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bang your boots and keep your head down

Recipe: miso salad dressing

Triage. I am in triage mode right now. But it’s all good. Except for the lens that is en route back to California right now – to the Nikon Service Center. Here’s some useful advice: don’t drop your 105mm macro from 3 feet above the ground unless you want your aperture blades to play like a kaleidoscope. Yup.


yosemite dogwoods

redwoods and ferns



Whenever I return from a shooting trip, I crave fresh and simple food. I think most folks who enjoy cooking can relate to that. What I really wanted was a salad with miso dressing – the kind you get at a sushi bar. During the shoot, my mind kept wandering back to the dressing. I definitely tasted vinegar. And it was slightly sweet. By the time I got home, I couldn’t wait to give it a try.

miso paste

mix with mayonnaise



My taste memory is pretty reliable, so when I let Jeremy taste the first trial he said something about, “I think it needs more miso to mellow it out.” Miso doesn’t mellow it out, it makes it saltier and more pungent. This is why I write a food blog and Jeremy does not. I shook my head. A quick dash of sesame oil would add that little bit of nutty overtone I was missing.

sure enough – some sesame oil does the trick

and a pinch of sugar



The dressing itself will taste a little salty. That’s alright because you aren’t drinking it straight – at least I hope you aren’t. When tossed with a salad, it’s the perfect amount of creamy, tangy, nutty, and sweet. Tweak it to your tastes and get your daily vegetables too.

Edit: And if you’re not in the mayonnaise mood (I have a love-hate relationship with The Mayonnaise), I am still very much in love with this ginger carrot dressing.


make a good salad a great salad

is it summer yet!?



Miso Salad Dressing
[print recipe]

2 tbsps miso paste
6 tbsps mayonnaise (or you can sub in some plain yogurt, which I didn’t have on hand)
1-2 tsps rice wine vinegar (to taste)
dash of sesame oil (to taste)
pinch of sugar (to taste)

Mix everything together in a small bowl until well blended. Serve over salad. Makes 1/2 cup.

41 nibbles at “bang your boots and keep your head down”

  1. Esther says:

    What kind of miso? I recently discovered about 4 different kinds of miso paste in a whole foods-type supermarket in the area and have actually been waiting for an excuse to buy some :) (as well as wakame)

  2. Wei-Wei says:

    Amazing! I love anything miso. Miso-glazed salmon is soo good! :D There’s also another kind of Japanese salad dressing that I like, a sesame-based one. :)

  3. Nisrine@Dinners and Dreams says:

    I’ve never cooked with miso. It sounds great in the dressing.

  4. Kim says:

    Oooh, I have all the ingredients to make this right now, and salad greens in the fridge!! Thanks for the inspiration.

  5. barbara says:

    I’m on a miso kick at the moment. I wasn’t sure what to buy so I bought the red and white bean mix. I just use it as a soup, but will try some in a dressing.

  6. Kim says:

    I feel your pain; dropped a lens into a duck pond a couple years ago and it was not a pretty outcome.

  7. Kristin says:

    I was just checking your recipes for an orange miso dressing. I’ll start with this and, who knows….maybe I’ll stop with this.

  8. Wendi says:

    Oh my, this sounds lovely…the dressing, not the busted lens.

  9. TheKitchenWitch says:

    I’m giggling at your little nudge at Jeremy! Indeed, this is why you write about food. This looks and sounds like a winner.

  10. Lisa says:

    Jen, I will make it today b/c I’ve been looking for this recipe for a long time and could not reproduce it every time I had it in a sushi bar. thanks a lot.

  11. Phoo-D says:

    Oh I can’t wait to give this a try. I am a big fan of miso flavors but never know exactly how to incorporate them into sauces.

  12. Rosa says:

    Gorgeous shots! That salad sauce is very interesting! I love the idea…

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  13. Mikka says:

    Yum, I always wondered how to make that salad dressing. Thanks!

  14. Maria says:

    Homemade dressings are the only way to go. Store bought dressings have so much crap in them. I think I will be making this one all summer long. Thanks!

  15. Nichole@FiveKoshaYogaTherapy says:

    Recipe after recipe, you are posting what I am googling at the moment. You and your jedi mind tricks!
    This past weekend Luke and I were visiting friends at Tara Mandala in Pagosa Springs, CO and their kitchen served a miso and tahini dressing that was amazing too. I am planning to make both versions now–thanks!

  16. Trudy (veggie num num) says:

    Miso adds such a wonderful flavour to so many things; especially fresh crunchy salads… great simple dressing… thanks for sharing!!

  17. Chocolate and Toast says:

    OMG I love miso dressing! And I just hit a serious salad rut, so I think you have saved me. Off to the asian grocer now!

  18. Shoshanna says:

    Love it Jen. I will try this miso dressing recipe this weekend!!

  19. Sherry says:

    Oooh! I have some leftover miso and some Kewpie mayo that I think I’ll be reserving for this recipe! ^^

  20. Nan @ tastingoutloud says:

    Bummer about the lens Jen… They are out babies. I’ve had to ship one back to the barn myself. It’s always stressful when one is missing from it’s particular place in the camera bag. Hope the outcome is favorable.

  21. Natalie says:

    Beautiful beautiful beautiful looking salad! and I am sure it tastes amazing too.

  22. Kate @ Savour Fare says:

    Mmmm. I have a container of miso, a jar of mayonnaise and a bag of shredded cabbage in my refrigerator. I know what’s for dinner!

  23. jenyu says:

    Esther – I used white miso. I’m sure you can use any kind, depending on your preferences.

    Barbara – I think either would work (but I used white miso)

    Maria – I’m totally with you on that! I had that fake taste of store-bought dressings. Blegh!

    Nichole – JEDI! :) I always try to anticipate what yummy things you might like to eat next, sweetie. xo

    Nan – I think as long as we are under warranty or willing to pay for repairs, the outcome will always be “factory condition” :)

  24. Angelique says:

    Delicious dressing – you were dead-on accurate about the dressing being fairly strong until you actually taste it on the greens, then it’s perfect. Thanks for a great recipe.

  25. margo says:

    it soundsl like what I want and have had but cant get a recipe….does anyone have a good miso soup recipe, easy one

  26. jenyu says:

    margo – I usually follow instructions on the packet – a few tbsps of paste mixed with boiling hot water (or dashi if you have it). Add green onions, cubed tofu, and seaweed.

  27. ポール says:

    This dressing is good as a base for any other sort of miso dressing you like. Another
    good dressing is pretty everything in this one, but add 3tbs fresh shiso leaf, 2 tbs fresh lemon juice (or yuzu), 3tbs fresh minced ginger, and 3tbs sweet onion minced. I used a mortar and pestle and just mashed them together except for the shiso leaf. It came out good. Oh I also put some sake in it about 3 tbs.

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  29. Jen says:

    What type of mayo are you using?? American mayo (like Best Foods) or Japanese mayo (like Kewpie)?

  30. jenyu says:

    Jen – American mayo

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