Asparagus Salad with Carrots and Shiitake Mushrooms

Asparagus Salad with Carrots and Shiitake Mushrooms
Recipe type: Salads
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
With a Chinese-inspired dressing, this colorful dish is great as an appetizer or as a side dish.
  • 8 large dried shiitake mushrooms
  • Salt
  • ¾ lb. asparagus spears, peeled if over ¼ inch thick
  • 2 or 3 long, slim carrots (about ½ pound), peeled
  • 2 tsp. Soy sauce
  • 2 tsp. Hoisin sauce, or more to taste
  • 2 tsp. Rice vinegar, or more to taste
  • 2 to 5 tsp. Vegetable oil
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Few drops of hot sauce. optional
  • 1 to 2 tbsp. chopped green part of green onions, optional
  • ½ tsp. Asian sesame oil
  1. Place the mushrooms in a bowl. Cover them with hot water and let them soak until soft, about 30 minutes. Remove the mushrooms, rinse them and cut off the tough stems. Slice the mushroom caps.
  2. Meanwhile, bring a saucepan of salted water to a boil. Cut the asparagus on the bias in 3 or 4 pieces, discarding the tough white bases (about ½ inch from the end). Cut the carrots in diagonal pieces about the same length as the asparagus pieces.
  3. Add the asparagus to the boiling salted water; it should be covered generously. Boil until the pieces are barely tender, about 2 to 3 minutes; to check, lift a few on a slotted spoon and pierce them with a knife tip. Drain the asparagus, reserving the liquid. Rinse the asparagus with cold running water and drain well.
  4. Combine the asparagus cooking liquid, carrots, mushrooms, and a pinch of salt in the saucepan. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer until the carrots are just tender, about 5 minutes. Drain well. (This liquid can make a tasty stock!)
  5. For the dressing, whisk the soy sauce, 2 tsp. of Hoisin sauce, and 2 tsp. of vinegar in a small bowl until combined. Whisk in 2 tsp. of vegetable oil and a little salt, pepper, and hot sauce.
  6. Heat 2 to 3 tsp. of vegetable oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the mushrooms, asparagus, and carrots and a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook until hot, about 30 seconds. Add the dressing and heat for a few seconds, shaking the pan. Turn off the heat, add the green onion and sesame oil and toss to combine. Taste and adjust the amounts of salt, pepper, hoisin sauce and vinegar.
You can also serve dish cold as a side salad. To serve cold, toss the dressing with the carrots and mushrooms. Just before serving, add the asparagus, green onions, and sesame oil.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 121 Fat: 3g Saturated fat: 0g Unsaturated fat: 1g Carbohydrates: 18g Sodium: 321mg Fiber: 11g Protein: 6g