Mellow Maple-Miso Salad Dressing

Posted by on August 10, 2009 | 16 Comments

This year, I have used summer’s abundant produce as an excuse to fit a jumbo salad into our daily diets and to experiment with homemade salad dressings and vinaigrettes. But, with busier days on the horizon, I realized that I must taper off my ritual of experimenation, where I whip up single servings regularly, and choose a few dressings to bottle in larger quantities for some time savings.

I am pretty sure that the Sweet Dijon Dressing will be one of the options, however, I had yet to successfully create a dressing that would satisfy my husband’s greatest craving. He could practically live off of a sesame-soy dressing. It sounds simple enough, but the at-home blends just weren’t working for me until I came up with this gem. The salty miso and soy sauce are tempered nicely with a bit of maple syrup. Plus, using just a touch of sesame oil adds a nice well rounded flavor, but keeps the overall dressing very low in fat.

My husband agreed that this one is really good, and though quite different from his usual oil-laden, store-bought version, he is happy to make the transition …

Dairy-Free Asian-Inspired Mellow Miso Salad Dressing

Mellow Maple-Miso Salad Dressing

This recipe is Vegan, Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Nut-Free, Low-Fat, Free of Refined Sugars, and optionally Gluten-Free.

Every miso dressing recipe I try is either too bland, too salty, or just somehow off, but this blend hit my taste buds just right. See my notes that follow the recipe for some tips on the ingredients used.

  • 1/4 Cup Mellow Miso (such as a mild white soy miso or a barley miso)
  • 1/4 Cup + 2 Teaspoons Rice Vinegar
  • 1/4 Cup Soy Sauce or Wheat-Free Tamari (for gluten-free)
  • 2 Tablespoons Maple Syrup
  • 2 Teaspoons Sesame Oil
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Ginger Powder

Place all ingredients in a bowl, and whisk until smooth. Alternately, you can place the ingredients in a blender and quickly puree until smooth.

Yields roughly 3/4 cup

 

Ingredient Notes:

Ginger and Garlic are two of my favorite ingredients, but you may have noticed that most of my salad dressing recipes call for the ground / powdered form rather than fresh varieties. There are several reasons for this. One is that my husband can’t take the pungency of fresh (raw) garlic and ginger. Another is that I tend to whip up salad dressings on the fly, and like recipes that require no chopping, just measure and mix. Finally, I don’t always have the fresh stuff on hand! If you prefer to use fresh, go for it. I think about 1 T of fresh minced or crushed ginger should work nicely.

Maple Syrup is such a precious commodity these days, so I rarely use more than a couple of tablespoons in a recipe, which is really all you need to get its full flavor benefit. Since you are using just a bit, don’t skimp, buy pure maple syrup, not imitation!

Miso is sold in the refrigerated section. It is readily available in natural food stores and Asian markets, but these days you can probably even locate it in the mega-marts. It will range in price, but I usually go for one of the less expensive versions for around $3 to $4 a tub. The one I used is soy-based, but for a similar taste, you can choose barley miso or chickpea miso, which is a bit sweeter.

Coconut Aminos from Coconut Secret is an amazing new substitute for soy sauce. It is completely soy-free, but mimics the traditional flavoring remarkably well. I have seen this product in natural food stores such as Whole Foods (along with a similar brand), but you can also purchase it online from shops like iHerb.  – I shop on this site a lot, if you haven’t shopped there before, you can use my coupon code ALI029 at checkout for $5 off your first purchase. It isn’t cheap, but I think worth it for a splurge and if used in small quantities since soy sauce is just so awesome!

Vegan, Dairy-Free, Mellow Miso Salad Dressing

Blog Events: I am submitting this recipe for Souper (or soup, salad, and sammies) Sundays.

 

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5 Good Things Since My Last Post

  1. I cleaned up and organized all of the photos on my computer, at last.
  2. We saw the new Harry Potter movie yesterday; those are always so much fun.
  3. We finally figured out how to get the cat from sleeping on my pillow above my head at night (since she frequently gets up, charges over my husband, and meows whenever she comes back!).
  4. I just finished a wonderfully delicious bowl of homemade chicken and barley soup. I guess we already have fall on the brain!
  5. We had a wonderful “cool” spell of weather, allowing us to go for a mid-summer hike in the southwest.

Comments (16)

 

  1. Christina says:

    This is my type of salad! Absolutely beautiful, and I have to agree – pure maple syrup is worth the extra bucks!

  2. Alison says:

    The dressing sounds great. I really like miso. I only have red miso. I wonder how it’d taste with that.

  3. Andrea says:

    Sounds wonderful, Alisa. I love cooking with miso. Your salad looks so fresh and appealing.

  4. Love this dressing. I have been using the same dressing for a year now and was thinking tonight that I need to dress it up more. And never enough ways to use miso!

  5. DebinHawaii says:

    Gorgeous salad and that dressing sounds delicious! I look forward to adding it to the Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays line-up on Sunday!

  6. Jackie says:

    Interesting dressing, I must give it a try when I next get miso.

  7. veggievixen says:

    woah, i was just dreaming of a miso based dressing. awesome. i never use maple syrup in salad dressings either!

    we’ve had hot, hot, sticky, gross weather here, so you’re super lucky!

  8. pam says:

    I’ve never tried to make a miso vinaigrette.

  9. Sarena says:

    My husband loves Asian dressings too. I will give this one a shot when he runs out of the stuff from the store!

  10. […] Mellow maple-miso salad dressing. […]

  11. This is really a fabulous dressing, Lisa. It could be wonderful as a marinade too. Maple + miso = delicious!

  12. Whoops. I missed the “A” on your name. Typing too fast.

  13. Vegetation says:

    Yum! I’m always looking for new and yummy ways to top my salads and this one sounds perfect!

  14. Beth S. says:

    Sounds yummy!

    I saw the post on GDF as well. However, you titled it there as soy-free, which it is not. Yes, you gave a soy-free alternative to the miso, but there is no substitution available for the soy sauce or tamari, both of which have soy. I wish there were! My son has a soy allergy and I miss things made with soy sauce, like teriyaki marinade!

  15. alisa says:

    Sorry about that oversight Beth. I just updated the post to include the soy-free alternative.

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