I have been making a version of this dish for years. I love its chameleon-like versatility. Missing an ingredient? Improvise! This dish can take it. Add seasonal veggies for an ultimate fresh and healthy version. The bonus is I haven’t met a kid who hasn’t gobbled it down!

Double Duty Recipe: Make extra sauce to use later in the week to pour over rice or marinate fish, beef, or chicken, and broil or grill.


  • 8 ounce package favorite spaghetti (I like thick spaghetti)
  • 2 teaspoons chili oil or vegetable oil
  • 8-10 ounces cremini mushrooms, coarsely chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 carrot, julienned
  • 2 Serrano peppers or to taste, thinly sliced
  • 3-4 scallions , cut into 2-inch pieces and then slices lengthwise, set aside a few pieces for garnish
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons fish sauce*
  • 3 tablespoons dark sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
  • 4-5 large basil leaves cut into ribbons, optional for garnish


  1. Start a large pot of water. Over high heat and cook the pasta according to the package instructions. Drain and rinse with cold water.
  2. While the pasta cooks, in a small bowl, whisk the garlic, soy sauce, fish sauce, maple syrup, sesame seed oil. Set aside.
  3. In a pan large enough to toss all the ingredients including the pasta, heat the chili or vegetable oil over medium heat.
  4. Add the Serrano, bell pepper and carrot. Cook, for about 3-5 minutes stirring occasionally or until tender.
  5. Add the chopped mushrooms, stir and cover. Cook for 5-7 more minutes. Stir once or twice.
  6. Uncover and remove from the heat. The liquid will evaporate.
  7. Add the cooked pasta and and toss and then add the sauce and mix well.
  8. Serve hot or at room temperature. Garnish with basil, if using, scallions and sesame seeds.


Add in any vegetables you would like. Add extra carrot or beansprouts and broccoli.

*Substitute rice vinegar for the fish sauce to go vegan and vegetarian.