Red and White Miso Salad Dressing AKA that gritty orange dressing you get at Japanese Restaurants but can’t find in the grocery store.

After a short visit with some friends back home in Toronto, I found myself eating at tons of Japanese Restaurants (my personal favourite being AKINA in Markham — poor service, delicious food). One day, after a long day at work, I convinced my co-worker Jennifer (follow her on twitter—she’s awesome) to go for a late lunch. While we were talking she commented on the salad saying, “I have no idea what this is made of, but it’s delicious!”. To my surprise, I was intrigued as well… I mean I know it was a miso based dressing and a ton of my Korean friends have told me how to make it, but I have never really spent time thinking about making it with my own twist.

So here’s an experimental recipe made just for you, Jen.

Red and White Miso Salad Dressing




SHIRO + AKA MISO PASTE (Just a fancy way to say a mixture of red and white miso paste–white miso paste is milder while red has a much more pungent taste). This is probably the most difficult and most important ingredient to find. It is usually in the refridgerated section of most Asian supermarkets— but I have yet to see it in regular western supermarkets. Some health food and organic food stores may have it. The price ranges from $5 – $9 for a container that lasts forEVER. This can also be used to make miso soup and brighten up stirfry.


MIRIN  This is a sweet seasoning that is essentially a rice wine type by product. It kind oftastes like a sweet sake. Typically you would use Rice Vinegar in this recipe, but I decided that Mirin with a bit of lime and lemon juice tastes a bit brighter than using the rice vinegar. This product has been more common in grocery stores and is usually found in the asian sauce isle…


Pickled Ginger –  Need I say more? its that pink (or white) stuff that you get with sushi.

Oranges – Orange juice is key in this dressing to bring out the acidity and the sweetness in the ingredients.

Optional – Sesame oil — I find that this makes the dressing stronger and keeps a nutty / earthy taste with it. If you decide to use it, only use a little bit.

Here are the amounts that I’ve used–

1 Tablespoon of miso paste

3 tablespoons of orangejuice

1 tablespoon of mirin

1 tablespoon of lemon and lime juice

3 slices of ginger

1/2 teaspoon of sesame oil

DIRECTIONS: Mix everything together, then pour it over salad.