Low Calorie Asian Salad Dressing

Homemade dressing
Maximilian Stock Ltd./Getty Images
Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 10 mins
Servings: 24 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
5 Calories
0g Fat
1g Carbs
0g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 24
Amount per serving
Calories 5
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 61mg 3%
Total Carbohydrate 1g 0%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 1mg 4%
Calcium 1mg 0%
Iron 0mg 0%
Potassium 10mg 0%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Asian-inspired ingredients lend a lot of flavor without adding calories to this simple and flavorful salad dressing. Most commercially bottled dressings have high amounts of sodium and saturated fat, not to mention the preservatives and stabilizers used to give the sauces extended shelf life and a better texture and appearance. But if there's any part of your menu where you can save lots of calories, add a lot of flavors, and save some money, it's salad dressings.

Easy and convenient, homemade salad dressings can cater to your taste, nutritional needs, and preferences, and can offer an all-in-one condiment, as they can be used on other dishes and not just fresh salads—think marinades, on grains, for dips. Use our measurements as a template and add other ingredients that suit your preferences, like fresh herbs, or perhaps a teaspoon of dijon mustard. Replace the sesame oil with a different strong-flavored oil like peanut or macadamia to find other versions of this low-cal dressing that you might like.

Our recipe relies on the warm and strong flavor of sesame oil, a traditional ingredient in Asian cooking that is also a nutritional powerhouse, packed with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory components. Combined with pungent garlic, ginger, and chile paste, the sesame oil doesn't get lost in the other flavors and still delivers its notorious punch despite the fact that we only use one teaspoon. Buy a good quality cold press sesame oil, as a little goes a long way.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth

  • 1/3 cup rice vinegar

  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce (low-sodium)

  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil

  • 1 teaspoon sugar

  • 1 teaspoon garlic (minced)

  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger (ground)

  • 1/4 teaspoon chili paste

  • 1 lime (juiced)

  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro (chopped)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Pour the vegetable broth, rice vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, garlic, ginger, chili paste, and the juice of 1 lime in a blender.

  3. Blend the ingredients on high for about 10 seconds, or until the mixture is smooth and free of clumps.

  4. Transfer the dressing to a clean jar or bottle and add the chopped cilantro to the dressing mixture, stirring the mixture lightly to incorporate. Serve with your favorite salad.

  5. Enjoy!

Other Uses for Asian Low-Cal Dressing

Dressings are meant to flavor more than just fresh green vegetables. Here are a few ideas on how to make the best out of this dressing:

  • Use our dressing as a marinade for beef, chicken, pork, or fish. Because of the acid content in vinegar, don't let the meat marinate over 30 minutes in the dressing as the acid can make your meat mushy. Grill, pan-fry, or bake your meats right away.
  • Mix the dressing with pasta, quinoa, barley, couscous, or rice to make a cold grain salad. Add vegetables like cucumber, cherry tomatoes, shredded carrots, or radishes to make a summer salad that you can serve with grilled chicken, strips of beef, or topped with pepitas.
  • Add some dressing to cream cheese or sour cream to make delicious dips for raw veggies, chips, or warm naan bread. Use the dip as a sandwich or wrap dressing and stuff with cold cuts, sliced cheese, and fresh lettuce.

If you don't have time to make a different dressing each day, simply double the amounts in our recipe and keep the dressing in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. If choosing to do so, don't add the cilantro, instead waiting until you're using the dressing. Have the base ready and simply mix what you need with fresh cilantro. Or choose different herbs like parsley, dill, or basil.

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