japanese salad dressing

Jiza
Bento-ing from: Madrid › Spain
Joined: 13 Feb 2009
User offline. Last seen 3 years 5 weeks ago.

Hi Maki,

I've been to a japanese restaurant and I asked a bento bok for lunch. It had (among lots of other things) a simple green salad with a dressing that was to die for. I had it on some other restaurants so I guess this is a common recipe...
The sauce was rather... "solid" i guess it has grated ginger... I'd love to dress my salads with it. Can you help me maki? :D

Thanks!! :D

____________________________________

My bento blog: http://justbento.com/blog/1305
My art blog: http://jizaacaso.deviantart.com

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Jiza
Bento-ing from: Madrid › Spain
Joined: 13 Feb 2009
User offline. Last seen 3 years 5 weeks ago.
Re: japanese salad dressing

Well if anyone's curious, I went to that very same restaurant today and asked what on earth that salad is made of. The waiter told me it has: Grated shiso and grated ginger.
I guess it may also have some oil but he didn't tell me.

maki
admin
Bento-ing from: somewhere › France
Joined: 24 Jan 2007
User offline. Last seen 8 weeks 2 days ago.
Re: japanese salad dressing

Grated shiso doesn't make a lot of sense to me...since the parts of shiso that are used are the leaves and seedpods.

There is no one Japanese dressing though, so unless I tasted it it's impossible to say what was in it.

____________________________________

The Big Onigiri.

- Wherever you go, there you are. -

Loretta
Moderator
Bento-ing from: London › UK
Joined: 4 Mar 2009
User offline. Last seen 1 year 20 weeks ago.
Re: japanese salad dressing

Grated shiso sounded strange to me too (just like grated perejil/parsley would). But there are a variety of commercially available salad dressings that are flavoured with shiso.

I've not been to that many Japanese restaurants in Madrid or Barcelona (and it's been years since I went to any at all) so I don't know if any of the menu items have become 'standardised' for the Spanish palate in the way that Chinese food has in Spain (a cabbage filled rollito de primavera tastes pretty different from the beansprout filled Spring rolls you can expect from a British Takeaway - although this could be related to the strong Cantonese presence in Britain with its Hong Kong connection). There was already another thread about a gelatinous seaweed that was common only in Japanese restaurants in parts of North America. Wholesale supplies to a particular area and local expectations seem to play a huge part in restaurant menus. In London I've seen supposedly 'Japanese' restaurants that began by offering authentic ingredients and flavours gradually mutate, their food becoming more insipid and with higher profit margins as they ditch those ingredients for cheaper substitutes and at the same time attract greater numbers of customers (a famous sushi and a noodle chain come to mind). Unless you have a knowledgeable and committed core clientele, it must be hard to compete with these kinds of places.

Anyway, I digress. I'm not sure if I've detected a standard salad dressing in London but I think I've had more sesame flavoured dressings than any other. Over the many years I've been shopping for Japanese ingredients, the contents of the aisles have become more and more familiar to me. However, the salad dressing section must be the one that still holds the greatest mysteries for me. There's a whole variety to choose from and I've never bought any of them... I'm really going to have to bite the bullet one of these days but I'm still hoping for some guidance (Maki makes these ventures much less intimidating! http://justbento.com/forum/salad-dressings )

Jiza
Bento-ing from: Madrid › Spain
Joined: 13 Feb 2009
User offline. Last seen 3 years 5 weeks ago.
Re: japanese salad dressing

aw... i don't know xD

that's what the waiter told me. I identified the grated ginger but there was another flavor i didn't so i guess it's the shiso.
Maybe i made a mistake with the word "grated", maybe it's just very very very thinly chopped shiso? o_o You can't actually see it in the sauce.
I've seen salad dressings too in the japanese supermarket near my home but i never bought them... I don't like to buy pre-made sauces, i cook them myself. Well to be honest i never thought of buying japanese dressing! n_n

Anyway this is a new restaurant (it's right side by side to my office) and I find the food quite good. The owners and chefs are japanese and there are always japanese people having lunch there, so I thought it was kind of the true thing. Maybe it's just an adaptation to spanish tastes... who knows! xD

Tanuki
Bento-ing from: seattle › USA
Joined: 16 Oct 2009
User offline. Last seen 4 years 48 weeks ago.
Re: japanese salad dressing

So what did the dressing look like? Was it white and creamy like it could've had mayonnaise in it? Or otherwise clear except for a bit of yellow or parchment color of the ginger paste, plus green from shiso: if it had shiso there must have been flecks of green (or red/purple if it was aka shiso) and sort of a cumin flavor. Mixed with ginger I think it would've had a decidedly Indian taste, but I couldn't know for sure without making up a bit myself. I'd think there would be soy sauce as well for an added salty/umami kick. Could you taste anything like that?

Jiza
Bento-ing from: Madrid › Spain
Joined: 13 Feb 2009
User offline. Last seen 3 years 5 weeks ago.
Re: japanese salad dressing

that's a difficult description for my spanglish... I'll try anyway!

It looks like you took some vegetal oil and put it in a container, then added the grated ginger and something that makes it look brown. And very very tiny dark dots (i guess that's the shiso).
So you have a "liquid" sauce, but with some "solid" things in it.

It's brown, btw.

**note to self: take the camera next time!**

Tanuki
Bento-ing from: seattle › USA
Joined: 16 Oct 2009
User offline. Last seen 4 years 48 weeks ago.
Re: japanese salad dressing

Tiny dark dots sounds like poppyseed. My guess is that it didn't have shiso. Try this:
Mix up a combination of 1 part water, 1 part sesame oil, 1 part soy sauce, 1 part grated ginger, a touch of garlic powder, then enough sugar or agave nectar (my personal fave) to almost make it sweet. Sprinkle in some poppy seeds and then tell me how close I am. Mince up a shiso leaf if you like and add it in too, it might be tasty!
If you try it, let me know how this turns out.

Jiza
Bento-ing from: Madrid › Spain
Joined: 13 Feb 2009
User offline. Last seen 3 years 5 weeks ago.
Re: japanese salad dressing

hey thanks for the recipe :D I'll try it as soon as i get the ingredients ^^

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