Chef Kenji Ito shares his recipe for this vibrant salad featuring king crab and the Japanese herb, mitsuba. Shitake mushrooms and a dressing of cold soy bonito broth give this starter a distinctly Japanese flavour. Serve in shot glasses or hollowed out lime halves.






Skill level

Average: 4.1 (5 votes)


  • 6 shiitake mushrooms, stems removed
  • 2 tsp Japanese soy sauce
  • 250 g cooked crab meat, picked through for any shell
  • 1 bunch mitsuba (Japanese wild chervil) (see Note), roughly chopped
  • 1 lime, zested, plus 4 limes, halved and hollowed out (optional), to serve

Cold soy bonito broth

  • 125 ml (½ cup) prepared dashi stock (see Note)
  • 1 tbsp Japanese soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp mirin
  • 3 cm piece ginger, finely grated

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


To make broth, place all the ingredients in a saucepan, bring to the boil, then remove from heat and allow to cool.

Preheat a grill to high. Brush mushrooms with soy and grill for 2 minutes each side or until softened. Thickly slice into quarters, reserving 8 pieces to serve. Place remaining mushrooms in a bowl with crab meat, mitsuba, lime zest and broth, and stir to combine. Refrigerate until cold.

Spoon mixture into hollowed-out limes or shot glasses and top with reserved mushroom slices to serve.


• Mitsuba is available from selected Japanese supermarkets. Substitute 2 tbsp regular chervil.
• See dashi stock recipe or dissolve ½ tsp dashi granules in 125 ml water.


As seen in Feast magazine, Mar 2012, Issue 7. For more recipes and articles, pick up a copy of this month's Feast magazine or check out our great subscriptions offers here.

Photography by Scout Edwards (Whitewall).