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Spicy Soba Noodles with Shiitakes and Cabbage

['1/3 cup water', '1/3 cup soy sauce', '2 to 3 teaspoons Korean hot-pepper paste (sometimes labeled "gochujang")', '1 tablespoon packed brown sugar', '3 tablespoons sesame seeds', '1/4 cup vegetable oil', '2 tablespoons finely chopped peeled ginger', '1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic', '10 oz fresh shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and thinly sliced', '1 1/4 pound Napa cabbage, thinly sliced (8 cups)', '6 scallions, thinly sliced', '8 to 9 ounces soba (buckwheat noodles)', '1 cup frozen shelled edamame']

Stir together all sauce ingredients until brown sugar is dissolved, then set aside.
Toast sesame seeds in a dry 12-inch heavy skillet (not nonstick) over medium heat, stirring, until pale golden, then transfer to a small bowl.
Heat oil in skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers, then sauté ginger and garlic, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add shiitakes and sauté, stirring frequently, until tender and starting to brown, about 6 minutes. Reduce heat to medium, then add cabbage and most of scallions (reserve about a tablespoon for garnish) and cook, stirring occasionally, until cabbage is crisp-tender, about 6 minutes. Add sauce and simmer 2 minutes.
While cabbage is cooking, cook soba and edamame together in a pasta pot of boiling salted water (2 tablespoons salt for 6 quarts water) until noodles are just tender, about 6 minutes. Drain in a colander and rinse under cool water to stop cooking and remove excess starch, then drain well again. Transfer to a large bowl and toss with sesame seeds and vegetable mixture. Serve sprinkled with reserved scallions.

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