Japanese Ginger Salad Dressing

Karen Frazier
Ginger root

If you've ever had a salad in a Japanese style restaurant or steakhouse, then you know how delicious the Japanese ginger salad dressing can be. Made with a variety ingredients that impart a piquant, slightly spicy and slightly sweet flavor to salad greens, Japanese ginger salad dressing often captures the imagination of those who have it in restaurants. This leads them to seek out information on how to create the delicious salad dressing at home.

Japanese Ginger Salad Dressing

This salad dressing is delicious. It imparts a slightly sweet, salty flavor that is infused with fresh ginger.

Ginger

The main flavor in the dressing is ginger. This salad dressing owes much of its light spiciness to fresh ginger, which is finely minced and incorporated into the dressing. With fresh ginger, a little goes a long way, so not much is needed to flavor the dressing. You can purchase fresh ginger in the produce section of the grocery store. To use the ginger, peel off the outer brown layer with a knife, and then use a very sharp knife to make a fine mince of the boldly-scented yellow interior.

Making Your Own

Japanese ginger salad dressing isn't difficult to make at home, and all of the simple ingredients can be found at your local grocery store. The quickest and easiest method for making and emulsifying the salad dressing is using either the blender or a food processor to combine all of the ingredients. You can adjust the amount of certain ingredients such as the ginger, onion, celery and garlic to suit your own personal tastes. For a smokier salad dressing, you might want to replace a few tablespoons of the peanut oil with sesame oil. For a dressing with a little extra kick, you can also add in a dash of chili oil.

To make this delicious salad dressing, combine the following ingredients in a blender or food processor:

  • 1/2 cup of onion, finely minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon of garlic, finely minced
  • 1/2 cup of peanut oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup of rice wine vinegar (can be found in the Asian aisle at your local grocer)
  • Two tablespoons of water
  • Two tablespoons of minced fresh ginger root (can be found in the produce section at your local grocer)
  • Two tablespoons of finely minced celery
  • Two tablespoons sugar
  • Four teaspoons of soy sauce (you may use low sodium if you prefer a less salty flavor)
  • Two tablespoons of ketchup
  • Two teaspoons of lemon juice

Blend all of the ingredients in your blender or food processor for about 30 seconds, until combined. Serve over salad greens. This dressing also keeps well in the refrigerator for a few weeks.

Pre-made Salad Dressing

There are a number of salad dressings with ginger that are pre-made. You can find many at your local grocery store in either the produce section or the salad dressing aisle. The dressings can also be found at your local Asian market. If you can't find any locally and don't feel like cooking, it is also available online at a number of e-tailers. Here are some links to purchase ginger salad dressing online. You can add a few extra ingredients at home to adjust the flavor, if you so choose.

Other Uses for Ginger Salad Dressing

Whether you buy it premade or make it yourself, ginger salad dressing isn't just for salads. Its complex flavor makes a terrific marinade for proteins such as tofu, chicken and salmon. It even holds up well as a marinade for beef because the flavors are bold enough to stand up to red meat. It may be too strongly flavored, however, for delicate fish such as halibut and scallops.

Salad dressings of all kinds - including ginger salad dressing - are also a terrific way to add quick flavor to many different types of dishes. For instance, you can add a little ginger salad dressing to rice to punch up the flavors. It can also be used to make flavorful sauces. However, there is one caveat. Never re-use a dressing that has been used to marinate protein or you risk food-borne diseases from cross contamination.

Ginger salad dressing is easy to buy or purchase. Just a little can add Japanese flair to your next meal.

Japanese Ginger Salad Dressing