Unlike most salads, Cabbage and Shimeji Mushrooms Ohitashi Salad is served in a lightly flavoured broth made with dashi stock, mirin, and soy sauce. As mentioned in my post Spinach Ohitashi Salad, there are two kinds of ohitashi – one with a broth and the other without a broth.
Today’s recipe is the former and Spinach Ohitashi Salad is the latter. In the case of ohitashi without a broth, you usually pour soy sauce over it to eat. I like both of them, but I think that the ohitashi with a broth is more elegant than the other.
It is quite easy to make. The vegetables are blanched or lightly boiled, then soaked in a broth. I used cabbage and shimeji mushrooms today, but you can use other vegetables such as spinach leaves, Asian greens, and even capsicums. Depending on the vegetables, you may vary the flavour of the broth or add extra garnish to complement the key ingredients.
What’s in My Cabbage and Shimeji Mushrooms Ohitashi Salad
You will be surprised to see how simple and basic the ingredients are.
- Cabbage cut into large bite-size pieces
- Shimeji mushrooms, separated into single or a couple of small mushrooms
- Salt to blanch cabbage
I used shimeji mushrooms because it gives a good colour contrast, and you can use a whole mushroom without slicing it. But instead of shimeji mushrooms, you can use sliced shiitake mushrooms or other Asian mushrooms such as enoki mushrooms, pearl mushrooms, or oyster mushrooms.
- Dashi stock
- Usukuchi shōyu (Japanese light soy sauce)
Light soy sauce makes the colour of the broth lighter than using normal Japanese soy sauce. You can visit the section ‘SHŌYU (醤油) SOY SAUCE’ in my post Pantry Essentials – Part 1, which talks more about different types of Japanese soy sauce.
If you only have normal Japanese soy sauce, you can use a reduced amount of soy sauce with salt as a substitute. 1 tablespoon of light sauce can be substituted with ½ tablespoon of normal soy sauce + ¼ teaspoon salt.
This is not widely known to people, but light soy sauce is saltier than normal soy sauce. The ratio of salt contained in light soy sauce is about 18%, while normal soy sauce contains 16%. So, you need to adjust the amount of salt to equal the saltiness of the light soy sauce when substituting light soy sauce with normal soy sauce. The formula below is good to remember.
1 TBSP light soy = ½ TBSP normal soy + ¼ TSP salt
Substitution with the normal soy sauce makes less quantity than the quantity with the light soy sauce. If the volume has to be the same, you can add water.
How to Make Cabbage and Shimeji Mushrooms Ohitashi Salad
You will need to leave the vegetables in the broth for at least 1 hour. But other than that, it doesn’t take long to make.
- Put all the Broth ingredients in a pot, bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and let it cool.
- Blanch shimeji mushrooms and drain through a sieve.
- Blanch cabbage pieces with salt, then transfer the cabbage to a bowl filled with ice water.
- Squeeze water out of the cabbage and put it in an airtight container together with shimeji mushrooms.
- Pour the broth over, cover the surface with cling wrap, and leave for at least 1 hour before serving.
If you will be serving the dish immediately after 1 hour of soaking, you can put the cabbages and mushrooms into the pot with the broth. Then, you don’t need to use an airtight container.
When soaking the vegetables in the broth, you can cluster the cabbage and the shimeji mushrooms separately so that you can serve them like in the photo below.
Cabbage and Shimeji Mushrooms Ohitashi Salad is a quick side dish or salad you can make when you feel like one more dish needs to be added.
The flavour of this salad is so gentle that you won’t get sick of eating it again and again. You can keep Cabbage and Shimeji Mushrooms Ohitashi Salad for 2-3 days in the fridge. You can still eat it after 3 days, but the flavour becomes bitter, and the broth discolours.
Cabbage and Shimeji Mushrooms Ohitashi Salad is an elegant dish served in a lightly flavoured broth, that is made with dashi stock, mirin, and soy sauce. It keeps 2-3 days in the fridge.
If you are a vegetarian, use vegetarian dashi stock such as konbu dash.
Don't forget to see the section 'MEAL IDEAS' below the recipe card! It gives you a list of dishes that I have already posted and this recipe that can make up a complete meal. I hope it is of help to you.
- 100g/3.5oz shimeji mushrooms (note 1)
- 200g/7.1oz cabbage
- 5g/0.2oz salt (=1¼ tsp, note 2)
Put all the broth ingredients into a pot and bring it to a boil. Let it cool.
Remove or trim thick vein from the core-end of the cabbage leaves. Cut each leaf into 4cm wide strips, then cut them into 3-4cm/1⅛-1½" wide pieces perpendicular to the first cut. You can cut them slightly diagonally as well.
Trim off the base of the cluster of the shimeji mushrooms and separate each mushroom stem. If mushrooms are tiny, keep a couple of mushrooms together.
Blanch mushrooms in a boiling water for 1 minute. Drain through a sieve.
Put 500ml/1.1pt of water and salt (in the ingredients list) in the used pot and bring it to a boil.
Put cabbage pieces into the pot and blanch for 30-60 seconds (note 3).
Transfer the cabbage pieces to ice water in a large bowl to quickly cool them down.
Take a handful of the cabbage pieces at a time, squeeze water out of the cabbage and put them in an airtight container (note 4).
Put the mushrooms into the container and pour the broth over them.
Seal the surface of the Ohitashi Salad with a piece of cling wrap with no air bubbles underneath the cling wrap. Place the lid on and leave for at least 1 hour to let the vegetables soak up the flavours.
Serve the vegetables with some broth in a serving bowl.
1. Instead of shimeji mushrooms, you can use shiitake mushrooms (sliced), enoki mushroom, pearl mushrooms, or oyster mushrooms as an alternative.
2. I used 5g/0.2oz salt for 500ml/1.1p of water to boil cabbage. To add the right amount of salty flavour to the cabbage, the boiling water needs to contain 1% salt.
3. Time to blanch depends on the thickness of the cabbage leaves. If you are using a soft spring cabbage or savoy cabbage, it will require only 30 seconds. The normal green cabbage will require longer.
4. If you are serving the dish immediately after 1 hour of soaking, put the vegetables into the broth in a pot, instead of using a new container.
5. Cabbage and Shimeji Mushrooms Ohitashi Salad keeps 2-3 days in the fridge.
6. Nutrition per serving. It is assumed that 1% of the salt is absorbed into the cabbage when blanched, and 20% of the broth is consumed.
serving: 189g calories: 52kcal fat: 0.5g (1%) saturated fat: 0.1g (1%) trans fat: 0.0g polyunsaturated fat: 0.2g monounsaturated fat: 0.1g cholesterol: 0.3mg (0%) sodium: 438mg (19%) carbohydrates: 9.4g (3%) dietary fibre: 3g (11%) sugar: 5.8g protein: 3.9g vitamin D: 0mcg (1%) calcium: 44mg (3%) iron: 0.8mg (4%) potassium: 392mg (8%)