With just a handful of ingredients and 15 minutes, this Warm Mushroom Salad with Sesame Dressing can jazz up your dinner any night of the week.
Are you a big fan of mushrooms? Packed with antioxidants, B vitamins, and a host of amazing nutrients, mushrooms are a treasured ingredient in Japanese cuisine.
We savor mushrooms’ deep, complex flavors and use them to create umami-packed dashi broth, add them in stews and soups, deep fry them for tempura, and sauté them for simple salads like this Warm Mushroom Salad with Sesame Dressing (きのこの胡麻和え温サラダ).
In this recipe, I used some of the most flavorful and nutritious mushrooms – shiitake mushrooms, king oyster mushrooms, shimeji mushrooms, and enoki mushrooms – but you can certainly experiment with the varieties of mushrooms available. The assortment of wild mushrooms works just as beautifully in this warm salad. The idea is to use different mushrooms to create a satisfying texture.
Tips on Cooking Warm Mushroom Salad
To achieve a deep, flavorful sear, make sure your frying pan is hot enough before you add in the mushrooms. Depending on the type of mushrooms, you may want to add them in succession so the meatier ones get cooked first.
Keep the mushrooms spread out in a single layer without crowding the pan. Add in a pinch of salt to help draw out the moisture and then leave the mushrooms untouched until they achieve a rich brown color on the edges. And remember it’s always better to overcook mushrooms than undercook them.
Warm Mushroom Salad Pair with Sesame Dressing
Once the mushrooms become slippery-crisp and hot, toss them with the classic Japanese sesame dressing, then add in fresh peppery mizuna (or any leafy vegetables like shungiku/chrysanthemum leaf, watercress, or arugula) and let the mixture soak up all the flavor. The result is a savory, nutty and tangy salad and a versatile side to go with everything.
Serve this Warm Mushroom Salad with Sesame Dressing alongside steamed rice, teriyaki salmon (or agedashi tofu for vegetarian) and miso soup, you have an everyday meal that is hearty and totally satisfying.
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Warm Mushroom Salad with Sesame Dressing
- 9.5 oz king oyster mushrooms (eringi) (1 package)
- 5 shiitake mushrooms
- 7 oz enoki mushrooms (1 package)
- 3.5 oz shimeji mushrooms (1 package)
- 1 bunch mizuna (Japanese mustard green) (or any soft leafy greens)
- 1 ½ Tbsp neutral-flavored oil (vegetable, rice bran, canola, etc)
- ½ tsp kosher/sea salt (I use Diamond Crystal; use half for table salt)
- 1 Tbsp sake
- 1 tsp sesame oil (roasted)
- Gather all the ingredients.
To make the dressing:
- Toast sesame seeds in a frying pan (without oil) until fragrant, about 3-5 minutes. Swirl and shake the pan once in a while for even toasting. Transfer the toasted sesame seeds into your Japanese mortar and pestle. Grind the sesame seeds about half way (This adds texture to the dressing). If you don’t have a Japanese mortar and pestle, you can use a food processor or grind between your palms.
- Combine the rice vinegar, mirin, sugar, and soy sauce, then mix in the toasted sesame seeds.
To cut the ingredients:
- Remove the end of king oyster mushrooms and cut in half, about 2 inch (5 cm) long. Then cut it into slices.
- Discard the stems from the shiitake mushrooms and cut into thin slices.
- Cut off the bases of the enoki mushrooms, then separate with fingers.
- Cut the base of shimeji mushrooms and separate with hands.
- Discard the end of mizuna and cut the mizuna into pieces 2 inches (5 cm) long.
To cook the ingredients:
- Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add all the mushrooms.
- Sautee the mushrooms and add the kosher salt. Then add the sake and cook covered for 2 min over medium-low heat.
- Add the sesame dressing and toss to coat. Drizzle sesame oil and mix all together.
- Right before turning off the heat, add the mizuna and quickly toss all together. Remaining heat will continue to cook, so don’t worry about mizuna being still raw. Transfer to a serving dish and serve hot.
- You can keep the leftovers in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days and in the freezer for 2 weeks.