This homemade salad dressing replicates the tangy, ginger-flecked dressings commonly found at Japanese steakhouses and sushi restaurants. A combination of bright vinegar, umami-rich soy sauce, sesame, and spice makes for a flavor packed drizzle over salads and vegetables.
With just 5 minutes of prep time, you can easily blend up this balance of sweet, salty, and gingery flavors. Making it yourself allows you to customize ingredients to your tastes.
Read on for my easy recipe for infusing your greens with authentic Japanese flavor. It’s sure to become your new favorite go-to dressing!
Here are some Equipment needed for this recipe:
Make the Dressing
- Add all ingredients except sesame seeds to a small bowl or jar.
- Whisk vigorously until thoroughly combined and emulsified.
- Stir in toasted sesame seeds.
- Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to use.
Drizzle this umami-rich dressing over:
- Green salads with romaine, spinach, or mixed greens
- Cold noodle salads like ramen or soba
- Grilled or roasted vegetables and meats
- Fresh seafood like salmon, tuna, shrimp
- Rice bowls with vegetables and egg
- Cold tofu and vegetable appetizers
Customizing the Flavor
- Use more or less vinegar to suit your acidity preference.
- Add minced shallot or green onion for extra bite.
- Use toasted sesame oil for deeper nutty flavor.
- Add a pinch of red pepper flakes for a hint of heat.
- Substitute lime juice for less common yuzu flavor.
- Swap ginger for more garlic if you prefer.
Make it Creamy
For a creamy dressing, whisk in:
- 2-3 tablespoons mayonnaise or vegan mayonnaise
- 1-2 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
- 1 tablespoon tahini or nut butter
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Bottling and Storage
- Store dressing in a squeeze bottle for easy salad drizzling.
- Or use a jar with lid and shake vigorously before each use.
- Refrigerate after making for optimum freshness and shelf life.
- If separating, let come to room temperature and re-whisk before using.
More Japanese Flavor Inspiration
In addition to salads, use this dressing for:
- Poke bowls with rice, seafood, vegetables and sesame
- Cold buckwheat noodle salads (soba)
- Chicken, beef, or tofu lettuce wraps
- Quick pickled cucumbers, carrots, radishes or onions
- Marinade or sauce for grilled meats, seafood, or tofu
- Dipping sauce for tempura or gyoza
The possibilities are endless with this versatile homemade Japanese dressing!