Japan finds inspiration outside its borders and we find inspiration in things Japanese.
A case in point is Mountain Yam Shitake recipe from Salsas of the World (Gibbs Smith, October 2011) by Mark Miller with Robert Quintana.
I previously shared its Muhammara Recipe from Syria...
Mountain Yam Shitake / Japan
Delectable sweet potatoes are grown throughout Japan, and you see them especially in the fall during the street food festivals and temple celebrations, where sometimes there are more than 300 different food vendors in Kyoto. Even into late spring, during the cherry blossom festival viewing, there are trucks that come in from the countryside selling wonderful sweet roasted yams that are cooked in special wood and charcoal ovens fitted onto the backs of the trucks. Another famous street yam preparation is to cut them in thick wedges, making sweet potato fries that are then dusted with sugar and seven spice or Shichimi. The shitake mushrooms in this recipe are dark and earthywoody against the sweet orange color of the yamsand the sansho or Japanese pepper gives it a mild peppery flavor. Be careful of the sesame oil that you use fresh sesame oil. Use just enough to suggest some richness, but do not overpower the mushroom and yams.
2 cups diced sweet potato
1 tablespoon canola oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sansho chile powder
1/2 teaspoon Shichimi (Seven Spice Powder)
1 teaspoon sesame oil
4 cups diced shitake mushrooms
1 clove garlic, sliced
2 tablespoons canola oil
4 teaspoons organic soy sauce
1 tablespoon mirin
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon lime juice
1/2 teaspoon ground dashi
1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Peel and cube the sweet potato in 1/4-inch pieces. Place in a mixing bowl. Add the canola oil, salt, sansho chile powder, Shichimi, and sesame oil. Spread out in a single layer on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Use a spatula to get all the spices out of the bowl. Bake for 25 minutes. Let cool.
Prepare the shitakes by removing the woody stems and cubing mushrooms in 1/4-inch dice; reserve. In a nonstick sauté pan, place the garlic and oil and slowly start to cook the garlic over medium-low heat. When the garlic has browned, add the shitakes and cook for 4 minutes over medium heat. Add the soy, mirin, and water. Cook until the liquid has evaporated; remove from heat and cool. When cool add the limejuice. Mix in the baked sweet potatoes, dashi, and sesame seeds.
Yield 2 cups.
Heat level: 1 2 3 4