When eating out at Japanese restaurants, the steamy bowl of miso soup and the cool and crispy iceberg lettuce salad that are served as starters almost everywhere, have always been one of my favourite parts of the meal.
When I started eating sushi regularly, I found myself choosing restaurants based on the quality of these starters, and the biggest factor of all, was the salad dressing. A carroty, gingery, punch of sweet, savoury and sour all at once. It’s a real party in your mouth, I tell ya.
I’ve experimented with a few different versions of this, and part of the beauty is you can easily adjust the ingredients to suit your own tastes. I regularly have all of these ingredients in my pantry and fridge, so whipping up a batch is quick and easy on a weeknight, and measurements are usually very flexible.
If you don’t regularly keep miso at home, this recipe only calls for a single teaspoon, so you can live without it and try adding another splash of soy sauce. It adds a really great full and satisfying flavour, though. As for oil, canola oil is by far my preferred option when making this dressing. It allows the other ingredients to shine through because of it’s neutral flavour. I’ve learned a lot about canola oil in general by working as one of the Canola Eat Well for Life ambassadors, so it’s neutral flavour profile is really just one of the many reasons I love having it in my kitchen. I love that it’s accessible, affordable, and mostly, that it is truly a Canadian product. One that was developed right here, and one that supports over 43000 Canadian canola farmers. And y’all know we love our Canadian farmers!
I actually really love the texture of this dressing, too. It’s not chunky, but it you can still feel little bits of carrot and ginger dancing on your tongue. And the colour? Just a babe.
This dressing will last at least a week in the fridge. You can go classic and drizzle it over iceberg lettuce but it pairs equally well with a heartier salad. This one with spinach, carrots, cucumbers, pumpkin seeds and roasted squash was spectacular. It also makes an amazing condiment. Add it to a soup (like our Roasted Butternut Squash Soup) or stir in some greek yogurt or mayo for a delicious dip for raw veggies.
We also recommend eating it with a spoon. Because damn it’s good.