When I turned 16 years old, my parents told me that I could take my five best buddies out for dinner at a nice restaurant of my choosing. My favourite restaurant at the time (and still a fun place to go on occasion today) was the Japanese Teppanaki restaurant in our city, The Japanese Steak House. I loved the drama of sitting around the chef as he chopped, diced and tossed our dinner ingredients in the air before stir-frying them alongside a volcanic, fire-spitting onion.
It was magical.
The first Japanese food revelation I had at the Steak House was the salad dressing. It was not creamy, but it was thick. It wasn't vinegary, but had an acidic bite. It was fresh and light and I always ordered a salad when eating there.
I still love that dressing, and today and finally got around to figuring it out. It couldn't be easier to make at home-- if you've got a blender, you are set. A food processor or immersion blender work great, too.
1/2 vidallia onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
1/2 cup ginger root, peeled and chopped
1 small carrot, peeled and chopped
1 celery stick, chopped
1 small clove garlic, peeled, chopped
2 teaspoons honey
1 tablespoon good quality soy sauce (I like Kikkoman)
2 tablespoons ketchup
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
1/4 cup rice vinegar (or cider vinegar)
1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt flakes (less if using fine salt)
1/4 teaspoon wasabi (optional)
1) Place everything in a blender and puree. Stash in the refrigerator until ready to use. Keeps for at least 4 days. Makes about 1 cup.