This Asian vinaigrette is made with rice vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil and fresh ginger.
To begin with, make sure you use seasoned rice vinegar. I've always used Marukan, so that's the flavor I'm used to, and it's what I used to come up with this recipe.
FYI, the unseasoned kind might or might not say "unseasoned" on the label. It might just say "genuine brewed rice vinegar," and in some cases, it might indicate that it's sodium free and sugar-free. But anyway, you don't want any of those. You want the kind that says "seasoned."
Having said that, the "seasoning" happens to be sugar and salt. So if for some reason you only have access to the unseasoned kind, all you have to do is add sugar and salt. For ¼ a cup of unseasoned rice vinegar (which is what this recipe calls for), you'd want to add one tablespoon of sugar and one tablespoon of Kosher salt, or half a tablespoon of regular salt. Just stir them together until the salt and sugar have dissolved.
Another thing is that rice vinegar and rice wine vinegar are the same things. So don't stress about that. But be aware that rice wine is something completely different.
Scrape about an inch of the skin with the edge of a spoon or the back edge of a knife. Leave plenty of roots so that you can keep a good grip on it without grating your fingers. Rub the ginger back and forth across the grater until you have the amount you need.
Finally, the sesame oil. For this dressing recipe, you want to use pure sesame oil. There are blends out there because pure sesame oil will smoke at very low temperatures, so it isn't good for cooking. The blends are mostly vegetable oil with a little bit of sesame oil added. But since salad dressing isn't cooked, we use the pure kind. Just make sure what you've got, because the dressing won't taste the same if you use the blended kind.
- 1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 3/4 cup salad oil (see note)
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 1/2 tablespoons fresh ginger (grated)
- 1/2 clove garlic (crushed)
- Dash of Sriracha chili sauce (i.e. "Rooster" sauce)
- Black pepper (freshly ground, to taste)
- Place all the ingredients in a glass or stainless steel bowl and whisk them together thoroughly. Or, mix the ingredients in a blender for about 10 seconds or until fully combined.
- Transfer to a glass bowl and let stand for 30 minutes to let the flavors meld. Give the dressing a good whisk immediately before serving.
Note: Any oil labeled "vegetable oil" or "salad oil" is fine for this basic recipe.
You can also use any light, neutral-flavored oil like safflower, canola or soybean oil.