Empty the bag of frozen edamame beans into a large colander. This allows the beans to thaw while the excess ice melts and drains away.
While the oven is heating, prepare the squash. Use a large chef’s knife to split the squash in half. Scoop out the seeds and scrape off as much of the fibrous stringy bits as you can; a melon baller works well for this.
Cut one of the squash halves in half again, so that you have two quarters of squash. Using a sharp knife, carefully cut away the peel from the two squash quarters, then cut the squash into pieces that are approximately ¾” in size. You should have approximately 4 cups of squash. Reserve the other squash half for another use.
In a mixing bowl that is large enough to hold all of the ingredients for this recipe, whisk together the 3 Tbsp maple syrup, 1 tsp olive oil, ¾ tsp 5 spice powder, and ½ tsp salt. Add the squash pieces and stir them until they’re evenly coated.
Roast the squash pieces in a baking dish or greased baking sheet until they’re fork-tender, about 35 minutes. Stir the squash after 15 minutes of baking, then again after 30 minutes of baking. Check for doneness at the 30 minute mark.
While the squash is baking, prepare the rest of the components.
Add all of the dressing ingredients to a blender. Start the blender on low variable speed and slowly increase to high. Blend on high speed for 10-20 seconds. The dressing should be completely smooth, and the texture should be thick but still pour easily. Add another tablespoon of vegetable stock or water if it is still too thick.
Pour the dressing into the mixing bowl that was used for the squash and set aside.
Bring a large pot of salted water to boiling.
While the water is coming up to the boil, heat a large frying pan over medium heat and toast the sesame seeds until they are golden brown. Keep moving them in the pan so that they do not burn. Remove the sesame seeds from the pan and set them aside.
Lightly toast the pine nuts in the frying pan, stirring often to prevent burning. Remove the nuts from the pan when they’re golden brown and set them aside.
Increase the frying pan’s heat to medium high. Add the 2 tsp of olive oil and cook the sliced mushrooms for several minutes. Season with the ¼ tsp of salt and some ground pepper.
When the mushrooms are done and most of the mushroom juices have cooked off, add the thawed edamame beans and stir to heat them through. Remove the pan from the heat.
When the pot of water is boiling, cook the soba noodles to al dente doneness. Check the packaging for the recommended cooking time and test a noodle for doneness a minute before the end of the recommended cooking time, then test again every 30 seconds.
When the noodles are done, strain them well in the colander. Add the noodles to the bowl and mix them with the dressing until evenly coated.
Divide the noodles evenly between plates, then top with the mushrooms, edamame, and roasted squash. Garnish each plate with sesame seeds, pine nuts and green onions. Serve immediately.
Visit Follow me Foodie for step-by-step photos of this recipe.
Read our interview with Mijune Pak -- international food blogger extraordinaire of Follow me Foodie and creator of this delicious recipe!
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