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45 mins

SERVES: 4 | PAIRING: French Riesling

This recipe is based on one of my favorite summertime dishes: Vietnamese bun or noodle salad. Traditionally room-temperature rice noodles are served with both hot and cold garnishes and sauced with what I consider the “salsa” of Vietnamese cuisine: nuoc cham or spicy lime and fish sauce. Shiitakes are my favorite cultivated mushroom, and they really take a starring role in this dish. They are bursting with flavor, especially when you add ingredients that support their savory nature—ingredients with natural glutamates such as soy sauce and tomato. This healthful and light dish is an excellent example of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts. The mushrooms can be made the day before and reheated. The dressing can be made several days ahead. If you end up frying the shallots for the bonus garnish (and I highly recommend it), they can be fried earlier in the day and left at room temperature.

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© 2023 Becky Selengut / Andrews McMeel Publishing · Reproduced with permission. · From Shroom: Mind-bendingly Good Recipes for Cultivated and Wild Mushrooms by Becky Selengut, Andrews McMeel Publishing, LLC 2014. Photography by Clare Barboza.
  • Step 1

    Place a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the broiler to high.

  • Step 2

    Bring a medium pot of water to a full rolling boil. Add the salt and then the noodles, turn off the heat, stir well, and let sit in the water for 8 to 12 minutes. Stir from time to time. Check for doneness at about 8 minutes. You want the noodles to be al dente (soft but just slightly firm in the middle). As soon as they are done, drain them through a colander and run cold water over them to stop the cooking. Set aside at room temperature.

  • Step 3

    In a small bowl, whisk together all of the ingredients for the shiitake seasoning. Add the
    mushrooms and, with your hands, mix the seasoning onto the shiitakes. Brush a little melted coconut oil onto a parchment paper–lined baking pan and add the shiitakes, gills down. Broil for 5 to 6 minutes on one side, until browned, then flip over and broil on the other side for 3 to 4 minutes. Alternatively, grill over a medium-hot fire until caramelized on both sides.

  • Step 4

    To make the garnish, heat the oil in a small saucepan to 350°F. Add the shallots and fry until lightly browned. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Sprinkle the salt over the top of the shallots and reserve at room temperature until ready to serve.

  • Step 5

    To serve, rewarm the mushrooms either in a hot oven or in a skillet, if necessary. Place an equal amount of lettuce at the bottom of 4 bowls. Top with the noodles, carrot, cucumber, cabbage, peanuts, basil, mint, fried shallots, and warm mushrooms. Serve the nuoc cham sauce at the table. Instruct your guests to apply liberally.

  • Step 6

    Nuoc Cham Sauce

    Whisk the water, lime juice, fish sauce, sugar, chiles, garlic, and carrot, if using, together in a bowl. Make sure the sugar gets dissolved. This sauce will keep in your fridge for 1 week.

  • Step 7

    PORCINI POWDER: Break high-quality dried porcini (avoid buying really dark, dusty, broken, or worm-eaten pieces) into small pieces and buzz to a fine powder in an electric spice grinder. Store in a plastic freezer bag or glass jar in the freezer for up to 6 months. There are several ways to use this powder. You can mix it with hot water and then cook it into a soup or stew, or use it along with salt and pepper as a crust for beef or fish, or add it to boost the earthiness in a vegetarian dish. See www.shroomthecookbook.com for a video demonstration of how to make porcini powder. Please note that the porcini powder you make will be uncooked. You will want to cook this powder, by simmering it into the soup or stew, by searing the meat in the pan, and so forth. Keep in mind that you can’t really remove the gritty sediment from porcini when you are making porcini powder (as you would when rehydrating). Make sure you choose clean-looking high-quality dried porcini and grind to a very fine powder. Do that, and you shouldn’t have any grit problems.

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