This Japanese carrot ginger dressing recipe boasts bold flavors that make salad exciting. It's every bit as delicious as what you’d get at a hibachi restaurant – made in just 10 minutes!
It’s not often I go for a house salad at a restaurant, only because there are so many other (more exciting, lol!) options. But a notable exception is at a Japanese steakhouse or hibachi restaurant. I always order a salad just so I can have the carrot ginger dressing.
If you like the ginger salad dressing at Benihana, Kobe, or other hibachi restaurants, you will love this Japanese carrot ginger dressing recipe. And it’s so easy to make at home!
We use fresh carrot and fresh sweet onion here. The earthy sweetness of carrot and the piquancy of onion blend perfectly with the other flavors. Additionally, using raw vegetables retains their nutrition. And because we don’t cook anything, this carrot ginger sauce is really fast to whip up with minimal cleanup!
This bright orange salad dressing is heavy on the ginger, which gives it a fresh, zippy kick. Rice vinegar punches up the flavor even more, and a touch of sugar balances it. Toasted sesame oil adds a hint of nutty flavor. Miso adds complexity and umami depth, but you can use soy sauce if that’s what’s in your pantry (or tamari sauce if you want to keep this gluten free).
Give this salad dressing a try next time you want to switch up your salad routine!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- It’s nutrient-rich, packed with zingy flavor, and a great way to jazz up salad. Let’s get excited about it!
- This dressing is every bit as good as what you’d get at a Japanese restaurant. And maybe even better because you can customize it to suite your tastes, and you can control the quality of ingredients that go in.
- Asian ginger dressing lasts for up to 10 days stored in a glass container in the fridge. It’s ready any time you are, so you have no excuse not to eat your salad, lol.
- You’ll save money by making this copycat hibachi ginger dressing at home instead of eating out!
- This dressing is special diet friendly. It’s gluten free and vegan, just make sure to check the miso paste’s label because some miso is gluten free and vegan, and some isn’t. If you can’t find gluten free vegan miso paste, you can substitute with tamari sauce instead.
The Best Easy Japanese Carrot Ginger Dressing Recipe
Ingredients in Carrot Ginger Dressing
In this section, I explain the ingredients and give substitutions. For the full recipe (including ingredient amounts), see the recipe card below.
- Carrot – we use raw carrot to make this salad dressing
- Sweet white onion – this bumps up the savory flavor and helps balance out the carrot’s sweetness
- Ginger – make sure you use fresh ginger for the best flavor, it's what makes this dressing really unique
- Rice vinegar – adds bright, tangy flavor and helps create a balanced flavor profile
- Vegetable oil – or you can use avocado oil or light olive oil
- Toasted sesame oil – for a hint of rich, nutty flavor
- Miso – this bumps up the savory umami factor; if you don’t have miso, you can substitute with soy sauce or tamari sauce
- White sugar – to add sweetness and help create balance
- Salt – to season this salad dressing
- White pepper – instead of using black pepper, I prefer using white pepper here for its milder, smoother flavor. I find the complex grassy, earthy, and somewhat gingery notes in white pepper marry perfectly in this dressing
How to Make Hibachi Ginger Dressing
- Add the chopped carrot and onion to a food processor.
- Pulse a few times, and then process until it forms a paste.
- Add all remaining ingredients.
- Process until well-combined.
Store Japanese carrot ginger dressing in a glass jar with a lid in the fridge for up to 10 days.
Is This Dressing Supposed to be Chunky or Smooth?
Every time I’ve ordered a salad with this dressing at a hibachi restaurant, the texture is a bit lumpy and not completely smooth. It doesn't have large chunks or pieces in it; rather, just a bit of texture.
To achieve the same result at home, I recommend using a food processor.
On the other hand, if you prefer your salad dressing completely smooth and creamy, you can use a high-speed blender to puree it instead of a food processor.
How to Serve Asian Ginger Salad Dressing
My favorite way to serve carrot ginger dressing is on a really simple salad, similar to a Japanese house salad at a hibachi restaurant. Here’s what I usually include:
- Lettuce – I like butterhead lettuce here, such as Boston or Bibb; however, at most hibachi restaurants I’ve been to, they use iceberg lettuce (which has a great crunch factor)
- Radish – yes, radishes are a bit of an acquired taste with their earthy flavor that’s reminiscent of spicy dirt; but radishes are incredibly good for you and their flavor melds beautifully with the carrot in this gingery salad dressing
- Cucumber – adds natural sweetness that balances out the radish
- Scallion – for mild onion flavor; chives would also be great
- Sesame seeds – for a hint of nutty flavor
It might sound funny, but I also love using this carrot ginger sauce as a dressing for carrots! But really, it works well as a dipping sauce for just about any vegetables you can think of, such as broccoli, cauliflower, bell pepper, etc.
More Japanese Recipes to Try
- Yum Yum Sauce
- Yakimeshi (Japanese Fried Rice)
- Sweet and Savory Japanese Beef Curry with Homemade Curry Roux
Japanese Carrot Ginger Dressing Recipe (aka Hibachi Ginger Dressing for Salad)
- 1 cup chopped carrot raw
- ½ cup chopped sweet white onion raw
- 2 inch piece fresh ginger peeled and grated (approximately 5 centimeters)
- ⅓ cup rice vinegar
- ⅓ cup vegetable oil or avocado oil or light olive oil
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon miso or 2 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari sauce
- 4 teaspoons granulated white sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon white pepper
- Add the chopped carrot and onion to a food processor. Pulse a few times, and then process until it forms a paste.
- Add all remaining ingredients, and process until well-combined.
- Recipe Yield and Serving Size: This recipe makes about 1 ¾ cups of salad dressing, for a total of 14 (2-tablespoon) servings.
- Texture: Every time I’ve ordered a salad with this dressing at a hibachi restaurant, the texture is a bit lumpy and not completely smooth. To achieve the same result at home, I recommend using a food processor. On the other hand, if you prefer your salad dressing completely smooth and creamy, you can use a high-speed blender to puree it instead of a food processor.
- Storage: Store Japanese carrot ginger dressing in a glass jar with a lid in the fridge for up to 10 days.