2000s Recipes + Menus

Kohlrabi Slivers and Pea Shoots with Sesame Dressing

  • Active time:20 min
  • Start to finish:20 min
May 2008
Food editor Maggie Ruggiero became enamored of a sesame-dressed salad at Donguri, a Japanese home-cooking restaurant in New York City. This is her take on it. Because the sesame seeds are unhulled, they have a richness that flatters the freshness of spring vegetables—here, cool kohlrabi and sweet pea shoots.
  • 2 oz snow-pea shoots, halved (2 cups)
  • 3/4 lb trimmed kohlrabi bulbs
  • 1/3 cup Japanese-style sesame seeds (not hulled), toasted
  • 3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons mirin (Japanese sweet rice wine)
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • Equipment:

    an adjustable-blade slicer (fitted with julienne blade) or a julienne peeler; a suribachi (Japanese sesame-seed-grinding bowl) or an electric coffee/spice grinder
  • Bring 2 quarts water to a boil with 2 teaspoons salt, then quickly blanch pea shoots until color brightens, about 10 seconds. Drain immediately and transfer to a bowl of cold water to stop cooking. Drain and pat dry.
  • Peel kohlrabi bulbs with a small sharp knife, then cut into matchsticks with slicer. Toss together with shoots in a serving dish.
  • Finely grind sesame seeds in suribachi or grinder, then transfer to a bowl and stir in remaining ingredients. (Dressing will be thick; thin slightly with additional water if desired.)
  • Serve salad drizzled with some of dressing and serve remainder on the side.
Cooks’ note: Salad and dressing can be made 1 day ahead and chilled separately, covered. If dressing is too thick to drizzle, thin with 1 teaspoon water.
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