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10 Easy Japanese Salad Dressings You’d Want to Know By Heart

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    These easy Japanese salad dressings are what you need to upgrade your next salad! From carrot ginger dressing to classic Japanese wafu dressing to no-fuss sesame dressing, they are bright and bold and impressively versatile. Each recipe deserves to be known by heart! 

    japanese salad dressing recipes

    Salad dressings are essential standbys for any home cooks. In the case of Japanese salads, it is the dressings that define even the most ordinary combination of vegetables, proteins, seeds, and grains. We love them for all of these elements: salty against sweet; tanginess moderates the richness of oil; the unexpected spark from umami ingredients.

    Here we’ve put together 10 Easy Japanese Salad Dressings that we know you’ll fall in love with. Each of them presents endless possibilities and so-good when drizzled over your salads or as a sauce over noodles or rice bowls. Best of all, the ingredients are built of your pantry staples. You’ll be surprised at how easy it is to make these dressings at home. Memorize them by heart, so you’ll always have a great salad to accompany your bento lunch box, wafu pasta, and late-night dinner!

    10 Easy Japanese Salad Dressing Recipes

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    1. Wafu Dressing

    Japanese salad dressing (Wafu Dressing) over the iceberg salad.

    Made with soy sauce, rice vinegar, roasted sesame seeds, and grated onion, this versatile wafu dressing goes well with any salad combo you can think of. You will love how it can deliver amazing flavors in such subtlety.

    2. Carrot Ginger Dressing

    Green salad with carrot ginger dressing on top.

    Wondering how to make the dressing that’s served over lettuce salad at your favorite sushi, hibachi, and teriyaki restaurants? This delicious Carrot-Ginger Dressing recipe is for you. Made with carrot, ginger, and miso, the homemade sweet-tangy dressing tastes a hundred times better than the restaurants! You’d be happy that you make it at home.

    3. Miso Dressing

    White ceramic bowls containing seaweed salad and miso dressing.

    Thanks to miso – the condiment superstar in Japanese cuisine, this dressing is guaranteed to enliven any salad with its umami complexity. It’s lovely as a sauce to toss with your noodle salad too!

    4. Sesame Dressing

    Japanese Sesame Dressing is poured over green salad.

    A good salad dressing is all about the balancing act. For this homemade Sesame Dressing, you can easily achieve that by adjusting the ingredients to suit your palate. If you prefer a more tangy dressing, use more rice vinegar. If you prefer a creamier texture, add in a bit more mayo.

    5. Sesame Ponzu Dressing

    Refreshing Tofu Salad with Sesame Ponzu Dressing on a Japanese blue platter.

    Ponzu is a citrus-based soy sauce packed with umami. You can use the ready-made bottle or make your own ponzu sauce at home. Full of flavor yet incredibly refreshing, this Sesame Ponzu Dressing is something you wouldn’t want to miss out on! Not only it’s amazing as a salad dressing, but also a great sauce to toss with your soba noodles, tofu or meatballs. You name it!

    6. Ponzu Mayonnaise Dressing

    Japanese kani salad served in a bowl.

    Ponzu and Japanese mayonnaise is another winning combination for a salad dressing. It’s especially delicious for Japanese Crab Salad, but you can definitely use the dressing in any other salad combination.

    7 – 10. 4 Basic Japanese Salad Dressings

    4 Japanese salad dressings in mason jars.

    These are the 4 super basic salad dressings you’ll encounter in Japan. Here, you’ll find Italian salad dressing, French salad Dressing, shoyu dressing, and Chuka dressing. There’s no shopping needed as you’ll most likely have all the ingredients in your kitchen pantry. Each salad dressing takes only minutes to whisk together. They are the go-to recipes for Japanese home cooks.


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