If you’ve ever fallen in love with that orange thick, rich, carroty, gingery dressing you find at a Japanese restaurant, this recipe is for you. I could eat this dressing with a spoon. The salad part of the recipe is just a suggestion—use whatever lettuce and veggies your family is into.
But not only is it amazing on green lettuce salads, also makes a great topping for steamed or roasted veggies like broccoli, asparagus, sugar snap peas, green beans, or cauliflower. It’s a nice dip for raw veggies, too. You might sauté some tofu or chicken, mound it on hot rice, and spoon the dressing on top—that to me is comfort food.
This salad happens to be my older son’s favorite part of dinner at any Japanese or Hibachi restaurant (if you like the dressing at Benihana’s you’ll love this!). It’s a great change of pace from the usual vinaigrette and a perfect companion to any Asian dish. And how nice that the dressing has so many carrots built right in? Seriously the dressing is a full serving of vegetables before it even hits the salad.
- Carrots – use the sweetest carrots you can find
- Fresh ginger – you need to use fresh ginger for this recipe; powdered won’t work here
- Shallot or onion – either one is fine, and adds a little bit of a bite to the dressing
- Rice vinegar – rice vinegar is a bit milder than white wine vinegar, but you could substitute 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar instead
- Canola, peanut, or vegetable oil – any neutral oil will work here; just make sure your oil is fresh
- Sesame oil – use the dark toasted sesame oil in this recipe
- Sugar – a bit of granulted sugar smooths out the flavors and balances out the acidity from the vinegar and heat from the ginger
- Miso paste – use white or yellow miso, which are the milder versions. This is an optional ingredient, but use it if you can – it adds a deep, rich umami flavor
- Mirin – also optional, but a little bit elevates the flavor of the dressing. Miso is a mild, low-alcohol, slightly sweet Japanese rice wine. You can find it in some supermarkets, at Asian groceries, and online. Open, it last for ages.
Storage and Leftovers
The Japanese carrot-ginger dressing lasts in the fridge for at least a week, so that’s why this is a recipe for a big batch, more than double what you would use for a salad for a family of four or so. Even so, I usually make a double batch, and we enjoy it all weeklong. Might as well make it worthwhile to rev up the food processor, right?
This is a recipe for a salad dressing, like you get in a Japanese hibachi restaurant, thick and gingery and carroty.Tweet This
Did you know you can peel ginger with a teaspoon? It’s true—the skin is very thin, and if you take a teaspoon and turn the bowl part in toward the ginger and scrape away with the edge of the spoon, it will take the skin right off quickly. A spoon can get into those creases and crevices of the ginger better than a regular vegetable peeler. This task can safely keep a young sous chef busy for a while. Check out this video to see how it’s done.
Kids can also measure and dump things for the dressing into the food processor. And they can assemble the salad.
More Asian Salad Recipes:
- Korean Tofu Salad
- Japanese Cucumber Salad
- Spicy Greens Salad with Gochujang Dressing
- Vietnamese Shrimp Salad
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Japanese Restaurant Salad Dressing
For the Japanese Carrot-Ginger Dressing
- 3 medium-size carrots peeled and cut into about 1-inch chunks
- 1 piece 2-inches fresh ginger, peeled and cut into disks
- 1 shallot minced, or 1⁄4 cup minced onion
- ¼ cup unseasoned rice vinegar or 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- ¼ cup canola, peanut, or vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon Asian dark sesame oil see Note
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 4 teaspoons miso paste optional, but recommended
- 2 teaspoons mirin optional
For the Salad
- 6 to 7 cups thinly sliced romaine lettuce about 11⁄2 heads lettuce or 2 hearts of romaine
- ½ cups shredded peeled carrots
- ½ cucumber preferably seedless or English, peeled, cut in half lengthwise, and thinly sliced crosswise
- Handful of cherry or grape tomatoes
- 1 cups steamed tiny broccoli florets optional
- Make the Japanese carrot-ginger dressing: Place the carrot chunks, ginger, shallot or onion, rice vinegar, canola oil, sesame oil, and sugar in a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Pulse until well combined. Add the miso and mirin, if using, and 1⁄4 cup of water and puree until nicely blended and fairly smooth. If you want your dressing a little thinner, you can add another tablespoon or two of water and puree again.
- Make the salad: Place the lettuce, shredded carrots, cucumber, tomatoes, and broccoli, if using, in a large serving bowl and drizzle about 1⁄2 cup of the dressing on top, or more if desired. Toss the salad and serve.
- To peel ginger you can use a vegetable peeler, or just a teaspoon. Turn the bowl part of the spoon in toward the ginger and scrape the skin off with the edge of the spoon.
- If you want your dressing a little thinner, you can add another tablespoon or two of water and puree again.
The nutrition values are provided as an estimate. It is not intended as a substitute for the advice of a qualified healthcare professional.
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Yummy!! Been searching so long for this recipe. .I used apple cider to replace the white wine vinegar. Works wonder as well :)
I could eat this dressing with a spoon.
love this recipe. thank you
so glad! I do, too, actually….
this is great!
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