Smoked Lentil Salad with Sriracha Miso Mayonnaise

October  4, 2022
4 Ratings
Photo by Karen Mordechai
  • Serves 6
Author Notes

Mayonnaise is so rich it cuts the heat of the Sriracha sauce and mellows the saltiness of the miso paste without overwhelming either; smoking lentils with wood chips adds an unexpected dimension to this unusual salad. —NBrush

Test Kitchen Notes

WHO: NBrush is a FOOD52er with recipes inspired by international flavors.
WHAT: A rich salad packed with flavor: mesquite smokiness, spiciness, and the sweet funk of miso.
HOW: A simple lentil saute is elevated to new heights from a brief stint smoking (!) in the grill with wood chips before a sriracha-miso mayonnaise brings everything together.
WHY WE LOVE IT: The best salads transcend their ingredients to develop flavors you'd never guess their components could take on. We look forward to packing this in our lunches for weeks to come. —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 1/2 pound green lentils, rinsed
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 1 cup yellow onion,medium diced
  • 3 celery stalks, medium diced
  • 3 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 11/2 cup low sodium vegatble broth
  • 1/2 cup mesquite or hickory chips
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha sauce
  • 1/4 cup white miso paste
  • 1 cup cucumber, diced small
  • 1 cup fresh tomatoes, diced small
  • 1/2 cup sweet onions dieced small
  • a few grinds black pepper
  1. In a large heat-proof bowl mix the lentils, cumin, onion and garlic powders then add enough boiling water to cover then soak, covered for 20 minutes.
  2. In a large Dutch oven, heat the olive oil on medium high heat. When the oil begins to shimmer, lower the heat to medium, add the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds. Add the onion, celery and kosher salt, cover and cook for 3-5 minutes until the onions are translucent, stirring occasionally. Stir in the carrots and the drained lentils. Add the vegetable broth, adjust the heat to high and bring to a boil. When it comes to a boil, immediately reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered for 15- 20 minutes until the lentils are just tender. Spread the lentils evenly on two rimmed baking sheets and leave at room temperature.
  3. Meanwhile, soak the wood chips in a small bowl with enough water to cover for 20 minutes.
  4. Adjust the heat on a grill to medium high. Drain and wrap the wood chips in a pouch made out of aluminum foil. Pierce the pouch several times, place near the grill’s heating element (or according to grill directions) and close the grill. After 10 minutes, place one tray of lentils in the grill, close and smoke for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the smoke subside for 5 minutes. The lentils will turn a little red. Reserve the other tray of lentils unsmoked.
  5. Finish the mayonnaise while the lentils are smoking. In a small bowl thoroughly mix the Sriracha sauce and miso paste with the mayonnaise, cover and refrigerate.
  6. Allow the lentils to cool to room temperature on a wire rack. Transfer both trays to a large mixing bowl and gently fold half of the mayo. Refrigerate, covered until well chilled about 2-4 hours.
  7. Add the cucumbers, tomatoes and onions to the lentils and combine. Fold the rest of the Sriracha Miso Mayonnaise into the bowl, mix and refrigerate until chilled. Top with a few grinds of ground pepper and serve.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Raquel Grinnell
    Raquel Grinnell
  • OmniumGatherum
  • Butterfield Beef & Berry Farm
    Butterfield Beef & Berry Farm
  • gr8chefmb
  • dana_tomlin

22 Reviews

RedRibbons24! April 12, 2021
If you aren’t able to smoke lentils has anyone ever tried w just regular lentils?
macfly18 November 7, 2015
Should have also mentioned that this was delicious!
macfly18 November 7, 2015
I smoked these on the stove top. I put the soaked wood chips at the bottom of a large cast iron dutch oven and turned up the heat. Once they started smoking, I added the lentils in a colander and covered the pot again. Worked like a charm. Didn't need the tin foil as in the video mentioned below - there was plenty of smokiness that any bits that escaped didn't matter. AND I was pleasantly surprised that it didn't set the smoke detector off. House wasn't smoky at all.
Raquel G. May 6, 2014
Omnium, yes you can:
OmniumGatherum May 6, 2014
I live in a small apartment in NYC without outdoor space. Is there a way to smoke the lentils without using a grill ?
Butterfield B. May 5, 2014
love this idea and will report back!
Butterfield B. May 5, 2014
am intimidated by the smoking step, do you think it would work if I just put a T of adobo sauce to give it the smokey flavor?
NBrush May 5, 2014
Thank you for asking. The adobo sauce will contribute smokiness; however, it will also make it spicier. Perhaps the next time you use your grill, you could put the cooked lentils in an aluminum pouch, poke a few holes in it and plop it on the grill alongside the protein.
ntt2 April 7, 2013
I made this today and it was fabulous - deeply rich and flavorful, but bright spicy as well!
Count M. August 14, 2012
I tried this with two changes: First, I substituted plain yogurt for the mayo (it's just me: I hate mayonnaise). I also skipped the lentil-smoking step and just added 1/2 tsp liquid smoke. It saved my husband some dish-washing. I loved the blend of flavors! We had it for dinner tonight.
pointfndr August 8, 2012
Good Luck!
gr8chefmb August 5, 2012
What a cool idea! I wish I had thought of this first...LOLOL! Can't wait to try this recipe. BTW, for those who don't wish to or aren't able to, check popular kitchen supply stores for indoor smoking apparatus. :-)
dana_tomlin August 5, 2012
I tested this recipe for the contest -lots of fun. These are my testing notes:
this fresh salad is a great balance of flavors. The smokiness of the lentils mixed with the heat of the sriracha, tang of the mayo, and the salt of the miso really works! I like all of the ingredients (which is why i picked it to test). Mixing them together seemed perfect. Plus, smoking the lentils was a new & fun technique. The smokiness is not overbearing, as you only smoke half of the batch. I think this is one of those dishes that would be a conversation starter. Heating up the grill to smoke the lentils felt a little wasteful so i would pair this salad with grilled chicken or make a smoker inside.
my 2cents :)
Bertie B. August 4, 2012
Great going Nan. Bud43.
NBrush August 2, 2012
Thank you so much everyone for your support, and please let me know what you think.
gingerroot August 2, 2012
Congrats on being a finalist with this delicious salad! I can't wait to try it.
savorthis August 2, 2012
Congrats on being a finalist! This recipe had really caught my eye as lentils are one of my very favorite things. I love that both are recipes have smokey flavors :)
gingerroot July 19, 2012
I knew mayo and sriracha were a great pair, but to add miso and smoked lentils? YUM! This sounds fantastic.
NBrush July 26, 2012
Thank you Gingerroot, I'm so happy that you like the combination.
NBrush July 26, 2012
Thank you gingerroot, I'm sorry for the delay in responding--I must have turned off the button.
aargersi July 16, 2012
Wow I would never have thought to smoke lentils but it sounds great!!!
NBrush July 26, 2012
Your vinaigrette was my inspiration for this combination.