Carrot Ginger Dressing

This carrot ginger dressing is an easy, healthy, homemade riff on your favorite Japanese restaurant dressing. Yes, you can finally make it at home. And once you do, trust us, you’ll want to drizzle it over anything and everything.

This is a healthier version of the popular carrot ginger dressing served at nearly every Japanese restaurant. This dressing works well on a plain green salad. I like romaine or butter lettuce, the crunchier the lettuce the better, sort of like a Japanese wedge salad.–Akhtar Nawab


The obvious use for this dressing is drizzled atop crisp salad greens and crunchy vegetables, but don’t stop there. Try some of the below or let us know how you used it in a comment below
● Dribbled onto steamed rice
● Drizzled on your favorite grain and vegetable bowl
● Tossed into a simple slaw
● Doused on tacos
● Showered over broiled tofu and garnished with scallions

Carrot Ginger Dressing

A small cup of carrot ginger dressing with some drizzled over two pieces of lettuce lying beside it.
This carrot ginger dressing is an easy, healthy, homemade riff on your favorite Japanese restaurant dressing. Yes, you can finally make it at home. And once you do, trust us, you’ll want to drizzle it over anything and everything.
Akhtar Nawab

Prep 10 mins
Cook 35 mins
Total 45 mins
5 from 1 vote
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  • 1 large (4 oz) carrot peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 inch piece fresh ginger peeled and minced
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon agave nectar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil


  • In a food processor, whizz the carrot until finely ground. Scrape the ground carrot into a medium heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat along with the ginger, red wine vinegar, tamari, agave, and water.
  • Bring to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes.
  • Let cool slightly, pour into a blender (or back into the food processor), and add the paprika.
  • Blend for about 30 seconds and then begin slowly adding the olive oil while the blender is still going. Continue blending until smooth and emulsified, about 60 seconds more.
  • Cool before using. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days.
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Recipe Testers’ Reviews

Boy is this a delicious salad dressing! Perfectly tangy, perfectly salty, and perfectly sweet (thanks to the carrot and the agave nectar). My husband loves a store bought Asian-inspired ginger dressing, but this homemade version was 100 times better.

I used a golden agave nectar and tamari. Can I use the same food processor I used in Step 1 to grind the carrot in Step 3 to blend it all together with the oil? The fewer small appliances to clean, the better in my opinion.

I served the dressing tossed with a salad of red butter lettuce, fresh mint, sliced radishes and cucumbers, finished off with toasted sesame seeds. The remaining dressing is waiting in our fridge for more salads this week! (I think this would also be lovely served over steamed asparagus or broccoli, and maybe even as a condiment to grilled chicken.)

If you want to recreate the ginger dressing from your favorite sushi place, you’ve come to the right recipe. It’s got just the right amount of umami and ginger, and goes perfectly with simple, crispy iceberg lettuce.

I used amber agave (I do feel like maple syrup would work well, too). I blended for an additional 30 seconds while adding the olive oil. It stayed pretty well emulsified last night with just a little separation on the bottom (dark and watery, like tamari).

I used it LIBERALLY on an iceberg wedge with cucumbers and shredded carrots (and chicken). I would have added avocado had it been ripe.

Perhaps, it needs to simmer longer while watching for it to reduce by a little or add a little less water. I ended up with 2 cups, so perhaps that’s the difference since the recipe says it yields 1 3/4 c. The flavor was great, and I definitely smothered my salad in it and had seconds, so I think with a tweak to make it thicker, it’ll be a near-perfect match.

This dressing was excellent! The flavour popped, it will be my new go to and the dressing that gets my kids to eat a salad!

In order to blend until smooth I was blending for a full minute.

I used this on a cabbage slaw with green and purple cabbage and carrots. It was very very good.

This is OMG fabuloso!!! I have tried to duplicate Japanese restaurant dressing for years. Bottled versions always lack punch, and my homemade version was never smooth or as distinctive. It never occurred to me to chop and cook the ingredients, and then blend. I was told to back away and put down my spoon (even though this recipe makes nearly 2 cups).

I may have generously interpreted the 2-inch piece of ginger, and recommend others do the same. For half an hour of effort, you have a week’s work of dressing to use on everything from your homemade bento box, drizzled on rice, on any crisp and crunchy salad. My favourite use so far was hearts of little gem and butter lettuce that generously were paired with thick decorative slices of cucumber, carrot and radish. Even if it seems a bit bright with ginger on a spoon, when you apply it to greens it seems mellower. The resulting colour is vibrant – although I immediately eyed some of my purple carrots thinking how much more fun this could be for holidays (not to mention more antioxidants). You’re welcome.

I had a small problem with one ingredient – we have pretty much purged agave from our pantry and use maple syrup. I didn’t realize it really was all gone til I started to assemble the recipe, having already prepared the carrots and ginger. What I thought was possibly agave was not…

I’d like to suggest that it would be equally good on any of these:

  • crisp immaculate iceberg lettuce wedges
  • crisp interior (hearts) of romaine or little gem, sliced lengthwise like wedges
  • 1/4″ thick slices of cucumber, carrot, radish, celery (score the carrot and cucumber edges with a fork before cutting slices to break up skin a bit and to make the slices pretty.)
  • a bowl of steamed rice (short or medium grain especially)
  • crisp mung bean sprouts
  • drizzled on fusion tacos with cauliflower or ginger-chicken
  • drizzled over a block of tofu and garnished with scallions

Now excuse me while I go swig some more…

Originally published January 11, 2021


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