Japanese Carrot Ginger Dressing
This Japanese Carrot Ginger Dressing is unlike any other salad dressing, and dresses up any green salad perfectly.
In high school, I moved from Tokyo to a little town in Oregon. And I missed Japan. A lot. Even if I’d grown up visiting the U.S. often and spoke English fluently, it was a really hard transition for me. One day during the first few months after our move, my mom took me to a little hole in the wall Japanese restaurant. Honestly, the outside appearance made me suspicious of the authenticity, and kind of rolled my moody teenage eyes at my mom’s attempt to make me feel better. This restaurant, like many others, served a little green salad with every meal. But unlike most others, the dressing completely blew me away. It was bright orange, and it had a very choppy, thick texture. Upon close examination, I realized it had very finely grated carrots.
So later, I realized that this dressing is kind of an icon in Japanese restaurants, and I’ve given it my own spin. The carrots and sweet onion are so sweet on their own, I didn’t feel like it needed any added sugar. It’s so different from your usual vinaigrette. It’s nice and bright, but it’s much thicker. But not the way that a creamy dressing is. It gets tossed into salads and clings to your vegetables really well, so there’s not soppy wet puddle on the bottom of your bowl.
It’s a super simple recipe. Others I’ve found like to purée everything in a blender, and I’ve tried that, too. But for some reason it compromises that really vibrant orange color of the carrots, and I prefer it with a little texture. I like to use a microplane grater for this. It produces a the perfect fine texture that you need.
It’s super quick and easy to make, way better than any bottled dressing you can find.
- 1 medium carrot, peeled
- 1/8 sweet onion
- 2 inch piece of daikon, peeled
- 3/4 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil
- 3 tablespoons raw apple cider vinegar*
- 1 teaspoon white miso
- pinch of salt
- In a small bowl, grate the carrots, onion, daikon, and ginger. Add the other ingredients and stir well to combine. Pour over salad and toss well to coat. Serve immediately.
- *I prefer the fruitiness of raw apple cider vinegar for this particular dressing, but you can use rice vinegar instead for a more mellow flavor.