Japanese Salad Dressing - what to do differently?
My recipes involves light miso, rice wine vinegar, lemon juice, a little ketchup, fresh ground ginger, salt/pepper. Its good but its not exactly like the type I have tasted in restaurants. It seems like there is a flavor profile or pop that I am missing. I mix the ingredients such that the texture is just right so I know its not diluted down or anything but it is definitely missing something. Anyone know what the secret is?
honey has a flavor though. sugar is just sweet.
also, lemon juice *and* rice wine vinegar? what about nixing the lemon? oh, i see the benihana dressing recipe has both, plus a bunch of other things:
Here's a secret that I've scaled down for home use (still makes a lot):
A big fat carrot, peeled and cut up.
An orange, peeled and seeded and cut up.
A lemon, peeled and seeded and cut up.
Fresh peeled ginger root, about 1 cup coarsely cut (across the grain) in 1/2" pieces
1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
2 Tbs dark amber sesame oil (not the clear stuff)
A large can of crushed pineapple in juice
Place the contents in batches in the blender and liquefy (don't fill blender more than 1/2 full with each batch) Mix together. Let mellow for a day.
Yes, toasted. A hint: if you have an oriental market nearby, a quart of this stuff's just a few dollars. In a regular ("Stop & Shop") supermarket's "Asian" section, only 8 oz. of this stuff is $4.99 or so -- it pays to look. The same holds true for the ginger, and it's fresher at the oriental market, too.
I find that the freshest ginger is from the Asian markets. At the market I go to, they package a bunch of ginger roots in a plastic bag and sell the whole bag for $1. Otherwise, it's about 50cents/lb loose. I store it in the freezer and take it out as I need it. I've also found soy sauce, tofu, and Asian noodles really cheap.
It sounds like you may be looking to imitate the grated carrot dressing that a lot of American sushi places use (as far as I know, this is a completely American innovation, and it's quite regional... I had not encountered it all that often in CA, but somehow I encounter it practically everywhere in the Northeast)
There were a thread with a variety of options here:)
The "Ichiban" one seems similar to what you're going for. (I've never heard of ketchup in it either, but indeed, that's what they say!
A more popular miso dressing in Japan is miso+mayo combination: stir some miso and a bit of vinegar into Japanese style salad mayo (e.g., Kewpie brand), with a sprinkle of sugar to taste.
i make a carrot ginger dressing at home. i don't measure it so i'll do my best to articulate the proportions. also don't forget to steam the carrots. it brings out the sugar and makes the dressing sweeter. as for the acid, i like to use a variety. i also use olive oil. it adds a nice twist to the taste. as with all dressings combine then add more of an ingredient if deemed necessary. i also make this in my mini cuisinart.
1 medium carrot sliced then steamed in the microwave for 2 minutes
3 slices of ginger chopped
1 clove of small garlic
1/4 cup of water
1 tbsp of honey or some superfine sugar
juice of 1 large juicy lime or rice vinegar or lemon or yuzu
1-2 tbsp white or red miso
a sprinkle of sea salt
1/4-1/2 cup olive oil
1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
combine everything in the mini cuisinart
I do something similar with most of your ingredients (when they are on hand and in varying ratios), but I also whirr up some tofu along with the rest (heavier on the miso, negligent on the oil, and maybe with some fresh red bell pepper) in the FP. It makes a lovely texture without the mayo.
To be honest, I've even used some ricotta when I've been caught short. Works beautifully.