Japanese Mixed Mushroom Salad


This salad, great in winter and early spring when most tasty fresh vegetables are unavailable, is very versatile. Use any mushroom or assortment of mushrooms to your taste and availability: cultivated mushrooms such as oyster, king oyster, enoki, beech, “seafood” mushrooms, shiitake, white, cremini, etc., or seasonal wild mushrooms of any type. Greens can vary, too; use flavourful one’s such as chrysanthemum, mizuna, arugula, frisée lettuce or baby kale or milder greens such as baby spinach, mixed “spring” or “Asian” young greens or your own mix.

1 to 2 tbsp / 15 to 30 mL vegetable oil

1 lb / 500 g mushrooms (see above), cut into bite-size pieces

¼ tsp / 1 mL salt

1 tbsp / 15 mL sake

2 to 3 cups / 500 to 750 mL greens (see above)

Sesame Sauce:

3 tbsp / 45 mL roasted sesame seeds

3 tbsp / 45 mL sake

1 tbsp / 15 mL mirin

1 tsp / 5 mL sugar

1 tbsp / 15 mL water

2 tsp / 10 mL sesame oil

2 tsp / 10 mL light soy sauce

1 tsp / 5 mL dark soy sauce

1½ tsp / 7 mL rice vinegar

Sesame Sauce: Grind sesame seeds in mortar or blender until quite fine paste. In small saucepan, bring sake, mirin and sugar to a boil; reduce liquid by half and remove from heat. Stir in water, sesame oil, light and dark soy sauces and vinegar; mix or blend liquid with sesame seeds until smooth. Set aside.

Plate greens on serving dish. Heat skillet over medium-high heat; add just enough oil to coat bottom. Add mushrooms; stir-fry until coated with oil, then sprinkle with salt. Stir-fry until lightly wilted. Stir in sake and stir-fry over low heat until mushrooms are just tender. Scrape into bowl; let cool slightly then toss in Sesame Sauce. Scrape over greens.

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