Japanese Carrot-Ginger Salad Dressing

BY : PUBLISHED : December 29th, 2021 UPDATED: October 17th, 2022

If you are looking to amp up your salad dressing game, then this Japanese Carrot-Ginger Salad Dressing will be the perfect recipe to do it with! It is a bright, tangy, and zesty sauce that is super easy to make, 100% plant-based, and is extremely useful to have on hand. It's excellent over fresh or grilled vegetables as a salad dressing, or you can stir it into soups and stews for a hit of bright, gingery flavor.

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completed small bowl of Japanese carrot ginger salad dressing with ingredients in the background

If you frequent Japanese restaurants, you have probably encountered this Carrot-Ginger Salad Dressing. It certainly leaves an impression- with its bright orange hue and robust Asian flavors. The carrots lend a sweetness that perfectly blends with the zesty and peppery tones of fresh ginger. Adding rice vinegar gives it a touch of tanginess, while the soy sauce imbues that umami savoriness that is uniquely delicious.

The Best Homemade Japanese Carrot-Ginger Salad Dressing

We always believe that homemade dressing is 100%  better than buying off the shelf or ordering off the menu. Here are several reasons why:

  • They are super easy to make! This dressing requires only 2 steps - to soften the carrots, then blend all the ingredients using a food processor or blender. It's a fuss-free recipe that tastes like a million bucks!
  • This homemade dressing is way cheaper to make because the ingredients are mere pantry staples and a few fresh veggies that you can easily buy or harvest from your backyard garden.
  • It'll never disappoint because you can make it exactly how you want it. Take control over the amount of zestiness, sweetness, or tanginess of the puree.
  • You are guaranteed the quality of the dressing. Since we are using all-natural ingredients, you can be assured that what you and your family are ingesting is free from preservatives and unnecessary additives.
  • This veggie-based dressing is full of fiber, antioxidants, vitamin A and beta-carotene that are all important in keeping our bodies in fit condition! Healthy and yummy - what more can we ask for?

Ingredients Used:

  • Carrots - cut into 1-inch sections, or use baby-cut carrots to make them easier to puree. Carrots have different sugar content, so make sure to taste your dressing first before adding sugar. Check out this complete Guide to Carrots for more ways to prepare, cook, and store this delicious veggie!
  • Water - will be used to boil the carrots to soften them before blending.
  • Fresh ginger - the amount we used in the recipe gives the dressing just the right level of spiciness without overwhelming the rest of the ingredients.
  • Rice vinegar - gives that bright tanginess and mild sweetness that cuts through the robust flavor of fresh ginger. You can use apple cider vinegar as a substitute.
  • Soy sauce - provides a depth of flavor to the dressing. Don't worry the dark sauce will not affect the color of the dressing at all.
  • Neutral oil – you can use canola, vegetable, sunflower, or grapeseed oil.
  • Sugar - for a touch of sweetness, if needed.
  • Salt - a dash of this will bring out the flavor of the carrots and ginger more.

How to make Japanese Carrot-Ginger Salad Dressing

  1. Soften the Carrots. You can do this two ways. First, you can place the sliced carrots in a bowl with water, cover the top with a plate and heat them in the microwave for 5 minutes or until softened. Or you can heat the carrots on a pot of water on your stovetop.
  2. Blend and Make a Puree. Add all the ingredients to a food processor or blender and pulse until smooth. Chill in the fridge.

completed small bowl of Japanese carrot ginger salad dressing with ingredients in the background

Tips when Making this Homemade Dressing

  • Use fresh carrots for best results. Pick those that are firm with a bright orange color and smooth skin. The leafy greens should still be attached and are not wilted.
  • A great way to remove ginger's dry and rough skin without taking away too much flesh is by using the sides of your spoon instead of a knife.
  • Make sure to drain your carrots thoroughly before adding them with the rest of the ingredients. Or else your dressing will turn watery.
  • If you want your salad dressing to be spicier, you can add a dash of chili powder to the mix.
  • Always taste test your dressing with a piece of lettuce or cabbage. Remember that the dressing in itself might taste too strong, but mixed with vegetables, they will mellow down.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Can I make this gluten-free? Yes, you can! Simple swap the soy sauce with tamari to make it free of gluten.
  2. What should I do if my dressing is too thick? It can be because you used older carrots with less moisture content. You can always add more oil until you reach the right consistency.
  3. Why is it too thin or runny? It can be possible that you have not drained the carrots properly. A simple remedy for this is to add a bit of cornstarch until it thickens to your liking.
  4. What is the right consistency for this Japanese Carrot-Ginger Salad Dressing? It should be thick and smooth but can easily be poured over.
  5. Can I use ginger powder instead? It will not have that same level of flavor as using fresh ginger.

Storing Japanese Carrot-Ginger Dressing

You can make this dressing ahead of time and place it in a bottle or jar in the fridge for up to two weeks. I do not recommend freezing this as it will affect the texture.

Looking for more easy-to-make and healthy dressings?

  1. Cilantro and Green Chili Dressing - It's a tangy, zesty, and brightly flavored dressing that you can use to instantly elevate your mains, veggies, and more. It is gluten-free, vegan, and will only take you 15 minutes to make!
  2. Slaw Dressing – with a Kick! - It's creamy, slightly tangy, with a touch of sweetness and spiciness that is undeniably delicious! This vegan version is mayo-free, gluten-free, and done in just 6 minutes.
  3. Basil Salad Dressing - This lemon basil salad dressing combines simple ingredients, including fresh basil and lemon with peanuts (subs included!) for a budget-friendly vegan basil pesto salad dressing!

Photos by Alfonso Revilla

completed small bowl of Japanese carrot ginger salad dressing with ingredients in the background

Japanese Carrot-Ginger Salad Dressing

Stefan
If you are looking to amp up your salad dressing game, then this Japanese Carrot-Ginger Salad Dressing will be the perfect recipe to do it with! It is a bright, tangy, and zesty sauce that is super easy to make, 100% plant-based, and is extremely useful to have on hand
4.87 from 30 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 6 mins
Total Time 11 mins
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine Asian, Japanese
Servings 6 servings
Calories 27 kcal
METHOD Blender
DIET Vegan

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup of carrots cut into 1-inch sections (or use baby-cut carrots)
  • ½ cup of water
  • 3 tablespoons of minced fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon of rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of soy sauce
  • ½ tablespoon of neutral oil canola, vegetable, etc.
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • ½ teaspoon of salt

Instructions
 

  • Put the carrots in a bowl, add the water, cover with a plate, and microwave for 5 minutes. Alternately, put the carrots and water in a small pot, bring to a boil, and simmer, covered, for 5 minutes or until the carrots are cooked through.
  • Add the carrots, water, and remaining ingredients to a blender, and puree until smooth. Refrigerate until cold.

Notes

It’s excellent over fresh or grilled vegetables as a salad dressing, or you can stir it into soups and stews for a hit of bright, gingery flavor.

Nutrition

Calories: 27kcalCarbohydrates: 4gProtein: 1gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 1gSodium: 378mgPotassium: 89mgFiber: 1gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 3564IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 9mgIron: 1mg
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Disclaimer: Although plantbasedonabudget.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, kindly note that these are only estimates. Nutritional information may be affected based on the product type, the brand that was purchased, and in other unforeseeable ways. Plantbasedonabudget.com will not be held liable for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on nutritional information. If you need to follow a specific caloric regimen, please consult your doctor first.

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Teodora Grujic says

    Sounds very interesting, and it has such a nice solor! Can't wait to try it!

    • Debra says

      5 stars
      My husband and I truly enjoyed this recipe. It was easy to make and quite delicious. Thank you for sharing it with us

      • Andrea White says

        So glad you guys enjoyed the dressing. It's a delicious one!

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