The other day, I realized how much I really missed those Sesame Ginger oriental salad kits. Since I tend to be sensitive to sugar, I had cut them out of my diet due to the huge amount of sugar in the dressing. That, my friends has now changed. Why not get the kit but make your own dressing instead of that sugary stuff they give you? So, I played. And, I played again. And… again. Now, we have something pretty tasty!
So! Start off with the basics. Toasted Sesame oil, Rice Vinegar, and Soy Sauce. On Soy Sauce, a couple of notes: You can get regular, and low-salt Soy Sauce! Feel free to use either one. Now, if you’re gluten free, the Soy Sauce is a BIG problem. I have it on good authority that Coconut Aminos can substitute. I haven’t tried it myself, so I’m going to ask some of you to chime in on how that converts.
So, Rice Vinegar, and Toasted Sesame Oil first… So many people have issues with salt and sugar, I tend to be on the lookout for such things. Rice Vinegar regularly comes in two forms: With, and without salt and sugar; so keep an eye out if you’re sensitive. Sesame Oil also comes generally in two forms: Toasted, and Un-toasted. The Un-toasted is a light colored liquid that will not have the depth of flavor that we’re looking for here. The toasted is the way to go, and will be a dark brown.
We’re going to start off with ¼ cup of each of these two (Rice Vinegar, and Toasted Sesame Oil), and 1 Tbsp of Soy Sauce.
Now, a note on the other ingredients. Fresh is always preferable, but, if you’re like me and live in the sticks, things like Garlic are not always do-able fresh. Dried can be used. Real, fresh Ginger really does give the kind of flavor we’re looking for, so, if at all possible, use it, not the dried stuff. I have been interested in seeing how pickled ginger does, but have not gotten around to making any, so… that’s for another post. Next: sweetener of choice. Since I am sensitive to the sugars, I use xylitol. It sweetens like sugar, and even tastes like it. (best of both worlds for me, but, it is toxic to our furry friends, so be careful with it if you have pets.) Another thing that I have added before and was really fun was Chinese 5 Spice (Please contact for special order if you don’t already have some). Adding ¼ tsp can change the flavor of your dressing in surprising ways. But…. let’s keep it to the basics for now, and add that when you want to keep your dinner guests guessing as to your magical cooking prowess.
Add 1 Tsp of chopped garlic, 2 tsp of sugar, or sugar substitute, and about half this amount of ginger nub. (Or, as much as 2 tsp of powder.)
And give it a stir until you can feel the sugar has dissolved.
Next, you want to let it sit for at least half an hour before serving, so, grab a handy container with a lid (mason jars work great for this) and let the flavors get friendly with each other while you do something else.
When ready, pour it on, and you have Salad! I love to add nuts to mine, just for a little bit of fun texture.
Next, easy dinner! (I got some gorgeous fully-cooked smoked salmon the other day, so I’m indulging.)