Monday, August 16, 2010

Japanese Ginger Salad Dressing

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.
And delicious.

Eating in that Japanese Steakhouse was a rare treat, and one that I coveted. Although the food served there was a far cry from authentic Japanese food, (sort of what Taco Bell is to Mexican cuisine), it introduced my teenage taste-buds to Japanese flavours, (soy sauce, ginger root, miso paste, to name a few) and lead the way for my life-long interest and love of all foods Japanese.

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.


Family Cookbook - Bob said...

Looking forward to trying this Japanese ginger dressing. Some interesting ingredients I wouldn't have considered. With family from Georgia, we particularly appreciate the special Vidallia onion, so sweet and mild(if you find the good ones).

Thanks for the recipe.

JennyB said...

Hey Bob!
We used to live in Augusta, Georgia-- beautiful state!
Let me know how the dressing turns out for you-- and THANKS for reading Finding Tasty!

rose said...

I've been looking for a Japanese Ginger dress ever since I allowed my 2 girls to try it at a restaurant. Your's looks the closest and I have all ing. which are simple...will let you know!

rose said...

OK! I just made this and it is tops!!!! I had to stop and write this. I added apple and a little o.j. plus an extra little carrot and honey. mmmm...good! Thanks Jenny...I picked yours from google because it looked the closest to the real thing