This Sesame Ginger Dressing is probably one of the most addictive homemade dressings I’ve ever made. It’s sweet, salty, tangy, and has a super “zingy” fresh ginger bite. It’s one of those dressings that you’ll just want to keep dipping your spoon into. The type of dressing that will make you want to eat a salad just to serve as a vehicle for the delicious dressing (that’s not exactly a bad thing). But, if you’re like me, you’ll probably just end up drizzling it over everything!
Originally posted 2-5-2012, updated 7-23-2020.
What is Tahini?
Tahini is a paste made out of ground sesame seeds. Think of it like peanut butter, but made with sesame seeds instead of peanuts! It’s one of the base ingredients for this dressing and can not be substituted in this recipe. The tahini not only adds sesame flavor to the recipe, but it also helps thicken the dressing. You can usually find tahini in the grocery store either near the peanut butter, or near the middle-eastern ingredients in the international aisle.
Can I Substitute the Rice Vinegar?
I don’t suggest substituting the rice vinegar in this recipe. Rice vinegar has a uniquely mild flavor and acidity compared to other vinegars, which keeps it from overpowering the other flavors. While you might be able to use another type of vinegar, you’d probably also need to adjust the amount or the ratio of other ingredients to compensate for the increased acidity.
How Long Does This Sesame Ginger Dressing Last?
Because this dressing uses fresh ginger and garlic, I suggest keeping it stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. But it tastes so good that hopefully you’ll finish it off before then!
How to Use Sesame Ginger Dressing
This dressing goes great over crunchy salads, like my Crunchy Cabbage Salad, but it can also be poured over cold noodle salads, used to dip egg rolls or dumplings, or poured over rice bowls. The sky’s the limit and I’m sure once you’ll taste it you’ll want it on everything!
Sesame Ginger Dressing
- 2 cloves garlic ($0.16)
- 1 Tbsp grated fresh ginger ($0.30)
- 1/2 cup neutral oil* ($0.32)
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar ($0.53)
- 2 Tbsp soy sauce ($0.12)
- 3 Tbsp honey ($0.36)
- 1 Tbsp tahini ($0.19)
- 1/2 tsp toasted sesame oil ($0.05)
- Mince the garlic and grate the ginger (I use a small-holed cheese grater)
- Add the minced garlic, grated ginger, oil, rice vinegar, soy sauce, honey, tahini, and toasted sesame oil to a blender. Blend until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Serve over salad or as a dipping sauce.
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How to Make Sesame Ginger Dressing – Step by Step Photos
Begin by mincing two cloves of garlic and grating about 1 Tbsp of fresh ginger. I like to use my garlic press to easily mince the garlic and a small-holed cheese grater to easily grate the ginger. Ginger grates easier if it’s frozen (the little hairs don’t clog the grater). I don’t even bother peeling it, I just make sure the peel is very clean.
And that’s what it looks like once the garlic is minced and ginger grated (for everyone who is visual, like me).
Here are three of the most important ingredients in this dressing: rice vinegar, toasted sesame oil, and tahini. Toasted sesame oil has a much stronger nutty flavor than regular (or un-toasted) sesame oil. You can usually find it near other Asian ingredients in the international aisle.
Add the 2 cloves minced garlic, 1 Tbsp grated ginger, ½ cup neutral salad oil, ¼ cup rice vinegar, 2 Tbsp soy sauce, 3 Tbsp honey, 1 Tbsp tahini, and ½ tsp toasted sesame oil to a blender. Any neutral-flavored salad oil, like peanut, canola, grapeseed, sesame (un-toasted), or safflower will work fine.
Blend until the dressing is smooth and creamy. If your dressing ends up being really thick and you’d like it a little more pourable, simply stir in a tablespoon or two of water.
Enjoy the sesame ginger dressing poured over your favorite salad, or as a dipping sauce!