which just seems like a bonus, since it's so delicious.
This meal came together really quickly; I would definitely recommend it for a quick weeknight meal. It tasted wholesome and like the woods. It's easy to be so disconnected from nature, so I like eating foods that reconnect me.
An extra fun way to make this meal, might be to forage for your own mushrooms! Just don't, you know, get a poisonous one...you want to be alive to enjoy this hotpot.
Mushroom Hotpot with Bok Choy
Makes 2 large servings | Prep Time: 5 minutes | Total Time: 25 minutes
6 cups of water
2 vegetable stock cubes (I used low sodium)
1 inch of ginger, sliced
3 cups of mushrooms, shredded or sliced (I used white and black chanterelles, portobello, cremini, and oyster)
3 heads of bok choy
Heat the water in a large pot and add the vegetable stock, ginger, and the stems from your mushrooms. Let this come to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes.
While your stock is simmering, rinse your bok choy and slice through the white base of the plant. This will allow the base to cook quickly along with the leafy green top. Then, slice and shred all your mushrooms.
After your stock has simmered for 10 minutes, remove the ginger and mushrooms stems. Add the udon noodles and let them simmer for 4 minutes, then add the mushrooms and bok choy for another 3 minutes. The pot will be quite full now, but it will cook down very quickly. Stir gently, a few times to make sure everything cooks. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Remove from heat and serve in large bowls.
Note: This is not a traditional hotpot, because we didn't cook it at the table, but that would be incredibly fun!