1. To make the dressing: In a large bowl, combine all the dressing ingredients and stir to blend. Let sit for 30 minutes.
2. In a large pot of boiling water, cook the noodles until tender, about 4 minutes. Drain. Rinse in cold water and drain well. Toss with 2 tablespoons of the dressing.
3. In a medium skillet, heat the oil over medium heat and sauté the mushrooms until browned. Salt and pepper lightly and stir in the sake, if using. Remove from heat and let cool.
4. Add the noodles to the bowl with the dressing. Toss to coat evenly. Add the oranges, cucumber, cilantro, and half the sesame seeds. Toss again. Transfer to a large shallow bowl. Scatter the mushrooms and green onions over the top, and then sprinkle with the remaining sesame seeds.
NOTE1: To peel and segment citrus fruit, with a paring knife, cut off the external skin and any white pith from the fruit. Then slice each segment free from the connecting membrane. Discard membrane.
NOTE2: Toast sesame seeds in a dry sauté pan over medium heat, stirring constantly, until fragrant, 2 or 3 minutes.
TO MAKE AHEAD: Prepare up to 4 hours ahead and keep at room temperature, or let cool completely, cover, and refrigerate for up to 2 days.
From From Our House To Yours. Compilation copyright © 2002 by Chronicle Books LLC. Foreword copyright © 2002 by Joyce Goldstein. Photographs copyright © 2002 by E.J. Armstrong. All rights reserved. First published by Chronicle Books LLC, San Francisco, California.
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