June 15, 2020

Japanese Healthy Salad Dressing Recipe You Should Make at Home: PART 2

Learn Japanese Culture Through Food

Summer is almost here! Are you looking to freshen up your meal without spending hours in the kitchen? Try these simple Japanese salad dressing recipes, then serve alongside fresh greens and veggies. They are so good that your family will come back for seconds!

salad morning

It is widely believed in Japan that even though we cannot control the temperature outside, we can keep cool on the inside of our bodies by consuming a healthy amount of seasonal produce.


Read ahead for our favorite dressing ideas from Japan that are healthy, tasty, and extremely quick to make. You can bet they will help you and your family eat enough vegetables to get you going in the coming warmer months!

If you like the recipes, check out our previous blog post Japanese Salad Dressing Recipes PART 1

shake 2My personal go-to method: The old “Make-n-Shake” method. It is fast, easy and convenient to store.

Soy Sauce Onion "Wafu" Dressing

onion soy
It is a very popular dressing we call “wafu dressing”, meaning “Japanese dressing”. Sesame oil, grated onion, soy sauce are the base of this fresh and vibrant tasting dressing that especially goes well with Asian dishes.

Ingredientssesami onion-1
Best matches: Simple green salads and seaweed salads. I like to use this dressing on boiled pork tenderloin.

roast pork salad-1

Serving Size: 1 tablespoon: 43 calories; 600 mg sodium

It is good for 6 days in the fridge.


Oil-Free Miso Dressing

miso dressingAlthough most popularly used for miso soup, miso paste is a quite versatile ingredient you can put in a lot of things from meat marinade to cookies. This non-oil dressing recipe is addictively zesty with salty, nutty umami from the miso and rich aroma of the sesame. It can double as a dip for veggies.

Ingredientsmiso recipe*Toast and grind the sesame seeds in a food processor or crush by hand using a pestle. You will love the rich flavor! sesame pounding 4

Best matches: The miso sesame dressing will make any salad taste amazing! I repeatedly make this dressing to put it on a cucumber salad and a steamed vegetable salad.

sesame salad

Serving Size: 1 tablespoon: 41 calories; 416 mg sodium

It is good for 10 days in the fridge.

Coleslaw Dressing

mayonaise sace
A refreshing, much lighter than a classic coleslaw recipe you won’t be able to stop eating! Use green and red cabbage to make the salad crunchy and colorful. Coleslaw is often made way ahead in advance and kept refrigerated but if you like to enjoy the texture of the vegetables and full flavor of the dressing, dress the salad shortly before serving.

Ingredientscoleslaw recipe-1
Best matches: I sometimes use the pre-shredded coleslaw mix that comes in bags (because they’re a huge time-saver!) then I dress it up with some other fresh vegetables on hand. I love to add daikon radish to give this coleslaw a Japanese accent.
coleslaw salad-1

Serving Size: 1 tablespoon: 90 calories; 750 mg sodium

It is good for 10 days in the fridge.


2 to 1 Vinaigrette Recipes

Though the standard ratio for vinaigrettes is three parts oil to one part vinegar, we usually use more vinegar and less oil, about two parts oil to one part vinegar. You may change the oil and vinegar ratio down to one to one if you are looking for a sharp dressing or when you want to cut the intake of oil. When the dressing tastes too tart for your liking, add a tad of sugar to balance out the flavor. With this tip, this dressing recipe will not have you miss the oil one bit!

2 to 1 French Vinaigrette Dressing

dressing french

This is the basic vinaigrette recipe. Remember the ratio, and you will be able to make a hundred vinaigrettes. Here are three examples, all based on mixing six tablespoons of oil, three tablespoons vinegar, and one teaspoon of salt.



Best matches: This is a great all-purpose vinaigrette for leafy greens, sliced tomatoes, or many other vegetables.

simple salad

Serving Size: 1 tablespoon: 75 calories; 700 mg sodium

It is good for 10 days in the fridge.

2 to 1 Lemon Vinaigrette

dressing lemon 2-1
Lemon dressings often incorporate other flavors, such as oregano, garlic, and mustard, but sometimes a simple lemon vinaigrette is all you want. Each mouthful is filled with a citrusy kick.

lemon dressing
Best matches: We love to use this dressing on salads to balance out when the entrée is heavy and rich. The refreshing flavor also goes well with seafood salads with shrimp or salmon.

salmon salad 2

Serving Size: 1 tablespoon: 61 calories; 500 mg sodium

It is good for 5 days in the fridge.


2 to 1 Carrot Vinaigrette

dressing carrot
The grated carrot gives this dressing subtle sweetness and appetizing orange color which makes your salad appealing in the warmer days.

Ingredientscarrot dressing
Best matches: Though the dressing is light enough to bring out the flavor of any vegetable, I like to dress it on green leafy vegetables such as romaine, arugula, or spinach to enjoy the orange & green color combination.

carrot dressing salad

Serving Size: 1 tablespoon: 58 calories; 500 mg sodium

It is good for 5 days in the fridge.

2 to 1 Italian Vinaigrette

dressing italian 2
You can chop the olives and bell peppers small or coarsely. This dressing has salty, briny, earthy flavor and there are many ways to use it. It can be a perfect base for an Italian sandwich, too!

Ingredientsitalian recipe 3
Best matches: A mixed spring green salad with tomatoes and croutons. I also love to add some protein and freshly-grated Parmesan cheese to make it a main dish.

italian salads

Serving Size: 1 tablespoon: 62 calories; 600 mg sodium

It is good for 10 days in the fridge.

2 to 1 Dijon Mustard Vinaigrette

dressing mustard
Here is a must-make dressing for salads during the warmer weather! A generous amount of seeded Dijon mustard and chopped parsley gives the dressing tangy, earthy flavor. At the same time, it is perfectly balanced. ⁠

Ingredientsmustard recipe-1
Best matches: Use the dressing with crisp lettuce like romaine. It is also great with cooked vegetables and avocados.

avocado salad

Serving Size: 1 tablespoon: 64 calories; 600 mg sodium

It is good for 5 days in the fridge.

💡 In these recipes, wine vinegar and rice vinegar are nice choices for the vinegar. If you want to use apple cider vinegar, balsamic vinegar, or sherry vinegar, those are bold choices so tread lightly.


Homemade salad dressing is not time consuming or complicated. Simple enough to make but so tasty that you will want to put it on everything and therefore you always have jars in the fridge! 

Did you like these recipes? Check out our previous blog post Japanese Salad Dressing Recipes PART 1

We also offer instructional courses for other Japanese-influenced arts and crafts that you will love. Try our Chigiri-e, Chirimen, & Etegami courses!


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