02
Feb
10

wild sesame and miso dressing

wild sesame seed dressing

It’s cold today, and because it’s cold today, I had a nice crisp cool salad.  Yes, I know.  You are probably thinking in your head “Scott, why are you eating salad when it’s cold.  Shouldn’t you be eating soup or something?”  I thank you all for your concern, but the thing is.  Food to me is more than just a feeling, but it also is an emotional thing for me.  So why not have a salad?  When I eat a salad, I think of hot sunny days in Southern California.  I think of fresh greens grown in warm dry weather.  I think of cheerful bursts of joy!  Ok, I may have gotten carried away with those descriptions, but it does make me think of summer.  Now, I’m not going to go drink hot soup in the sweltering heat in the summer, however, the salad will do the trick.  Plus it’s quick, healthy, and hearty.

I do love salads.  I think when the dressing is made just right, then it tastes awesome.  There have been many articles, blogs, and books written on proper dressing structure and development, so I won’t focus too much on that.  But, Mark Bittman’s piece on 101 simple salad made it around to foodies real quickly and does justice for different salad options, quick fix meals, and studying different flavor combinations.  I recommend checking it out.  So this dressing is just another one to add to the arsenal.

My favorite salad is probably at any standard Americanized Japanese restaurant.  Usually you get a chunky watery ginger carrot soy dressing served with some random iceberg lettuce and a cucumber as a side with your chicken teriyaki or something. But the flavor is delicious.  I tried making it at home once for my brother.  I had no idea what I was doing, and had an accident with the food processor to grate my carrots [carrot puree anyone?], which led to a mess of a dressing.  I’ve figured out the proportions better, and learned to use a box grater and eventually came to this creation.

I discovered an amazing thing to add to this dressing as well.  Sesame seeds.  Now, these aren’t your normal sesame seeds, they are actually called wild sesame seeds and are nowhere near related to the sesame plant.  You may have heard of their Japanese counterpart Shiso or the Vietnamese version called ía tô. The reason it has become known as sesame leaves or seeds is because of its direct translation from Korean.  Those sneaky Koreans.  The flavor is very similar to that of dark sesame oil.  It’s actually almost an exact match for dark sesame oil.  It’s also full of minerals and vitamins and has anti-inflammatory properties to it.  Really good to top things for a crunch or add a nutty sesame oil flavor, which tastes nothing like sesame seed.

This dressing is really easy to make, plus it holds really well.  If you can’t find wild sesame seeds, then you can use extra sesame oil and toast some sesame seeds.  It’s not going to taste exactly like this, nor give you the crunch you want, but it’s a good alternative.

~stuff

2 tbs wild sesame/ perilla seeds, ground

2 tsp sesame oil

1 tsp soy sauce

3 tsp rice vinegar

2 tbs light miso paste

1 tbs fresh ginger, grated

3 tbs carrot, grated

2 tsp agave syrup

2 tbs scallion, minced

~steps

mix all ingredients in large bowl until well incorporated

refrigerate for at least an hour

bring to room temperature before serving

-serves 4-

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2 Responses to “wild sesame and miso dressing”


  1. 1 Juyeon
    February 10, 2010 at 9:08 am

    Hooray for those sneaky Koreans! You can even buy wild sesame oils in Korean supermarkets! Perilla or wild sesame seeds, Koreans knew the name is only important to the people who hold it dear to their hearts. ha! How brilliant. What functions like sesame seeds in cooking should be named in relation to one another, no? ^^

    Wild sesame seeds, if you are not very familiar to the taste, can be a bit bitter. So, be cautious!


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