Asian Miso-Sesame Dressing

When we visited Hawaii, Miso-Sesame Dressing was all over the islands and on many menus, so when I returned home, I wanted to make some of my own. Luckily, I already had a recipe on hand to try from the New York Times Food section called Miso-Sesame Vinaigrette That’s Good on Anything. Sounds like you can’t go wrong with this recipe and it’s a keeper. I didn’t have the light miso paste it called for, so used what I had in the fridge and if you don’t have a shallot, an onion or scallions can be substituted.

I tried this dressing on a variety of salads- Chopped Kale with toasted almond, Steak and Romaine with Mango and Chicken and Spring Mix, but I think it would be delicious in Macaroni Salad. I also used it on a Ham and Cucumber Sandwich on a Hawaiian Roll. It’s sweet, savory and nutty flavor profile would also complement Grilled Chicken Skewers, Steak or Fish. As the recipe states, it really is good on everything! Having this dressing in the fridge, makes lunchtime a breeze.

Asian Miso-Sesame Dressing

Recipe by J. Kenji Lopez-AltCourse: Salad DressingCuisine: CondimentDifficulty: Easy

This sweet and savory dressing is good on so many things. It is suggested on chopped cabbage or bitter greens, like arugula, as well as on cooked salmon.


  • 2 medium garlic cloves, smashed with side of knife

  • 1 small shallot, roughly chopped

  • 1 tablespoon shoyu or tamari

  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

  • 2 tablespoons red or white wine vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon light miso paste

  • 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar

  • 1/2 cup grapeseed oil

  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil

  • 2 tablespoons white or black sesame seeds


  • Combine garlic, shallot, shoyu, vinegars, miso and sugar in a blender and blend on high speed until homogenous.
  • With the blender running on medium speed (the liquid should form a vortex but not jump up and splatter the walls of the blender), slowly drizzle in the grapeseed oil.
  • Transfer to a lidded jar. Stir in the sesame oil and sesame seeds with a spoon. Dressing can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.
  • Shake well before using. Makes 1 cup.


  • If you don’t have shoyu or tamari, substitute soy sauce.
  • I used less oil (1/4 cup) and a blend of white and black sesame seeds.

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Published by gleeguilford

Born and raised in Miami, the daughter of a pilot and stay-at-home Mom, I love food in all forms. My great grandfather opened the first Italian restaurant in Miami in the 20's, The Boathouse on the Miami river. I love exploring my heritage and linking food and recipes to personal stories. I've been published in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Food and Love and wrote restaurant reviews and news as the Miami Dining Examiner for three years. I love exploring Miami's latest hot spots, hole in the walls and institutions. I'm always looking for innovative ways to use the plethora of tropical fruits and vegetables South Florida offers, especially from my own garden.

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