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This 5-minute, Japanese-inspired miso salad dressing recipe is made with sesame, ginger, and garlic. It’s SO flavourful and nutritious, while being vegan, gluten-free, and added sugar-free. Post includes ideas for what to serve this miso dressing with, plus an option for making a creamy version with tahini!

Homemade miso salad dressing in a glass jar.

Looking for an Asian salad dressing that is simple to make and pairs beautifully with everything? I first made this miso dressing for my fan-favourite warm mushroom salad recipe. Both the dressing and salad were roughly inspired by the popular Shroomami bowl at Sweetgreen. The dressing is seriously SO good, it deserved its own post!

If you want to change things up from your standard vinaigrettes, this miso sesame and ginger dressing is just perfect for you. All you need are 7 pantry-friendly ingredients and 5 minutes to whisk everything together.

As a dietitian, I absolutely love using miso paste to add an umami flavour and gut-friendly nutrition benefits to my meals.

If you’re wondering what to serve this miso dressing with (aside from that mushroom salad), I’ve also included a long list of ingredient pairings for you below. Enjoy!

Want more delicious salad dressing recipes? Check out my roundup of healthy homemade sauces + dressings for more ideas!

Recipe ingredient flatlay.

About the ingredients

All you need to make this miso salad dressing are 7 simple, pantry-friendly ingredients:

  1. Olive Oil: I like to use either a high-quality extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil as the base of this recipe. Avocado oil has a more neutral flavour, but both pair well with the rest of the ingredients.
  2. Toasted Sesame Oil: This oil is made from toasted sesame seeds and adds that perfect touch of sesame flavour to this recipe. Toasted sesame oil (versus regular sesame oil) has a more concentrated flavour and is better as a finishing/dressing oil versus a cooking oil.
  3. Rice Vinegar: Rice vinegar is commonly used in East Asian cuisine. It’s made from fermented rice and has a mild and subtle acidic flavour. If you don’t have rice vinegar, you could try swapping it with white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar instead.
  4. Miso Paste: Miso is a traditional Japanese seasoning made from fermented soybeans. It adds a fantastic salty, umami flavour to so many recipes. It’s one of my personal flavour enhancers to use in my cooking! I typically go for a lighter-coloured variety, like a white or yellow miso, as they’re a bit milder in taste. Miso will usually be stored in the refrigerated section of your grocery store.
  5. Ground Ginger: While you may use freshly grated ginger, ground ginger is a bit quicker to use and easier to measure!
  6. Garlic Powder: Likewise, garlic powder is quicker to use than fresh garlic cloves. It also blends more seamlessly into the dressing. That said, you can use fresh garlic cloves if needed. I’d start with 1-2 large ones, depending on how garlicky you like things. That said, garlic is not meant to be super overpowering in this salad dressing.
  7. Hot Water: Added to thin out the dressing AND to help break down the miso paste when whisking, providing a smoother texture. You may use freshly boiled water from the kettle or hot water from the tap.

Looking for a thicker, creamier version of this recipe? You can swap the olive/avocado oil with tahini instead, just like I’ve done in this tofu salad with a miso tahini dressing! Simply use 1/2 a cup of tahini in place of the avocado or olive oil, but keep the toasted sesame oil for that sesame flavour.

Full ingredient measurements and detailed instructions are located in the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post!

Step-by-step: how to make miso salad dressing

Miso dressing ingredients in a bowl, before whisking together.

All all dressing ingredients into a bowl.

Miso dressing whisked together in a bowl.

Using a whisk or fork, whisk the ingredients together until a smooth dressing forms. Use immediately, or transfer to a jar for storage!

Storage notes

You can keep this salad dressing for up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator. Be sure to store it in an airtight container or jar with a lid.

Separation and hardening while in the fridge is normal. Simply take the dressing out of the fridge before you prep the rest of your salad. It’ll soften up – just give it a good shake before using!

What to serve this dressing with

I originally made this miso dressing with my fan-favourite warm mushroom salad recipe (pictured below) and I’ve also used it for my quinoa edamame salad!

That said, you can use this versatile dressing in SO many other ways. Think of salad ingredients that go well with Asian flavours, such as:

  • leafy greens, like spinach or kale
  • shredded carrots
  • thinly sliced cucumbers
  • broccoli florets (raw, roasted, or sautéed)
  • edamame
  • shredded cabbage
  • avocado
  • cooked mushrooms
  • diced celery
  • beets (raw or steamed)
  • grains, like wild rice, farro, or quinoa
  • cold soba noodles
  • chopped green onions
  • seeds, like pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, sunflower seeds, and toasted sesame seeds
  • cooked proteins, like shrimp, tofu, or chicken
overhead photo of large white serving plate topped with warm mushroom, kale, and farro salad with avocado chunks on top

Miso nutrition benefits

Because miso paste is made by fermenting soybeans, it’s a natural source of beneficial gut microbes that appear to play a role in many aspects of human health.

Miso is also rich in vitamins and minerals, such as: 

  • manganese
  • vitamin K
  • copper
  • zinc

Please note that miso does contain a fair amount of sodium, so you likely will not need to add much extra salt to this recipe.

Not sure what else to do with miso paste? Don’t let that container go to waste! Check out my roundup of miso recipes for more inspiration.

Miso salad dressing in a glass jar.

More homemade salad dressing recipes:

Did you give this Miso Salad Dressing Recipe a try? Let me know by leaving a comment and recipe rating below!

If you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram or Pinterest – seeing your creations always makes my day. You can also subscribe to my email list to never miss a new recipe or nutrition education post!

Get the Recipe: 5-Minute Miso Salad Dressing With Sesame & Ginger

This 5-minute, Japanese-inspired miso salad dressing recipe is made with sesame, ginger, and garlic. It's SO flavourful and easy to make, while being vegan, gluten-free, and added sugar-free as well.
Homemade miso salad dressing in a glass jar.
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5 from 4 votes
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Ingredients

Instructions

  • Add all dressing ingredients to a bowl. With a fork or whisk, whisk everything together well until a smooth dressing forms.
  • Taste and adjust seasonings, as desired. You can also add more or less hot water, depending on the consistency you like.
  • Use immediately or transfer to an airtight container or jar with a lid, for storage in the fridge.

Notes

*SERVINGS: This recipe as written will make about 4-8 servings, depending on how much dressing you like to add to your salads!
*CREAMY TAHINI VERSION: Looking for a thicker, creamier version of this recipe? You can swap the olive/avocado oil with tahini instead, just like I’ve done in this tofu salad with a miso tahini dressing! Simply use 1/2 a cup of tahini in place of the avocado or olive oil (keep the toasted sesame oil for that sesame flavour).
*STORAGE: 
  • You can keep this salad dressing for up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator. Be sure to store it in an airtight container or jar with a lid.
  • Separation and hardening while in the fridge is normal. Simply take the dressing out of the fridge before you prep the rest of your salad. It’ll soften up – just give it a good shake before using!
 
*PAIRING IDEAS: I’ve paired this miso dressing with my fan-favourite warm mushroom salad recipe and this quinoa edamame salad, but here are some more ingredients that would pair beautifully:
  • leafy greens, like spinach or kale
  • other veggies, like shredded carrots, thinly sliced cucumbers, broccoli florets (raw, roasted, or sautéed), edamame, shredded cabbage, avocado, cooked mushrooms, diced celery, beets (raw or steamed), chopped green onions
  • grains, like wild rice, farro, quinoa, or cold soba noodles
  • seeds, like pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, sunflower seeds, and toasted sesame seeds
  • cooked proteins, like shrimp, tofu, or chicken

Nutrition

As a dietitian, I create recipes with whole food ingredients that provide the nutrients needed for optimal health. My nutrition philosophy does not focus on numbers; however, I understand that this information can be helpful.

Do note that the nutrition info provided is an estimate and I cannot guarantee correctness of the displayed values. These numbers will differ depending on brands used, recipe modifications, and amount eaten. If you require specific nutrition information due to medical reasons, please consult with your dietitian or physician.

Did you make this recipe?

Let me know by leaving a recipe rating below, or by tagging @walderwellness on Instagram. I love seeing your beautiful creations!

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This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy.