This delicious salad with ginger dressing is a riff on my favorite Japanese salad at a local sushi restaurant. Ginger dressing with apple, carrot and sesame is so good on a plain garden salad, a salad of Asian veggies or on a seafood salad too. Give it a shot, I think you'll agree!
What Inspired This Salad Dressing
My favorite sushi restaurant used this salad dressing on their green salads and their seafood topped salad. I was in love and ordered it every time. Then the restaurant changed hands and the dressing was never the same.
Clearly I had to recreate it. In talking to one of the previous owners, I was able to get the ingredients but not the amounts. I've worked away on this one and am so happy to get to make it at home now.
I have a few other favorite salads too. If you love light dressing, try my Garden Salad With Orange Vinaigrette or Mediterranean Cauliflower Salad. And if you prefer heartier salads there is Fresh Medjool Dates and Carrot Salad and Rocket and Pear Salad.
The texture of this ginger dressing is thick but still light because it is made with finely grated and pureed apple, carrot and ginger. This has loads of addictive flavor, if you're like me, you'll want to put it on everything! Here are it's key ingredients:
- Ginger - Fresh ginger is key to this salad dressing's flavor. Powdered ginger will not create the same flavor or texture. If you must use it, reduce the amount to just a teaspoon of dried ginger.
- Apples - These add the sweetness and much of the texture to ginger dressing.
- Mirin - Japanese sweet cooking wine, mirin adds a wonderful, unique and authentic sweetness.
- Sesame Oil - Another ingredient that adds that rich, authentic flavor, you only need a small amount of sesame oil for the wonderful, nutty flavor to come through.
How To Make Japanese Ginger Dressing
- Peel and trim apples, carrots and apples, slicing into small enough chunks for your food processor to chop well.
- Add those to your food processor and blend on high until they are pureed, scraping down sides as needed. (This will take 2-5 minutes depending on the power and size of your blender.)
- Add in the oil and blend again for another minute, season with salt and pepper and taste. Adjust desired consistency with an additional tbsp or 2 of water if you like it to be thinner as well.
Slice the ginger thinly across the grain to create the best puree possible. Ginger can be stringy but by cutting across the grain (sideways across the tubular shape) you can help it break down into a lovely, soft consistency.
This can be made as thick or thin as you like. If you add a little water to thin, you may need to add a little more salt and pepper to season.
Rice Vinegar - substitute an equal amount of other mild vinegar such as apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar.
Mirin - Swap mirin for an equal amount of maple syrup or 1 tbsp of sugar if you don't have mirin.
Gluten Free - Use an equal amount of tamari sauce instead of soy sauce to make this completely gluten free.
- Japanese Seafood Salad With Ginger Dressing - To make it a raw seafood salad slice up some sashimi grade tuna, salmon or scallops arrange on top of greens and add in some avocado, cucumber, asparagus or beans. For a cooked seafood salad, use cooked prawns, scallops or crab on top of the salad.
- Ginger Bean Salad - Blanche trimmed string beans, arrange on a platter and top with ginger dressing, garnishing with sesame seeds or crushed peanuts.
- White Ginger Dressing - Use grated daikon instead of carrot for a lighter colored dressing.
Ginger dressing will keep well for 5 days if kept covered in the refrigerator once prepared.
This salad dressing does not freeze well because the apple, carrot and ginger will become very watery after thawing which greatly affects the texture.
This salad dressing is very healthy. Full of vitamins and full of fiber because it is pureed not juiced. Wholesome raw carrot, apple, onion and ginger make up this dressing and it has very little added sweetener, salt or oil so you can use as much as you like, guilt free. (Nutritional information is below in the recipe card.)
No, there is no dairy in this or most other Japanese dressings.
Sometimes. This salad dressing has a minute amount in the tablespoon of soy sauce but you can easily swap it for tamari sauce and make this dressing gluten free.
This salad dressing is made of fruits and vegetables! It's a unique dressing that isn't based on oil and vinegar though there is a little of that in there.
Apples, carrots, ginger, onion and rice vinegar are the main ingredients. A few other ingredients like mirin and sesame oil round out this Japanese dressing making it one of the healthiest salad dressings there is.
Thanks for reading along, I hope you try (and love) this recipe. For recipe questions, you can usually reach me quickly by private message on Instagram or Facebook.
Have a deliciously wonderful day,
Japanese Ginger Dressing
- 2 c Apples, Peeled And Coarsely Chopped
- 1 c Carrots, Shredded
- ¼ c Sweet Onion, Peeled And Sliced
- 2 tbsp Ginger, Peeled And Sliced Thinly
- ¼ c Rice Wine Vinegar
- 2 tbsp Mirin
- 1 tbsp Soy Sauce
- 1 tbsp Water
- 1 tsp Sesame Oil
- ¼ c Vegetable Oil
- Salt and Pepper to taste Approx. ½ tsp salt, ¼ tsp pepper
- Prepare fruit and vegetables, slicing the ginger in rounds to cut through the tough fibers.
- Add first 8 ingredients to your blender (do not add the oils at this point or else it won't chop up as well) and blend on high until it is a thick puree with no lumps. Scrape down sides after 1 minute and then continue to puree. My blender took approx 4 minutes to achieve the right consistency.
- Add in the oils and blend again for 1 minute, then season with salt and pepper to taste. Adjust desired consistency with an additional tbsp or 2 of water if you like it to be thinner.
- Serve drizzled on top of you favorite salad.
On Growing Your Own Apples
I have A LOT of apples to pick and use right now. I call my espaliered apple tree, "The Little Tree That Could", because despite it's size, it has consistently given me soooo many apples. They are a small apple but nicely tart and sweet so good for eating plain or cooking with and I will definitely be sharing more apple recipes in the near future. (Espaliering trees is really neat and a fantastic technique for small gardens. To read about espaliered trees, check out this link.)