Notes: Shimeji mushrooms are available at larger Asian supermarkets. You have the best chances of finding them at a store specializing in Japanese or Korean food products. But if you can't find shimeji mushrooms, oyster mushrooms would be the next best thing.
Toasted rice powder can be purchased from a Asian grocery store or prepared at home. All you have to do is toasting some raw long grain rice in a dry skillet over low heat, stirring constantly, until the rice kernels are turning light brown. Then you remove the pan from heat, let the rice cool completely, and grind it in a mortar or a coffee grinder.
Lastly, if you can't find culantro, use cilantro.
- 8 ounces white or brown shimeji mushrooms, trimmed and separated into individuals (see note)
- 2 medium shallots, peeled and thinly sliced lengthwise (about 2/3 cup)
- 1 to 2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce
- 2 tablespoons fresh juice from 2 limes (more to taste)
- Dried red pepper flakes or powder, to taste
- 1 tablespoon of toasted rice powder (see note)
- 1/3 cup finely-chopped culantro (sawtooth coriander) leaves (see note)
Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil over high heat. Working in batches if necessary, place mushrooms in a fine mesh strainer and lower into boiling water for 15 seconds. Lift, shake of excess moisture, and transfer to a large mixing bowl. Repeat until all mushrooms are blanched.
Add shallots, 1 tablespoon fish sauce, and 1 tablespoon lime juice. Taste to see if more fish sauce and/or lime juice is needed. Salad should be predominantly sour. Add red pepper to taste. Add toasted rice powder and chopped culantro. Serve immediately.