Transform the simplest of salads with this Japanese-inspired Yuzu Miso Dressing! The bright, aromatic citrusy flavor from yuzu and the unexpected savoriness from miso make the best combo. It’s so good that you want to dress it over your salads all summer long.
Salad time is here. My heart is full of joy just by the idea of eating a plethora of fresh greens, heirloom tomatoes, crisp peas, and fragrant herbs. Of course, the real star of any salad is the dressing. If you’re looking for a dressing that will make a lasting impression, then you must try this Yuzu Miso Dressing (ゆず味噌ドレッシング)! It hits all the notes and can make just about anything taste better.
Japanese-Inspired Yuzu Miso Dressing
Yuzu is the darling citrus in Japanese culture and the culinary world. We use it just like you would with a lemon, but yuzu holds a truly special place for the Japanese people. We treasure it for its unparalleled aroma when used in food and its cleansing properties when used in a relaxing hot bath. A squeeze of yuzu juice or speckle of yuzu zest is said to perk up any dish.
Read more about yuzu and how it’s used in Japanese recipes.
Since yuzu is only in season during the winter months, we use yuzu extract or juice all year round to enjoy its tart and fragrant fruity notes. You can buy yuzu extract in Japanese grocery stores or on Amazon.
For this salad dressing, I pair yuzu juice with the mild yet deeply savory miso to create flavors that are distinctly Japanese. There’s also mellow acidity from rice vinegar, and sweetness from sugar and mirin. As a result, you get a dressing that is simple, refreshing, and unexpectedly savory.
How to Make Yuzu Miso Dressing
Ingredients You’ll Need
- White miso
- Yuzu extract (No yuzu extract/juice? You can totally use lemon and it’s still delicious!)
- Rice vinegar (rice vinegar is mild, and I strongly recommend using it for all kinds of Japanese recipes. If you need to substitute, please adjust the amount of vinegar and may need to add more sugar)
- Cooking oil (I use untoasted/clear sesame oil)
- Salt and pepper
Overview: Quick Process
- Mix all ingredients except for the oil.
- Gradually add oil while whisking.
- Taste and adjust the flavor.
Use White Miso for Yuzu Miso Dressing
The perfect miso for this dressing is to use a mellow flavored white miso so you can enhance the profile of yuzu (or other citrus). I highly recommend Hikari Miso’s Organic White Miso.
This product is USDA Certified Organic and made from organic rice and soybeans. It has a light yellow color original to Shinshu style miso. A high volume of rice koji culture produces its mild taste and smooth texture.
You can get this miso on the following place.
- Japanese/Asian grocery stores
How to Up Your Weeknight Salad to an Entertaining Salad
Tip 1: Use a large flat salad bowl.
For a family of four, you may not need a large salad bowl that you use for a party. But if you use a flat plate or shallow salad bowl, all the ingredients spread out voluminously and still look grand on your dining table.
Tip 2: Use different texture and colors.
Japanese salad doesn’t really use nuts for crunch, so here I intentionally cut the cucumber in larger chunks to elevate the texture. I also use romaine lettuce for extra crispness and as the base layer. Avocado adds creaminess and a little extra substance to the plate. And lastly, red cherry tomatoes for their juiciness and vibrant color.
Tip 3: Include 2 decorative ingredients that pop in the salad.
Extra details matters when creating a beautiful salad. So I incorporated half-opened sugar snap pea pods and thinly sliced red radish that are vowed to bring attention to the plate.
A Truly Versatile Dressing
As with other good dressing, this Yuzu Miso Dressing doesn’t only match beautifully with salads but it also works wonders on dishes such as grilled vegetables, grilled fish, tofu, and cold noodles. So go ahead and double up the portion as it keeps well in the fridge for a week or so.
Other Delicious Salad Dressings You’d Love
- Wafu Dressing
- Carrot Ginger Dressing
- Sweet Miso Dressing
- Strawberry Dressing
- Japanese Sesame Dressing
- Ume Plum Dressing
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Yuzu Miso Dressing
For Yuzu Miso Dressing
- 2 Tbsp white miso
- 3 Tbsp rice vinegar (unseasoned) (rice vinegar is mild; if you substitute, please adjust the amount of vinegar)
- 2 Tbsp yuzu juice (extract)
- 1 Tbsp mirin
- 2 tsp sugar
- 6 Tbsp neutral-flavored oil (I used untoasted sesame oil)
- ⅛ tsp Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- ⅛ tsp freshly ground black pepper
For the Salad (Example)
- 1 head romaine lettuce
- 1 carrot
- 2 Persian cucumbers
- 2 red radishes
- 8 sugar snap peas
- 1 avocado
- ¼ red onion
To Make Yuzu Miso Dressing
- Gather all the ingredients.
- Add miso to the mason jar.
- Add rice vinegar, yuzu extract, mirin and sugar.
- Whisk all together until miso is completely dissolved. Then gradually add the oil while whisking.
- Check the taste, and add salt and freshly ground black pepper. Set aside. You can keep the dressing in the refrigerator for up to a week.
To Assemble the Salad (Examples)
- Cut the romaine lettuce widthwise into 1 inch strips. Julienne the carrot (I used a julienne peeler).
- Peel the cucumber, alternatively leaving the skin, to create a stripe pattern. Then cut into ½ inch round pieces.
- Thinly slice the red radish. Remove the top part of the sugar snap peas (insert the knife on the curved edge side and open to remove the top).
- Cut the avocado in half and remove the seed. Peel off the skin and slice the avocado.
- Thinly slice the red onion. Wash the cherry tomatoes. Prepare all the salad ingredients.
- Now assemble the salad. For the first layer, place bulky ingredients (romaine lettuce, cucumber, avocado) in the bowl. Then add the layer of medium size ingredients (carrots, red onion), distributing evenly. Lastly, garnish the top layers (red radishes, sugar snap peas) and arrange the salad by tucking in some ingredients from the top layers while pulling out the bottom layer. Drizzle the dressing right before you serve and toss it all together. Enjoy!