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Travel-inspired Recipes

Shiitake and Cherry Tomato Salad

Shiitake, the main ingredient, is decidedly Japanese. But the dressing is pure Vietnamese. This shiitake and cherry tomato salad is a fusion of two of my favorite Asian cuisines.

Shiitake and Cherry Tomato Salad recipe

Where did the inspiration come from? A Japanese website and my forgetfulness. I make a market list before I go to sleep but forgot to add parsley. So, instead of recreating the marinated shiitake mushroom recipe that I discovered, I made a similar salad with ingredients that I already had.

Unlike most Western salads, this recipe involves a bit of cooking. Not much work, really, nor is length of time a serious issue. But the sesame seeds need to be toasted and the shiitake must be cooked until it acquires a texture that is a perfect balance of tenderness and chewiness before the rest of the ingredients can be tossed in.

How to Make Shiitake and Cherry Tomato Salad

Shiitake and Cherry Tomato Salad

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Course: Appetizer, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: Asian Fusion
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Marinating time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Author: Connie Veneracion

Ingredients

  • 16 to 20 fresh shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 shallot
  • 16 to 20 cherry tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seed oil

For the Vietnamese dressing

  • 2 tablespoons lime or lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon finely sliced chili
  • 1/4 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/8 teaspoon grated ginger

Instructions

  • Cut off and discard the stems of the shiitake.
  • Wipe the shiitake caps with a paper towel then use a sharp knife to make shallow slashes on top (this will help the mushrooms soak up more of the dressing later). Halve the mushrooms if they are on the large side.
  • Peel and finely slice the shallot.
  • Halve the cherry tomatoes.
  • In an oil free frying pan, toast the sesame seeds until lightly browned and nutty in aroma. Set aside to cool.
  • Drizzle the sesame oil to coat the bottom of the pan.
  • Spread the shiitake on the bottom of the oiled pan and sear, about 30 seconds per side.
  • Pour about a quarter cup of water over the mushrooms, turn the heat to low, cover the pan and cook the mushrooms until the water has dried out.
  • Transfer the mushrooms to a shallow bowl.
  • Mix together all the ingredients for the dressing. Drizzle over the mushrooms. Toss well. Cover the bowl, pop into the fridge and let the mushrooms marinate in the dressing for at least 30 minutes.
  • Take the mushrooms out the fridge, add the cherry tomatoes and sliced shallot, and toss.
  • To serve, sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds and, optionally, torn fresh cilantro.
Shiitake and Cherry Tomato Salad: A Fusion of Japanese and Vietnamese
Written By

I travel to eat, drink and learn new cuisines. Between trips, I write travel stories and share travel-inspired recipes. That is my idea of retirement with purpose.

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