Colorful Asian slaw is enhanced with spicy marinated shiitake mushrooms and a dressing/marinade that is bright and zippy. No soy or fish sauce here. Rather, sesame, fresh aromatics and herbs, two acids and dry spices create a punchy mix with some kick.

serving of spicy asian slaw with marinated shiitakes.

My Spicy Sesame Marinated Beech Mushrooms taste great on their own, thanks to the yummy marinade that incorporates fresh ginger and herbs as well as all the usual Asian ingredients, sans soy or fish sauce. The mushrooms become so juicy and flavorful, that I thought it a natural progression to incorporate them into a salad, and an Asian slaw salad would hold up well with the marinade, so here it is!.

Why this recipe works

  • A quick saute in a bit of oil to cook the shiitake mushrooms makes them incredibly tasty and chewy without being spongy. The marinade therefore does not need to include much oil, and the sauteed mushrooms absorb the marinade well.
  • The marinade is full of fresh ingredients like fresh basil and cilantro, minced ginger root and garlic. Multiple dry spices bring a familiar, slightly sweet, spicy Asian flavor, and sesame oil as well as sesame seeds add so much flavor.
  • The marinade is so delicious and fresh it is a nice change from typical marinated mushroom dressings.
  • Mixing the marinated shiitakes with classic asian slaw ingredients creates a more substantial and interesting dish.
shiitake mushrooms

Above: The stems of the shiitakes are trimmed off. They are edible, but are incredibly fibrous.

Ingredient notes

  • Shiitake mushrooms are thinly sliced and sautéed which makes for a less spongy, and nicely textured marinated mushroom.
  • Cabbage and green onions make a flavorful and crunchy base for the slaw.
  • Asian spices– the recipe includes a specific mix of dry spices I’ve concocted to lend familiar, easy to take Asian flavors. You can mix a batch of my Homemade Asian Spice Blend , so you have it on hand for stir fries and other dishes, such as my Tempeh Tahini Noodles, my Bulgogi-Style Tofu and Mushrooms, or my Mongolian Shaved Beef and noodles recipe, or my Marinated Beech Mushrooms!
  • Marinade- since the mushrooms are sautéed in oil first, there is very little oil in the marinade. It isn’t needed, other than the small amount of toasted sesame oil for flavor.
  • See additional ingredient notes at the bottom of the recipe card.

Step-by-step instructions

The first step is to dust off any dirt particles from your mushrooms, and trim the stems off. Then cut the shiitake caps into 1/8-1/4″ slices.

Heat a skillet over medium heat with 3 teaspoons of a neutral oil, and add the mushrooms, turning here and there to fully saute and slightly brown them for about five minutes, then remove from heat and remove from pan.

sauteed shiitake mushrooms.

Next, it’s time to mix the marinade. Chop the fresh herbs, mince/grate the garlic and ginger and mix with the other marinade ingredients.

Above: at left are all the ingredients needed for the marinade, and at right is the marinade before the fresh chopped herbs are added. The fresh herbs are a key ingredient for the marinade so be sure to include them!

All that is left to do is to mix the sautéed beech mushrooms into the marinade, and let them marinate! They absorb the marinade quickly and you can eat them as soon as you want. They last for days in the fridge and only get better.

Above: While the mushrooms sit in the marinade, pull together the rest of the slaw ingredients as shown above right. Once everything is prepped, mix with your marinated mushrooms, toss, squeeze the lemon juice and sprinkle the sea salt, toss one more time and it’s complete!

close up of asian slaw.

Tips for making and serving this recipe

  • This is an easy recipe with a big impact. With it’s great spicy kick, sweet, savory flavors and the addition of marinated shiitakes, it’s not your average Asian slaw recipe.
  • Serving- this dish stands on its own and as such, I recommend serving it as an appetizer for guests (plated elegantly as in the feature photo), giving it a surprise appearance on your next antipasto platter, or mixing it in with your cold Asian noodle salad.
  • Cooking the mushrooms- I’ve read in several places that cooking the mushrooms is important to improve their digestibility and I rather like their flavor in the marinade after lightly sautéing.
  • Storing- the slaw will last several days in the marinade, or you can keep the marinated mushrooms separate until serving and they will last up to a week, marinating in the fridge and only getting tastier through the week.
a serving of asian slaw with the rest in a bowl in the background.
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serving of spicy asian slaw with marinated shiitakes.

Spicy Asian Slaw with Marinated Shiitakes

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Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time5 minutes
Make optional spice blend: 10 minutes
Servings4 appetizer/side


Slaw ingredients
  • 8 oz fresh shiitake mushrooms (16 large, sliced)
  • 1 tbsp neutral oil (i.e. avocado oil)
  • 4 cups green and/or purple cabbage (sliced)
  • 1 cup green onions (scallions, spring onions) (about 4 large, chopped)
Marinade ingredients (including spices listed below)
  • 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 4 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tsp Aleppo pepper chili flakes (sub red pepper flakes or 1/4 tsp cayenne)
  • 2 garlic clove grated/minced (med-large)
  • 1 fresh ginger grated/minced (1" long piece)
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro (chopped)
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil (chopped)
  • 1/2 lemon (juiced)
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
Asian spices- use below or (optional: make batch of my Homemade Asian Spice Blend)
  • 1/2 tbsp coconut sugar (see notes)
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 pinch ground white pepper
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds (white or black)
  • 1/2 tsp ground mushroom powder (optional) (see notes)


Make the marinated mushrooms
  • Trim the stems off of the shiitakes and wipe any dirt particles from them. Cut into 1/8-1/4"thick slices.
  • Heat the neutral oil on medium in saucepan, and sauté the mushrooms, just a couple minutes, tossing until lightly browned, remove from heat.
  • Mix all the marinade ingredients, including the dry spices, and whisk together.
  • Toss the mushrooms with the marinade and chill until ready to make the slaw.
Make the slaw
  • Slice the cabbage thinly. You can use any combination of green/purple cabbage.
  • Slice the green onions thinly then chop them similarly to the way you chop the fresh herbs.
  • Mix all the slaw ingredients together in serving bowl, add the marinated shiitakes and all of the marinade and toss all together.
  • Squeeze the 1/2 lemon over the slaw and sprinkle with the salt, and toss again. Taste and adjust if needed. Serve or cover and chill till serving.


  • Coconut Sugar: ok to use white sugar but light or dark brown sugar is too moist. Read the post about reasons to use this less common sugar.
  • Aleppo chili flakes: ok to use red chili flakes. Aleppo flakes are a bit more fruity and less hot. Also, double the amount if you like a good amount of heat.
  • Ground mushroom powder: I use dried shiitake. They are located with jarred garlic in the produce department at my grocery store. You can buy online as well. I filled the coffee grinder with about 4-5 to get 4+ tsps worth of powder. This ingredient is optional. It adds layers of flavor but is not crucial.

Nutrition (an estimate)

Calories: 134kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 326mg | Potassium: 454mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin C: 60mg | Calcium: 62mg | Iron: 1mg | Magnesium: 33mg | Net Carbohydrates: 11g
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