Japanese Onion, Ginger, and Carrot Salad Dressing

Onion ginger carrot dressing

The Spruce 

  • Total: 10 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Yield: 8 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
133 Calories
14g Fat
3g Carbs
0g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
×
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8 servings
Amount per serving
Calories 133
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 14g 18%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 160mg 7%
Total Carbohydrate 3g 1%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Protein 0g
Calcium 4mg 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.)

Japanese salad dressings like this ginger, onion and carrot dressing are unique in that they often involve a puree of vegetables and other ingredients to create a fresh and extremely flavorful dressing. They are referred to as wafu dressing, which translates to "Japanese-style dressing."

Two popular bases for homemade Japanese salad dressing include a soy sauce based dressing and a tomato paste based dressing. Soy sauce based salad dressings tend to feel lighter versus tomato paste based dressings, as the latter tends to naturally thicken the dressing and add a layer of richness that is otherwise lacking with soy sauce based dressings.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup yellow onion (chopped)
  • 1/4 cup carrot (about 1 small carrot, chopped)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger (minced)
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup (or tomato paste)
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 rice vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (to taste)
  • Optional: dash of black pepper
  • Optional: 1/2 teaspoon granulated white sugar

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for dressing
    The Spruce
  2. Add the yellow onion and carrot to food processor. (Note: A blender may also be used.)

    Add yellow onion and carrot
    The Spruce 
  3. Peel ginger and mince; add to food processor.

    Peel ginger and mince
    The Spruce 
  4. Add ketchup (or tomato paste), soy sauce, canola oil, rice vinegar, and salt to the food processor and pulse or blend until the mixture is pureed and smooth. 

    Add ketchup
    The Spruce 
  5. Taste the dressing, and if desired, add a dash of black pepper and a touch of white sugar.

    Taste the dressing
    The Spruce  
  6. For best results, chill the dressing for a 1 to 2 hours before serving.

    Chill the dressing
    The Spruce 
  7. The dressing may also be used as a marinade.

Tips

  • Special equipment needed include a food processor, mini food processor, or blender.
  • The recipe for this Japanese onion, ginger and carrot salad dressing is tomato based, but instead of tomato paste, we've substituted it with ketchup. If you've got tomato paste in your pantry, by all means, try giving the paste a try too, and see which you prefer. We find that the tomato paste has a bit more acid, resulting in a dressing with more tartness.
  • The main ingredients for the salad dressing include three vegetables, yellow onion, ginger, and carrots. These vegetables are pureed in a food processor (or blender) until smooth and mixed with soy sauce, rice vinegar, ketchup, and oil. We recommend using an oil with mild flavors such as canola, vegetable, or coconut oil, but feel free to experiment with your favorites. Finish the dressing off with a touch of salt and pepper, and you've got a quick and very fresh salad dressing bursting with flavor. 
  • The pureed raw onion adds a nice spiciness to this salad dressing but is mellowed by the flavors of the carrots and ginger. It tastes best when chilled first.
  • This dressing may also be used as a marinade for meats or fish.

Recipe Variation

  • The recipe for this Japanese onion, ginger and carrot salad dressing is tomato based, but instead of tomato paste, we've substituted it with ketchup. If you've got tomato paste in your pantry, by all means, try giving the paste a try too, and see which you prefer. We find that the tomato paste has a bit more acid, resulting in a dressing with more tartness.