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i got mox

Recipe: japanese ginger-carrot dressing

Damn straight. Look at what the lovely Katie sent to me in the mail yesterday!

so sweet!

I like to think of Katie as my twin in Salt Lake City because we both tele and have dogs. Except she’s not Chinese. And she runs faster (and muuuuuch farther) than me. And I’m pretty sure she’s taller than me. And she writes more eloquently than I do. And she can lead climb. And she’s more in tune with her inner peace while I’m in tune with my inner anger. But other than that… we’re like the closest thing to twins you can imagine! What a gorgeous little headlamp. What a stellar gal pal. Thanks, Katie!

This morning we set out to do a short hike only to find that the road leading to the trailhead was still closed. It usually opens by Memorial Day weekend, but they postponed the opening. We decided to walk the road and saw along the way that there were still sizable snow drifts and windfall (downed trees) strewn across both lanes. The campgrounds were also under a few feet of snow still. Late thaw. But we enjoyed our walk since I’m still physically weak. There was a lot to see like different stages of pussy willow blooms, bunnies, ptarmigans, fish in the lakes, tiny wildflowers, snow, and a gorgeous Wilson’s Warbler that sang for us. It was a gorgeous way to start the day. Check out the photo blog for all of the pics, but I’ll include some of my favorites here.

kaweah loves the snow

approaching brainard lake

mount audubon looms over brainard lake

puppy gets her morning swim in the icy water

scooby snack

wilson’s warbler


I told one of my tele betties that when my chemo was over I was going to eat sushi, salads, and berries for a month. Try forgoing some of your favorite foods for several months. You start to get a little punchy.

onion, ginger, carrots

The first salad I had when my blood counts had bounced back was with a favorite Japanese dressing. I have only had it on occasion in random sushi bars. They bring out a token salad sometimes, just iceberg lettuce with a tomato wedge and a few carrot shreds. I have to hold back my gag reflex when they serve it with Thousand Island dressing. If I’m lucky, I’ll score the gingery/vinegary dressing.

purée everything

A little guesswork and tinkering a few years ago and I’ve settled on a recipe of my own that comes pretty close to the dressing I like. It’s not smooth in texture or in flavor. It packs a punch, but if you love ginger, this is a good one to try with adjustments to your liking. I find it incredibly refreshing in the summertime.

toss dressing with salad and serve

Japanese Ginger-Carrot Dressing
[print recipe]

1 cup carrot, chopped into chunks
1/4 sweet onion
1/2 cup ginger, peeled and cut into chunks
2 tbsps sesame oil
2 tbsps rice wine vinegar
2 tbsps sugar
2 tbsps soy sauce
1/4 cup miso paste

Place all ingredients into food processor and blend until puréed. Toss dressing with salad and serve.

41 nibbles at “i got mox”

  1. Kitt says:


    What a nice gift that headlamp is. I use mine for all kinds of things (searching for something in the back of the closet, pulling splinters, cleaning cobwebs in the basement).

    Brainerd Lakes was my first real hike in Colorado, and there was still snow at the end of June. First hiking lesson: Always wear wool socks!

    Your photos are spectacular. Love the warbler.

  2. manggy says:

    Aww, you made Kaweah look like a puppy! She’s so cute! Jeremy sure loves that hat, doesn’t he? :) Are you a member of the Audubon society? Because you capture birds so flawlessly, it’s amazing!

    I always thought the dressing that came with my tonkatsu had pureed tomatoes on top of it. I never considered that it could be carrots! My mom loves this dressing, thanks for the recipe! :) I watched a Japanese home cooking show on NHK (I didn’t understand a thing of course), and the woman just mixed miso with I think sugar and water and used it as a dressing. It was just so blah!! :P

  3. Mollie says:

    LOVE the pictures. So beautiful there. And Kaweah looks like she’s having a great time. We have a BMD who adores the snow, water and woods too. He’d go crazy up there!

    Thanks for the recipe – we have friends who go crazy for that salad at sushi bars and have always wondered how to make it. I think I’ll make up a batch for her for her birthday next week!

  4. SallyBR says:

    Mystery solved! I’ve always wanted to know what was that dressing I love so much!

    seems obvious that it would contain carrots, but until I read your post, I was clueless….

    thank you for posting, I’ll be making it soon

    (pictures are gorgeous, as always, amazing that she would swim in icy water like that, evidently she is not Brazilian)

  5. sarahmarie says:

    you’ve been tagged!

  6. Graeme says:

    Lovely. Healthy and Summery.
    That little yellow birdy looks as though it may be suffering from ‘Random Pavarotti Disease.’

    ‘Random Pavarotti Disease is a psychological disease that mainly affects plasticine dogs. The condition causes the random blurting out of opera-like singing. The only known cure is to go into either the victim’s brain or bum, using a shrunken submarine. It rarely works, and, on the rare occasion it does work, causes the random blurting out of programmes from BBC Radio 4 instead ‘

  7. Fiona says:

    I’ve been seeking this kind of recipe for years – thank you!

    So you use light miso for this?

  8. Lauren @ Parsnips Aplenty says:

    Oh man, I love that dressing. It made even the iceberg lettuce they used to serve at sushi places taste amazing. Now it makes arugula taste amazing, haha.

  9. Laura @ HungryAndFrozen says:

    What gorgeous pictures, I love when Kaweah makes an appearance :) the way you captured that bird is just ridiculous! I can barely capture slow-moving cupcakes on film LOL. The recipe for the dressing sounds great, I love using miso for things other than just a bowl of soup…

  10. Mrs Ergul says:

    Lovely weather and what a picturesque view! But you know what I’m fearing that with global warming I’m not sure how long this lovely Mother Nature is going to last. I think we got hit on pretty hard here in Singapore by global warming. The weather is totally berserk this entire year.

  11. Becky says:

    I always have this salad/dressing combo in the bento box lunches from my favorite korean restaurant but i never knew what was in the dressing. now i know! i just wanted to say that i follow your blog obsessively and that your courage in the face of cancer was extremely admirable and inspiring. glad to see your back taking pictures and cooking as wonderfully as always.

  12. Kevin says:

    That sounds like a tasty dressing.

  13. Christine says:

    Jen – I love that the note was cut in the shape of mountains – little touches like that are so, so cool.

    After eating it this dressing at sushi places, I’ve been tinkering with a similar recipe for a while as I find it so refreshing as well. I didn’t think to add miso. I’ll be giving yours a try soon. Thanks for this!

  14. joanne at frutto della passione says:

    Gorgeous pics as always and wow did that ever look delicious. I don’t know if I can find rice wine vinegar round these parts but I’m pretty sure I could come up with a substitution!

  15. KatieC says:

    You must be a real shortie then, doll. I’m barely 5’3″.

    However, you’re my twin who can teach me to actually make – not fake – a tele turn, who can cook the most beautiful and delicious-looking meals I’ve ever seen, who can take photos like a pro and who can handle everything in stride. And I love that.

  16. Hillary says:

    I love ginger dressing. I always eat like 3 salads when I’m at Japanese restaurants, just because I can’t get enough. Thanks for sharing this recipe!

  17. Kathy O. says:

    I have to try this dressing. We have a wonderful Japanese restaurant in town that serves a dressing similar to this …. I have been trying to find a dressing that compares and this sounds like it very well may. Thank you for sharing!

  18. cindy says:

    That Katie is pretty amazing. Actually, you both are. Glad you’re out and about.

    What insanely beautiful pictures. We’re headed for the mountains in a few weeks (Tetons and Yellowstone), and I’m going to work on my fledging photography skills. I’m such as clod at it.

    That dressing sounds great. Why do they always give you such eensy salads at Japanese restaurants?? I’m always tempted to order about five of them.

  19. Woo says:

    Kaweah is gorgeous (love black labs) and so are your pics.

    It’s so hot here, I think your salad dressing is going to be on my menu tonight!

  20. jenyu says:

    Kitt – we have 5 headlamps in our house now. They’re handy for all sorts of things, but most of all we use them in the backcountry! :) I don’t wear wool socks (allergies) -I’m synthetic all the way.

    Mark – Kaweah always looks like a puppy, it’s insane. People who meet her on the trail think she’s 6 months old. She’s nearly 10 years old! I’m not a member of Audubon society and I’m not very good at capturing birds. I’m just patient enough to wait for them to perch or crash into my house :)

    Mollie – Kaweah is a happy girl wherever we take her, but she does love the mountains which is a good thing since we live here!

    Sally – it had been bugging me for years and I finally started experimenting. I love it. The dog is not Brazilian, but she is insane :)

    Sarahmarie – thanks for the tag, dear!

    Graeme – I *LOVE* Rex the Runt!! Rex, Big Bad Bob, Wendy, and most of all Vince, the Inbred :)

    Fiona – yes, I use light miso, mostly because that is what is in my fridge :) Never tried red miso, but I’m sure it could be good too.

    Lauren (PA) – isn’t it the bomb? I think the lettuce is just a vessel for the dressing.

    Laura (HAF) – Kaweah hates the camera. She always looks away when I point it at her. Tough to photograph ;)

    Mrs. Ergul – it’s a long term change with lots of variability. Things will likely get weirder.

    Becky – Thanks, you’re so sweet. I’m glad this recipe solves the mystery. It plagued me for years!

    Kevin – it’s awesome, I think you’ll enjoy it!

    Christine – isn’t Katie awesome? Very cute. Yup – I wish I had figured this one out earlier. I love it.

    Joanne – You can probably sub in regular vinegar and see how that sits with you?

    KatieC – girlfriend! You really look taller in your pics. I thought you were 5’7″ or something? I’m 5’5″, but I think people think I’m taller than that because I have a big mouth and I’m a type A personality – ha ha ha! You are such a rock star. Thanks again for the headlamp, I’m going to wear it to bed… (huggles to Arnie and Red) xxoo

    Hillary – sure thing!

    Kathy – yes, I hope it works out for you!

    Cindy – Oooh, that should be gorgeous. I seem to recall the wildflowers in the Tetons peaked in early August? It’s going to be awesome regardless. Don’t forget to teach Sophie about the geology :) If you have a digital camera, just take lots and lots of pictures – LOTS OF PICTURES. You’ll get some gems for sure. The only thing keeping me from ordering 5 salads is the fact that I am a total sushi whore :)

    Woo – thank you! yay, hope you like the salad!

  21. peabody says:

    What seriously stunning photos. And as always, I love the puppy photos.

  22. Amy says:

    Jen – gorgeous pictures. You’re so lucky to live in such a beautiful place! Love the Wilson’s Warbler singing its heart out…

  23. Psychgrad says:

    Beautiful shot – I especially like “mount audubon looms over brainard lake”.

    I love my headlamp. I use it for winter and summer camping and cross-country skiing. Hands free in the dark is the best.

    I’ll have to give that dressing a try. Looks like a nice simple, fresh option.

  24. White On Rice Couple says:

    wow! Brainard is beautiful! Kaweah is such a QTPA2T!! Your man is pretty hot too, all geared out for the outdoors like that, with his Nalgene bottle hanging off the back! I love a guy with his Nalgenes hangin’ free and loose, so sexy!
    Just don’t tell my man, he’ll get jealous and start dangling all his like they were ornaments off a X-Mas tree.
    I love our dressing and make something similar but with out the miso paste. I would love to try it next time!

  25. jenyu says:

    Peabody – puppy loves ya right back!

    Amy – isn’t he the cutest? He is so brilliantly colored and sings a lovely song too :)

    Psychgrad – thanks. I love my headlamp(s) too. We have two older ones we retired from the backcountry and use around the house when the power goes out (which it does during winter storms, summer storms, storms, storms, and more storms). So handy (or handsfree!)

    WoRC – LOL! You know what that nalgene bottle is for? It’s for carry Kaweah’s poop!! We don’t leave her poop in the backcountry (and people in general shouldn’t – but they do and it makes us crazy). So she invariably will need to do her bidness when we go for a hike. We bag it and then stuff the bag into the Nalgene so no one has to smell it for 18 miles… pew! So tell Todd he can dangle that Nalgene off his pack – but not to get the poop nalgene mixed up with any of the drinking ones ;) xxoo

  26. SallyBR says:

    Not sure you even notice comments that are posted so late, but just in case… :-)

    I made the carrot/miso dressing for our dinner salad tonight – could not be a simpler salad, JUST iceberg lettuce – we came home very late from work.

    I absolutely LOVED it! I have some dressing leftover, I think my lunch tomorrow will be IT, I just need to find something to spread it on… :-)

  27. jenyu says:

    SallyBR – yup, I get email notification of all comments, so no worries :) I’m really glad you like the dressing. I know it’s not QUITE what they serve at the Japanese restaurants, but it’s close enough for me. Awesome that it works for you too!

  28. Lizzie says:

    I’ve just arrived from Tartelette, and I had to drool over your hiking shots – I’m a native Coloradoan (from the less-awesome Denver area) currently college-ing it up in the wilds of Vermont… mountains, but not the same. *DROOLS*

    Lucky you. Get well soon–

  29. jenyu says:

    Lizzie – thank you! Colorado is calling and it wants you to come home :)

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  31. A Bowl Of Mush says:

    Must give this dressing a try, it sounds delicious! :)

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  34. Tiffany says:

    Hi, I hope you are doing well. I have to leave this comment, because you are a fan of ginger dressing like myself. The best tasting ginger dressing is in New York, the name of the restaurant is “Monster Sushi”, they also have the best Sushi Rolls/. I would go atleast once a week, preferably on Tuesday or Friday because that is when they would receive their fresh fish deliveries. Since i did frequent the restaurant, I asked the hostess, (manager) to please give me the recipe, and she did……..HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY. Although, your ingredients are very close to the ideal taste that you want, you are missing two and there are two that you use and don’t need. I am not certain if I want to share the ingredients with everyone, however, I will share them with you and leave it up to you to share. If you get a chance, email me. I am actually getting ready to make the ginger dressing & shrimp tempura with sushi rice for dnner and a few shrimp tempura rolls, with spicy mayo……Have a wonderful day.

  35. jenyu says:

    Tiffany – how cool! I’m perfectly happy to let you share the ingredients here if you like, and if you’d rather not that’s okay too :)

  36. Tiffany says:

    Okay, I will give it up….. try some Ponzu Sauce,(from Kikkoman) and add some Spicy Brown Mustard (Guldens). Play with your ingredients, I don’t think you need the sugar or miso paste. I will try my recipe, which my boyfriend says, “Its 97%” on, with seseme oil and the miso paste. My ingredients include ginger root, onions, carrots, ponzu sauce, rice vinegar, veg oil and spicy mustard(to taste). So I will be experimenting this weeked with the seseme oil and miso paste to get the perrrrrfect dressing. TTYL….

  37. Gina says:

    Tiffany is correct when she says Monster Sushi has the best Ginger Carrot dressing. Only when they gave me the recipe they added apples to the mix for sweetness. Maybe they are like my Italian Grandmother who never quite gave the exact ingredients taking the secret to her grave! That was her way of insuring the Top Chef title in our house hold!

  38. Travis says:

    I wanted to leave a comment on this thread about the ginger dressing. I’ve been looking for the perfect recipe for a good 8 years or better, and have tried 6 or more different recipes. I live in the south east and most of the house ginger dressings you find in our hibachi style steak houses here are not creamy but seem to have a heavy vinegar and mustard thin base…to where the carrot and ginger stick on top of salad and the thin base goes to bottom of bowl, this is what Im used to and look for in a good dressing. I spent past hour, and $30, making the above recipe then added the ponzu and the spicy brown mustard (and dark miso)….it was close but then added what I already knew was missing, some celery (gives it that fresh crunch im use to), mirin (sweetened sake), salt, and fresh cracked pepper. It came out exactly as hoped… my search for this recipe is officially over.

  39. Travis says:

    Also, had to go heavy (4 tbs) on the spicy mustard to get it where I wanted it. May try grey poupon next time.

  40. Kym says:

    Travis would you be so kind to send me your ingredents and amounts for I too have been searching for years and would like to try your finished master piece.

  41. Elizabeth says:

    Thank you so much for this recipe! I wanted to make ginger dressing, but every recipe I found had ketchup and mustard and other weird ingredients. This recipe was perfect. I made it last night and it was so delicious. It was exactly the taste I had in mind. The miso really made it great. I’m gonna make a big batch of it this weekend to serve at a party I’m having Sunday. Thanks again!

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