Roasted Shiitake and Orange Salad with Citrus Ponzu Sauce and Almonds
Tart and tangy Ponzu Sauce, roasted shiitake mushrooms, fresh orange slices, celery, almonds, and baby greens come together to create a brightly flavorful and hearty salad that’s just as satisfying served on the side or as the main course.
What is Ponzu?
Ponzu is a thin, citrusy Japanese sauce generally made by simmering dried kombu (dried seaweed) and dried fish flakes (better than they sound) in soy sauce, citrus juice and vinegar. It’s both salty and sour, kinda like a Japanese vinaigrette, and positively delicious with roasted shiitake mushrooms and fresh oranges.
If you’ve never made Ponzu, it’s super simple, requiring only a few minutes of hands-on time. But, there are a couple of ingredients that you may not be familiar with, especially if you don’t do a lot of Japanese cooking.
Kombu is a kind of dried seaweed usually used to give a flavor boost to broth. One of the cool things about kombu is that it makes a lot of foods – especially beans – more digestible. While this mushroom and citrus salad doesn’t contain any beans, or anything particularly difficult to digest, it’s a handy thing to have hanging around in your pantry, ready to throw into dishes that do.
For example, tossing a piece of dried kombu into White Bean and Kale Soup while it simmers will not only boost the flavor of the broth, it will also make all those beans easier to digest.
Bonito flakes are nothing more than dried, fermented, smoked, fish flakes generally used to build the flavor in Japanese soups and sauces. I read somewhere that bonito flakes are a “gift from the umami gods”, which I love because they really do add tremendous depth of flavor to sauces like Ponzu.
But… not going to lie. Bonito flakes smell like pet food. If you’ve never used them before, do not be put off by this fact. Toss a handful into your ponzu with the confidence that they will add a lovely smoky flavor to the sauce.
Would you like that salad served with chicken?
This salad is hearty enough to hold its own, but a slice of roast chicken turns what some might consider a side-salad into a meal. Simple Roast Chicken is a staple in my house because it takes about 5 minutes of prep work before roasting and turns out gorgeous every time. That’s what you see added here. But, a rotisserie chicken picked up at your local market will also work perfectly well.
More Salad Recipes You Might Like:
- Steak Salad Wraps
- Southwest Quinoa Salad
- Chili Glazed Chicken Salad with Roasted Vegetables
- Chicken Salad Niçoise
Used in this Recipe:
Tart and tangy Ponzu Sauce, roasted shiitake mushrooms, fresh orange slices, celery, almonds and baby greens come together to create a brightly flavorful and hearty salad that’s just as satisfying served on the side or as the main course.
For the Citrus Ponzu:
- One 6-inch piece dried kombu
- 1 cup soy sauce
- 3/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1/2 cup dried bonito flakes
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar
- 2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
For the Roasted Shiitake Salad with Oranges and Almonds:
- 15 ounces shiitake mushrooms
- 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt and ground black pepper
- 4 or 5 oranges, peeled and cut into wedges
- 1 cup celery, cut into 1/8-inch slices
- About 6 cups baby greens
- 1 cup roasted, salted almonds
Make the Citrus Ponzu:
- Tear the kombu into two pieces and put them into a medium size nonreactive saucepan. Pour the soy sauce, orange juice, and lime juice over the kombu. Set the pan over medium heat and bring to a simmer.
- Remove the pan from the heat and add the bonito flakes and rice vinegar. Let the ponzu sit at room temperature for 3 hours (up to 8 hours).
- Pour the ponzu through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl. Discard the kombu and bonito flakes. Whisk in the sesame oil. Store ponzu sauce in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.
Make the Salad:
- Heat the oven to 450 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment or aluminum foil.
- Wipe the mushrooms clean with a damp paper towel (do not rinse under running water). Slice into 1/4-inch pieces. Toss the mushrooms with olive oil and spread them out into an even layer on the baking sheet. Sprinkle with a generous amount of salt and pepper.
- Roast the mushrooms for 15-20 minutes, until they are a rich golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool.
- To assemble the salad: Put the baby greens in a bowl or divide among individual plates. Scatter the celery, roasted mushrooms, and orange pieces over the greens. Drizzle with ponzu sauce and top with almonds.
- Easily turn this salad into a hearty main dish by adding a few slices of Simple Roast Chicken.