Welcome to our culinary adventure where we fuse the rich umami flavours of Japanese cuisine with the comfort of a classic sandwich.

This recipe marries the earthy goodness of mushrooms with the deep umami taste of miso, complemented by the tangy kick of Umeboshi plum and the sweetness of mirin. Not only is this sandwich bursting with flavour, it’s also packed with wholesome ingredients that will nourish both your body and soul.

Ingredients

(makes 2 sandwiches)

For the mayo:

  • 2 tablespoons Byron Naked Foods vegan mayonnaise (or make your own)
  • 2 umiboshi plums
  • 1 teaspoon mirin
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup (optional)

For the sandwich:

  • 225g shiitake mushrooms
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons hatcho miso paste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • ½ cup grated cheese
  • 4 slices sourdough bread
  • Butter

Method

Make the mayonnaise

  1. Remove the pits and skin from the umeboshi plums, add the flesh to a small bowl and mash it into a paste with a fork.
  2. Add the mayonnaise, mirin, and maple syrup (if using) and mix until well combined. A stick blender can be used to break up the umeboshi paste and get it mixed in well.

Prepare sandwich filling

  1. Heat olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add minced garlic and sauté for about 1 minute until fragrant.
  2. Add the sliced mushrooms to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until they start to soften and release their moisture, about 5-7 minutes.
  3. Stir in the miso paste and continue cooking for another 2-3 minutes, allowing the flavours to meld and the mushrooms to become tender. Season with salt and black pepper to taste. Remove from heat.

Assemble the sandwich

  1. Preheat a panini press, grill pan or frying pan over medium heat.
  2. Take two slices of sourdough bread and spread Umeboshi mayonnaise on one side of each slice. Divide the sautéed miso mushrooms evenly between the two slices of bread, spreading them out in an even layer. Place the grated cheese on top of the mushrooms on each slice of bread.
  3. Top each sandwich with the remaining slices of sourdough bread, Umeboshi mayonnaise side down, to form sandwiches.

Grill the sandwich

  1. Spread butter on each side of the sandwich and place the assembled sandwiches on the preheated panini press or grill pan.
  2. If using a panini press, close the lid and cook for 4-5 minutes, or until the bread is crispy and golden brown and the cheese is melted.
  3. If using a grill pan or frying pan, cook the sandwiches for about 3-4 minutes on each side, pressing them down gently with a spatula, until the bread is toasted and the cheese is melted.
  4. Once the sandwiches are grilled to perfection, remove them from the heat and let them cool slightly for a minute or two.
  5. Slice the sandwiches in half diagonally and serve hot.

Enjoy the flavourful Miso Mushroom Melt with the tangy Umeboshi mayonnaise infused into every bite!

Pro Tips

  • Experiment with different types of mushrooms for varied flavours and textures.
  • For a vegan version, substitute cheese with your favourite vegan cheese or butter alternative.
  • Serve with a side salad or a bowl of miso soup for a complete meal.

Health benefits

Japanese cuisine is renowned for its health benefits, and this sandwich is no exception.

Hatcho miso: made from fermented soybeans, is rich in probiotics that support gut health and boost the immune system.

Umeboshi plums: are packed with antioxidants and have been traditionally used in Japanese medicine to aid digestion and relieve fatigue.

Mirin: a sweet rice wine, adds depth of flavour while providing a subtle boost of energy.

Shiitake mushrooms: a nutritional powerhouse, containing vitamins, minerals, and immune-boosting properties.

Incorporating Japanese flavours into your vegetarian or vegan diet can be a delicious and nutritious way to elevate your meals. The Sandwich Mushroom Miso Melt with Umeboshi Mayonnaise is a testament to the versatility and healthfulness of Japanese ingredients.

Whether you’re a seasoned foodie or a curious beginner, this recipe is sure to satisfy your cravings for both flavour and wellness. The combination of ingredients, creates a dish that not only delights the taste buds but also nourishes the body from within.

So, roll up your sleeves, gather your ingredients, and embark on a culinary journey that celebrates the best of Japanese cuisine.