Cucumber,dandelion and barley salad w/ Ume shiso dressing

June 11, 2010
0 Ratings
  • Serves 6
Author Notes

This recipe came to me when i was trying to figure out a hearty salad dish to cater for both vegetarians and nonvegetarians. I love Shiso, which is a japanese herb, people call it 'japanese basil', even though i think it tastes and smells completely different.Growing up, I was fortunate to have shiso leaves growing wild in our yard. It will always remind of summer. Ume is japanese salted/preserved plum that is amazingly tart and makes your mouth water. i was at whole foods a few months ago and saw dandelion leaves which i hadn't eaten since i was a little kid. I bought it and threw it into the mix and ended up loving the combination. This salad dish is perfect for a summer day. I suggest pairing it with grilled shrimp to make this meal complete! —Lei

What You'll Need
  • 'for the salad'- english cucumbers, dandelion leaves, daikon radish, pearl barley, grape tomatoes
  • 2 english cucumbers
  • 1 Daikon radish
  • 1 bunch Dandelion leaves
  • 1 cup pearl barley (uncooked)
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes
  • 'for the dressing'
  • 3 tablespoons mirin (japanese cooking wine)
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar (unsweetened)
  • 2 teaspoons umeboshi plum vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 bunch shiso leaves
  • 3 tablespoons umeboshi plum paste
  1. in a pot, pour 3 cups of water and 1 cup of barley. bring to a boil. reduce heat to low, cover and cook for about 45 minutes.
  2. cut the cucumbers in cubes and add into a big bowl.
  3. peel the skin of the daikon radish and cut into cubes. add into the bowl with cucumbers
  4. cut the grape tomatoes in halves and add to the bowl with cucumbers and daikon.
  5. cut the stems off the dandelion leaves and roughly chop the leaves into smaller pieces. add into the bowl with the rest of the vegetables
  6. after the barley is cooked, wait about 15 minutes to cool, then add the barley to the bowl of vegetables
  7. take the shiso leaves and roughly chop them. set aside in a separate bowl.
  8. add all the 'dressing ingredients' into the bowl with the shiso leaves. use a hand blender to blend all the ingredients (if you dont own a hand blender, a regular blender is also fine to use).
  9. pour the dressing over the salad and toss to make sure the salad is coated all around. plate and serve!
Contest Entries

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Lei
  • SallyCan
  • AntoniaJames

9 Reviews

Lei August 6, 2010
Hi Sally!
I'm so happy to hear that you used my recipe at a party and even better, that you enjoyed it. I'm sure the method you used to make your version of plum vinegar is fine. The tomatoes may have been a little extra, you're right. i just love tomatoes so much I always want to include them into my dishes! hahaha.
During the past month. I've been working on some more Shiso dressing and sauces. I will be glad to share them with you anytime!
AntoniaJames August 6, 2010
I do hope you'll post the recipes for the other shiso dressings and sauces. After months of having the hardest time finding shiso leaves, I actually found a plant today at a market in Chinatown (Oakland, CA). It's a purplish one. I'm thrilled. Looking forward to giving this recipe a go, as several farmers' market vendors have had dandelion greens in recent weeks. ;o)
SallyCan August 13, 2010
Yes, Lei, do post your shiso dressings and sauces recipes! Word to the wise, Antonia, you might want to keep your shiso plant in a big pot, as it can grow like crazy, and get out of control in the garden!
SallyCan July 30, 2010
Hi Lei, I made your recipe for the food52 DC area canning party earlier this month, and really enjoyed it. I used the purple shiso in the dressing, which became an outrageous pink color, like beets! I could only find umebeshi plums, not the vinegar or paste, so I soaked some in sempeio vinegar and smashed the others... I hope that was similar to the vinegar and paste. I'm not sure it needs the tomatoes, it would be fine without them.I think that I chopped the vegetables too large, though, next time I'll dice them. I was worried that the dandelion would be too strong, but it worked well. Thanks for all of the shiso tips!
Lei June 27, 2010
all sorts of things! it's such a great herb to play with. I just recently made a cold soba noodle salad and used shiso leaves in it and made a sesame yuzu dressing. I also like to marinade shiso leaves in soy sauce, pepper and sesame oil and have it with rice. they go well with spicy tuna maki too. i'm going to try and fry it up in tempura batter and see how it turns out. If you treat shiso leaves like any other herbs, you can come up with so many dishes!
SallyCan June 28, 2010
The marinated leaves sound interesting, and good. What's Sesame yuzu dressing?
SallyCan June 24, 2010
This recipe looks very good, and different, to me, and I can't wait to try it. Is there a difference in the flavor of purple and green shiso? I have a purple variety that my neighbor's mother gave to me; would it be ok to use it in the dressing?
Lei June 25, 2010
Hi Sally,

I'm happy to hear that you want to try out this salad! To answer your question regarding green and purple shiso, it would be fine to use the purple shiso leaves. I would suggest that you may scale back just a little on the leaves...or not. it depends on your taste. Purple shiso will generally be a little more flavor and scent packed than green shiso leaves. it will give off a pretty color though!
Purple shiso will have a stronger taste than green shiso.
Have fun making the salad and let me know how it turns out!
SallyCan June 25, 2010
Thanks, Lei, I will! What else do you do with shiso?