Simple and delicious homemade Japanese Salad Dressing (known as Wafu Dressing)! Made with soy sauce, rice vinegar, roasted sesame seeds, and grated onion, this versatile salad dressing goes well with any salad combo you can think of.
Today I’m sharing another recipe requested by a reader and it is Wafu Dressing. Wafu (和風) means Japanese-style. You might have a similar Japanese food term that starts with “wa” and that is Wagyu (和牛), which means Japanese beef. In Japanese, “wa” (和) means Japanese-style. Washoku (和食) means a Japanese meal and Wagashi (和菓子) means a Japanese snack.
Wafu Dressing – Japanese-style Salad Dressing
Generally, Wafu Dressing (和風ドレッシング) refers to a salad dressing that consists of vegetable oil, rice vinegar, and soy sauce. Every household has a slightly different recipe for it and this is my version with grated onion to make it extra flavorful.
On a side note, if you replace a part of the vegetable oil with sesame oil, we call it Chuka Dressing (中華ドレッシング), meaning Chinese-style dressing in the Japanese culinary world. I thought it’s kind of interesting that the Japanese created a “Chinese-style dressing” since Mr. JOC (he’s a Taiwanese American) told me that salad exists in the Chinese food culture but it’s not very common to eat raw salad. If you’re interested in Chuka Dressing, please click here.
There are so many kinds of Wafu Dressing choices available in Japanese supermarkets, but homemade dressing has no MSG and preservatives and the best part is you can adjust the flavor as you wish. The ingredients and condiments are very typical for Japanese cooking so I hope you will give this a try today!
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Wafu Dressing (Japanese Salad Dressing)
- 1 Tbsp grated onion (this is my favorite grater to grate onion, daikon, ginger, etc)
- 3 Tbsp neutral-flavored oil (vegetable, rice bran, canola, etc.)
- 3 Tbsp soy sauce
- 3 Tbsp rice vinegar (unseasoned)
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tsp toasted white sesame seeds
- Combine all the ingredients in a bowl or mason jar and whisk everything together. Drizzle on top of a simple salad. Here I prepared hand-torn iceberg lettuce topped with tomatoes, boiled egg, wakame, cucumber, and red radish.
- Keep the dressing in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for 7-10 days.
Update: The post was originally published on October 14, 2011. The photos are updated in November 2013.