Image credit to: Beth Harris
Wash turnips and leaves well. Finely slice turnip leaves or greens.
Cut turnips into bite-sized pieces. If small, simply cut in half. If larger, cut into quarters or roughly 3/4 inch cubes. Remove tough stems from shiitake mushrooms (Save in freezer bag to make stock later). Slice shiitake tops thinly.
In skillet, warm 2 Tbsp light sesame oil over medium heat. (If using dark, toasted sesame oil, which has a strong flavor, use 2 Tbsp butter or neutral oil instead of sesame oil for this part of the recipe. Use dark sesame oil only in the dressing for the noodles). Add chopped turnips, mushrooms, and salt to oil and sauté for about 3 minutes. Add 2 Tbsp maple syrup and 4 Tbsp of water. After about 5 minutes, water will have evaporated and turnips and mushrooms will be nicely glazed. check that turnips are tender by piercing with fork or skewer. Add sliced turnip greens and cook until wilted and dark green, about 1 more minute. Remove from heat.
While preparing glazed turnips and mushrooms, place large pot with 8 cups of water on high heat. Once water is boiling, add soba noodles. Cook according to package directions (usually about 7 minutes). Do not overcook noodles. When done, drain water and rinse noodles in cold water to remove excess starch (this gives the noodles a lovely texture and ensures they won't clump). If noodles are too cold after rinsing, quickly rinse on warm water.
In medium-sized bowl, mix remaining 2 Tbsp sesame oil, tamari or shoyu sauce, rice vinegar, and fish sauce. Stir well and add drained noodles, tossing gently to coat noodles well.
Serve noodles with glazed turnips and mushrooms and garnish with cilantro and toasted sesame seeds.