Japanese Garlic Ginger Salad Dressing

I decided to follow up on Sunday's Tequila Lime Chicken Pasta with a light, fresh and healthy salad. I love pasta just as much as the next person, but I doubt I could eat it every day. This crunchy green salad is perfect as a light lunch or dinner side and takes a whole 5 minutes to whip together.

I gathered inspiration for this simple salad from my favorite local Japanese restaurant and their delicious house salad dressing. While the salad may be simple, the dressing is...not. Ginger, onion, garlic and other easy-to-find ingredients build a light and fresh dressing bold on taste and perfectly suited atop crunchy greens or a bowl full of warm sticky rice.

Side note- am I the only one that always always orders a side of rice whenever eating out at a Japanese restaurant. Without fail, I will always order a small house salad and side of rice (and main course), and usually ask for extra salad dressing to put on the rice. I can't help it. I almost never make sticky rice at home, and when I do it never comes out right, so that explains the rice obsession, but the salad? I'd like to think it's my body's love of veggies, but I'm thinking it is probably just to get the dressing.

Garlic Ginger Salad Dressing

Total Time: 10 minutes
Yield: approx. 1 1/2 cups


1/2 yellow onion, roughly chopped
1/3 cup peanut oil
1/2 cup rice vinegar
3 tablespoons water
4 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced
2 stalks celery, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
Juice from 1/2 lemon
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon lemongrass paste
1/2 teaspoon salt


Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a large food processor or high-speed blender and process until smooth and creamy (my Vitamix is like a dream at making anything creamy). Season with salt and pepper to taste, along with any other additions you feel necessary (rice vinegar, soy sauce or sugar). Serve over a bowl of fresh greens for a light and healthy meal or side salad.


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