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Mar 9, 2013 09:59 AM

Copying a restaurant's dressing recipe

I'm a bit of a novice when it comes to cooking, but here we go:
There's a restaurant in Denver called H Burger that has the best salad I've ever had in my life, a Chinois chicken salad with a soy mustard vinaigrette dressing. I'm desperate to copy the dressing so I can put it on all my salads, so I asked the waitress if they sold the dressing, or would be willing to give me the recipe. She went to the kitchen to ask and came back with a list of ingredients used in the dressing, rather than the recipe:
-dry mustard
-rice wine vinegar
-soy sauce
-possibly some other things not written down

I thought the dressing looked too creamy to be a vinaigrette! (It has the appearance of maybe a thinner hollandaise, or a yellower Caesar.) So my questions are: Is this even really a vinaigrette? Doesn't adding an egg make it a type of Caesar? If I were to throw this all together at home in an effort to recreate it, are there any standard measurements I should be using? (This much oil to this much vinegar, this much vinegar to one egg, etc)? I've never made dressing before, and I'm aware certain proportions are usually recommended, however I have no idea how this works with a Caesar.

Any help at all would be appreciated! My passion for this salad knows no bounds!

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  1. Well, there are emulsified vinagrettes. Typically made with an immersian blender. Dry mustard will help emulsify, as will egg. It could be hard-boiled egg yolk, rather than raw. Roughly three or four parts oil to one part vinagar, depending on what kind of vinagar. But really, you do not have enough info to recreate this dressing. Possibly another Hound can steer you to a recipe.

    1 Reply
    1. re: mwhitmore

      Thank you for your reply, and for suggesting an immersion blender. I have one, and I will use it when I make the dressing tonight.

      1. re: Jay F

        I'm sure she did, the list she gave me was incomplete. I suspect it was a combination of sesame and vegetable oil though (as that seems common).

        1. re: snoopy275

          Yes seems they left out the oil. In general I use one part acid to two parts oil. Many people use one part acid to 3-4 parts oil.

          The egg yolk with mustard help mix the acid liquid and oil together into a thick sauce (emulsify). A whisk, blender, or food processor also helps.

      2. You can try the proportions from this recipe using the ingredients on your list (dressing is second recipe)

        1 Reply
        1. Those ingredients are similar to a dressing recipe I got from a teriyaki restaurant in Seattle.

          1 cup vegetable oil
          1/4 cup sesame oil
          1/3 cup rice vinegar
          1/4 cup sugar
          1 egg
          2 slices ginger (about 1/4 oz)
          Juice of 1/2 lemon
          2 cloves garlic
          1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
          2 teaspoons dry mustard
          Fresh ground pepper

          Put everything in a blender and blend until smooth

          2 Replies
          1. re: hannaone

            This actually looks like it might be very similar, thank you very much, I will try it tonight!
            One question, out of curiosity: did the dressing look like how I described mine, creamy and yellow?

            1. re: snoopy275

              hannaone, TY. Looks good. Seems a nice base recipe. Even has ginger. Was thinking add homemade pickled ginger when read OP.

              snoopy275, hope you like when make. Could whisk egg yolk(s) with 1 T juice of half a lemon, 2T vinegar, then drizzle in the oil slow at first to make a mayo (I often use the yolks of two room temperature coddled eggs for 1.5 cups oil - toss the whites). Once have a nice firm mayo then add remaining ingredients. Expect results this way would be creamy and yellow. Or if did not make a mayo would be a vinaigrette end result. Your pick.

              If want thick consider using an immersion blender as shown in the first YouTube link here: make a mayo then whip in the rest. If breaks, or is not thick enough, fix with a whisk and an egg yolk in a second bowl as described in a few minutes.

              A soy mustard garlic ginger combination sounds tasty. Plan to garnish with toasted sesame seeds (buy white then make light brown in a non-stick dry pan over medium heat). Would use olive, safflower, sunflower, or peanut oil. Maybe a combination with toasted sesame oil 4 to 1. Lime goes with lemon, and would add fresh zest from both before juice.

          2. Substitute rice vinegar for the lemon juice and add a pinch of sugar (or more to taste):

            Or try the mustard soy vinaigrette that Wolfgang Puck uses on his Chinois chicken salad:

            2 Replies
            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

              Puck calls for light sesame oil; I thought I had some but cannot find it .. I should not use the toasted sesame oil, right?

              Also, I have Colman's dry mustard .. do I need to make a trip to Chinese market for theirs? What's the difference?

              I'll probably skip the frying of the wrappers.

              1. re: walker

                Toasted sesame oil is deeper & slightly more bitter in flavor than the light variety. Use half the amount the recipe indicates, and make up the difference with more peanut oil.

                The Colman's dry mustard is less hot/pungent than Chinese because they blend hot brown & milder white mustard seed to make it - Chinese is pure brown seed. If you use Colman's the flavor will be roughly the same, just with less bite.