Wafu Dressing (Japanese Salad Dressing) 和風ドレッシング

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  • 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. 

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

    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.

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

    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.

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

    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!

    4 Japanese salad dressings in mason jars.

    Interesting in More Homemade Salad Dressings?

    Japanese Ingredient Substitution: If you want to look for substitutes for Japanese condiments and ingredients, click here.

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    4.65 from 39 votes
    Japanese salad dressing (Wafu Dressing) over the iceberg salad.
    Wafu Dressing (Japanese Salad Dressing)
    Prep Time
    10 mins
    Total Time
    10 mins

    Simple and delicious homemade Wafu Dressing, soy sauce base with rice vinegar, roasted sesame seeds, and grated onion to make it extra flavorful. 

    Course: Condiments, Salad
    Cuisine: Japanese
    Keyword: dressing
    Servings: 3
    Author: Nami
    1. 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.

    To Store
    1. The dressing can be kept in the refrigerator for 7-10 days.

    Recipe Notes

    Recipe by Namiko Chen of Just One Cookbook. All images and content on this site are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without my permission. If you’d like to share this recipe on your site, please re-write the recipe in your own words and link to this post as the original source. Thank you.

    Update: The post was originally published on October 14, 2011. The photos are updated in November 2013.

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