Ginger vinaigrette

Shòga Su Aé

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Easy

  • Makes about

    ⅔ cup

Appears in

An American Taste of Japan

An American Taste of Japan

By Elizabeth Andoh

Published 1985

  • About

Here’s a deliciously versatile dressing for salad greens, one that nicely complements any cross-cultural entrée and could be enjoyed at a purely Continental table, too. My source of inspiration was a classic Japanese sauce of rice vinegar, light bean paste, and ginger juice that’s used to dress marine and terrestrial greens. On soft lettuces, such as Boston and red-tipped leaf, the spritely ginger vinaigrette is very appealing. You’ll find this dressing perks up iceberg lettuce, or even sliced tomatoes and cucumbers, and makes these ordinary salad vegetables more tempting than you thought possible.

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon ginger juice (extracted from freshly grated ginger)
  • teaspoon shiro miso (light fermented bean paste)
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon mirin (syrupy rice wine) pinch salt
  • 3–4 tablespoons fruity olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kuro goma (black sesame seeds), optional
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, optional

Method

In a small glass bowl mix the rice vinegar and mustard, then stir in the ginger juice. With a small whisk, incorporate the bean paste, then the soy sauce and syrupy rice wine. Whisk until smooth. Add a pinch of salt and start whisking in the olive oil. Taste the dressing after combining 3 tablespoons; if you feel the dressing is too tart, add a bit more oil, whisking it in.

I recommend washing and drying your greens and placing them in a large salad bowl where you can toss them easily. Start with just a bit of dressing and taste as you go along. I’ve found that 3 tablespoons of dressing is enough to toss into 8–10 ounces of greens. In the hot weather, I like to dress my greens, cover with clear plastic wrap, and chill for about 30–40 minutes before serving. Just before bringing the salad to the table, I season it with a mixture of black sesame and pepper. If you want to try it, too, dry-roast your black sesame seeds just before using. In a dry, clean skillet, roast the seeds over medium-high heat for about 30 seconds. Shake the pan to keep the seeds in motion. Empty them onto a dry cutting board and, with a sharp knife, mince the seeds as you would parsley. Their marvelous nutty aroma mixes well with the clean spiciness of freshly ground pepper. Make a mixture of the two and sprinkle it over your salad greens.

The ginger vinaigrette keeps well for several weeks in the refrigerator in a covered glass jar; after more than a month the fresh ginger sometimes develops a bitter aftertaste. For fullest flavor, stir or shake the dressing well before using.