With just a handful of pantry essentials, you can whip up this delightful Asian ginger soy dressing and create a salty, aromatic and flavourful addition to your salads, rice bowls, noodles, vegetables and dumplings.
Why You’ll Love Our Ginger Soy Dressing
Marrying quintessential Asian flavours, our ginger soy dressing recipe is so easy to make.
We adore the rich flavours of tamari enhanced with aromatic ginger, chilli, sesame oil, and wonderfully balanced by rice wine vinegar and sugar. With just a handful of pantry essentials and five minutes, you can whip up this delightful Asian soy dressing.
You can easily adjust this soy ginger dressing to taste. If you prefer a little more zing, add extra rice wine vinegar. For more heat, add chilli flakes to taste. We leave it up to you to try!
Store the ginger soy dressing in a jar, and you will have a flavourful dressing ready to go for crisp salads, noodles, rice bowls, vegetables, steamed fish, fried tofu or even use as a dipping sauce for dumplings.
Fresh Ginger vs Ground Ginger
I prefer to use freshly grated ginger for this dressing as fresh ginger has a more pronounced aroma and spicy flavour. Fresh ginger further elevates the soy sauce and rice wine vinegar.
Ground ginger, on the other hand, is milder and has more earthy tones. I tend to use ground ginger in baking or marinades and fresh ginger in salad dressings.
What is Mirin?
For this ginger soy dressing, I wanted to add another level of umami flavour to help infuse the brown rice salad I was making it for.
Mirin is similar to sake but a little more subtle, with less alcohol content and higher sugar levels. It adds the distinct sweet umami flavour to many classic Japanese dishes.
If you don’t have it, a dry white wine will work as a mirin substitute or a rice wine vinegar, but please dial up the sugar in the dish to balance the sourness.
Where to Buy Mirin?
Along with the other Asian ingredients such as soy sauce and sesame oil, mirin is a pantry staple for us. You can use it in other sauces or salad dressings. I normally head to our local Asian grocery store for these ingredients, but you can also purchase at most larger supermarkets or online.
Here are the ingredients you will need for this ginger soy dressing recipe:
Tamari: This Japanese sauce made from fermented soybeans is the hero of this recipe. Loving the umami flavours that tamari brings to the table. You can try San-J Tamari Gluten Free Soy Sauce or Kikkoman Tamari.
Rice wine vinegar: This quintessential Chinese condiment is the perfect acid for an Asian salad dressing.
Mirin: A type of rice wine similar to sake. It will dial this recipe up a notch. The easiest brand to get would probably be the Kikkoman Manjo Aji Mirin.
Brown sugar: This helps add some caramel and coffee-like tones to the recipe.
Water: Used to dissolve the brown sugar.
Chilli flakes: Adds some heat to the recipe. Feel free to add more if you love spicy food.
Ginger: Using a microplane, grate the ginger finely to ensure an even distribution throughout the salad.
Sesame oil: This aromatic oil plays an important role in the overall balance of the dressing. Yet another ingredient that is a staple in any Asian pantry.
Variations and Substitutions
Mirin substitute: If you don’t have mirin, you can omit it from the dressing.
Brown sugar replacement: I like the caramel tones of brown sugar, but it is not essential. Use white or raw sugar to balance the savoury flavours of the soy ginger dressing.
Tamari substitute: Substitute tamari for light soy sauce if you don’t need a gluten free dressing.
Here are the step by step instructions for how to make ginger soy dressing recipe:
In a small bowl, place water, rice wine vinegar, tamari, mirin and brown sugar together.
Mix well until brown sugar is fully dissolved. You can also place ingredients in a small pot and gently simmer until brown sugar has dissolved.
Add grated ginger into the bowl, then add the sesame oil and chilli flakes.
How to Make This Dressing Perfectly [Expert Tips]
Grate ginger finely: As much as I love ginger, I don’t like to have huge chunks of ginger in my ginger soy salad dressing. Make sure you grate or chop the ginger finely.
Dissolve sugar properly: Be sure to dissolve the sugar when mixing.
Adjust the heat: If you prefer a little more or less heat, adjust how much chilli flakes you add to the dressing.
How to Store
Keep in an airtight jar in the fridge for up to 1 week.
Best Salad for This Dressing
Pickled shiitake mushrooms, stir fried lotus root, crunchy edamame beans and dash of chilli and ginger, gives this healthy Lotus Root Salad a whole lot of kick that is perfect as a meal on its own or as a comforting side dish for entertaining
Soy Ginger Dressing
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- In a small bowl, place water, rice wine vinegar, tamari, mirin and brown sugar together.
- Mix well until brown sugar is fully dissolved.
- Grate ginger into the bowl, then add the sesame oil and chilli flakes.
- Stir together.
- If you don’t have mirin, you can omit it from the dressing.
- I prefer brown sugar because of the caramel tones, but you can use white or raw sugar.
- Substitute tamari for light soy sauce if you don’t need a gluten free dressing.
- Make sure you grate or chop the ginger finely.
- Be sure to dissolve the sugar when mixing. You can also place ingredients in a small pot and gently simmer until brown sugar has dissolved.
*Disclaimer: Nutritional information provided is an estimate only and generated by an online calculator.
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