Japanese Onion, Ginger and Carrot Salad Dressing Recipe

Ginger Onion Carrot Salad Dressing
Japanese Ginger Carrot Dressing. Photo Credit: © Judy Ung
  • 10 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins,
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Yield: 1 cup (8 servings)

Japanese salad dressings are unique in that they often involve a puree of vegetables and other ingredients to create a fresh and extremely flavorful dressing. They are referred to as "wafu dressing," which translates to "Japanese style dressing."

Two popular bases for homemade Japanese salad dressing include a soy sauce based dressing and a tomato paste based dressing. Soy sauce based salad dressings tend to feel lighter versus tomato paste based dressings, as the latter tends to naturally thicken the dressing and add a layer of richness that is otherwise lacking with soy sauce based dressings.

What You'll Need

  • 1/4 cup yellow onion
  • 1/4 cup carrot (about 1 small carrot)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger, minced
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup or tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 rice vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, to taste
  • a dash of Black pepper (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated white sugar (optional)

How to Make It

  1. Rough chop yellow onion and carrots and add to food processor. Note: A blender may also be used.
  2. Peel ginger and mince; add to food processor.
  3. Add ketchup (or tomato paste), soy sauce, canola oil, rice vinegar, and salt to the food processor and pulse or blend until the mixture is pureed and smooth. Taste the dressing, and if desired, add a dash of black pepper and a touch of white sugar.
  4. For best results, chill the dressing for a 1 to 2 hours before serving. The dressing may also be used as a marinade.

    Additional Information:

    The recipe for this Japanese onion, ginger and carrot salad dressing is tomato based, but instead of tomato paste, I've substituted it with ketchup. If you've got tomato paste in your pantry, by all means, try giving the paste a try too, and see which you prefer. I find that the tomato paste has a bit more acid, resulting in a dressing with more tartness.

    The main ingredients for the salad dressing include three vegetables, yellow onion, ginger, and carrots. These vegetables are pureed in a food processor (or blender) until smooth and mixed with soy sauce, rice vinegar, ketchup, and oil. I recommend using an oil with mild flavors such as canola, vegetable, or coconut oil, but feel free to experiment with your favorites. Finish the dressing off with a touch of salt and pepper, and you've got a quick and very fresh salad dressing bursting with flavor. 

    The pureed raw onion adds a nice spiciness to this salad dressing but is mellowed by the flavors of the carrots and ginger. It tastes best when chilled first.

    This dressing may also be used as a marinade for meats or fish.

    Special Equipment:

    • Food processor, mini food processor or blender