I am always thinking about salads that go with Asian meals since most of the salad dressings I make have a Western bent to them, from vinaigrettes to blue cheese dressings to buttermilk dressings. But I do love a good Asian salad, and in fact spend a not insignificant amount of time trying to replicate dressings I have tried in Japanese restaurants.
For this dressing, I wanted to steer away from miso as the base (which I adore, but I’ve played around with that quite a bit — see Creamy Miso Dressing), but also go for something a bit smoother than the carrot and ginger based dressings I usually make. This one is very pourable, tossable, and nutty with sesame flavor. I love this robust salad with Honey Ginger Salmon and Perfect Brown Rice.
Table of Contents
Mixed Green Salad with Creamy Sesame Dressing: This smooth and robust dressing gets its flavor from soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar and garlic, with a touch of heat.Tweet This
- Rice vinegar – Adds a light, delicate acidity that balances the sesame perfectly.
- Mayonnaise – Gives the dressing some creaminess and richness.
- Soy sauce – Adds depth and savoriness to the dressing.
- Finely minced garlic – Make sure you mince the garlic super fine so it really blends right into the dressing.
- Vegetable, canola, or peanut oil – Use a neutrally flavored oil, not olive oil, which can have a slightly pronounced flavor and take over a bit.
- Toasted sesame oil – It is super important to get toasted sesame oil, which has a deep, nutty flavor.
- Cayenne pepper – If you have Sriracha sauce, you can use a little squirt of that instead of the cayenne.
- Mixed assertive lettuces – This dressing stands up well to robustly flavored greens such as spinach, kale, arugula, and beet greens. Look for blends in the market labeled things like Power Greens Blend.
- For a little more spice, I like to add cayenne and Sriracha.
- You surely could add a tablespoon of miso if you wanted to, and I’m sure at some point I will. It will add a little extra creaminess and that signature umami miso flavor.
- Drizzle this over cooked vegetables (sautéed broccoli or greens would be great). Also, think about using it to top a bowl of rice or other grains instead of using it on a salad.
How to Make Mixed Green Salad with Creamy Sesame Dressing
- Make the dressing: Mix together the rice vinegar, mayonnaise, soy sauce, garlic, vegetable oil, sesame oil, salt, and cayenne.
- Dress the salad: Add the lettuces and toss to coat with the dressing. Serve immediately.
I picked pretty robust lettuces to stand up to this pretty robust dressing. If you are lucky enough to have access to an array of fresh lettuces to mix and match at a farmers market, for instance, lucky, lucky you, enjoy the picking and choosing. But if you are at a regular old supermarket, you might want to head to the packaged blends. Look for mixes that might be called things like “Power Blend”, which often contains lettuces like beet greens, kale, arugula, spinach, chard, and other nutritious and substantive greens. Those work really well with this flavorful dressing.
In order to keep a vinegar-based dressing from separating, it helps to add an emulsifier. The separation can happen when the dressing sits too long and the delicate emulsion between the oil and vinegar breaks. An emulsifier will make the vinaigrette stable. Common emulsifiers for dressings include mustard and mayonnaise. I like mayonnaise in this dressing because it makes it super creamy and delicious.
Make-Ahead and Storage
This dressing will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days in a covered container.
What to Serve with Mixed Lettuce Salad with Creamy Sesame Dressing
More Side Salad Recipes
- Creamy Cucumber Salad
- Fully Loaded Spinach Salad with Bacon and Blue Cheese
- Frisee, Radicchio, and Escarole Salad with Citrus Dressing
- Green Salad with Pears, Parmesan, and Pomegranate Seeds and Puff Pastry Croutons
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Mixed Green Salad with Creamy Sesame Dressing
- 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 ½ teaspoons finely minced garlic
- ⅓ cup vegetable (canola or peanut oil)
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- Kosher salt (to taste)
- Pinch cayenne pepper
- 8 cups mixed assertive lettuces (such as spinach, kale, arugula, and beet greens; look for blends in the market, labeled things like Power Greens Blend)
- In a large bowl, blend together the rice vinegar, mayonnaise, soy sauce, garlic, vegetable oil, sesame oil, salt, and cayenne.
- Add the lettuces and toss to coat with the dressing and serve.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.