This summer, when the corn was plentiful and cheap, I bought many, many, many ears of it, cooked it up, cut it off the cob and froze it. Now, as we move into the fall season (also known as the Second Spring here in southern California) I am enjoying many corn salads. This one was inspired by a desire to use some shiitake mushrooms.
Until recently, shiitakes were not a part of my repertoire; I would buy them and not know what to do with them. But since working at Co-opportunity where we have an abundance of fresh mushrooms and customers who buy them by the bucketful, I started asking said customers what they did with them. Most answered that they simply fried them up or added them to stir fry. Apparently, shiitakes are high in protein, many of the B vitamins and have immune boosting properties.
I decided to follow one customer’s advice and sauteed some in sesame oil and then added them to a salad. What a delight! Unlike button (white) or cremini mushrooms, shitakes release very little moisture and retain their meaty texture. But their flavor is so unique that it gave a new oomf to what would have been an ordinary cabbage, cilantro and corn salad.
I’m already dreaming up new ways of using them, such as a creamy mushroom soup or casserole, or breaded and pan fried are definitely ideas that come to mind.
Asian Corn and Shitake Mushroom Salad
2 tablespoons sesame oil
3 large shitake mushrooms, cut in slivers
1 1/2 cups corn, cooked, chilled
1 cup red cabbage, shredded
1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
2 tablespoons red onions, minced
1 lemon or lime, juiced
Heat sesame oil over medium heat for a minute and then add mushrooms. Saute for 5 minutes until they begin to soften. Turn off heat and prepare rest of salad. Add mushrooms to salad, pouring oil over salad and adding more as needed. Add lime (or lemon juice) and salt and pepper.
Recipes currently inspiring me: