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May 15, 2011 3:53 PM   Subscribe

What's a good recipe for a salad dressing made with sesame oil--and for a salad to dress with it?

I'm looking for general principles rather than precise quantities. The salad shouldn't have any meat in it.

posted by lapsangsouchong to Food & Drink (21 answers total) 31 users marked this as a favorite
For Korean tacos, I've made an amazing Korean-inspired salad dressing with sesame oil, lime juice, Korean red pepper and a little soy. From here.

posted by CunningLinguist at 3:58 PM on May 15, 2011

I like the dressing from Nigella Lawson's Sesame Peanut Noodles.
posted by bcwinters at 4:00 PM on May 15, 2011

Sesame oil is often presented as a flavoring, used a few drops a time. You might want to experiment your way toward your favorite mix. Here's a recipe (self-link) as an example.
posted by Namlit at 4:01 PM on May 15, 2011

My favourite:

Green or brown lentils, cooked. An equal amount of grated carrot. Lots of fresh chopped cilantro. Mix some sesame oil, a little chili powder or paste, some fish sauce and a tiny amount of sugar. Mix through the lentils and carrots. Refrigerate.

It's really amazing. Much better than it sounds. You can experiment with adding garlic, shallots, or other stuff if you like.
posted by lollusc at 4:17 PM on May 15, 2011 [2 favorites]

Sesame oil is usually just a flavoring. I had a yummy salad which was shredded carrots (from a food processor) with shallots, dressed with lemon juice, champagne vinegar, olive oil and sesame oil. No proportions, sorry.
posted by shothotbot at 4:25 PM on May 15, 2011

I like to make a cucumber salad with a splash of rice wine vinegar, a splash of sesame oil, a teaspoon of sugar or so, and plenty of sliced-up cucumbers with sesame seeds. Better marinated.
posted by mynameisluka at 4:28 PM on May 15, 2011 [3 favorites]

Here is a really amazingly delicious salad. I'd rather eat this than chocolate cake. You can use the dressing below on any green salad, but I love it esp. on a salad of arugula, cucumber, red pepper, some fresh minced herbs (dill and basil), toasted walnuts, grated carrot and a little bit of goat cheese.

sesame oil
slightly sweet vinegar, such as pear-infused vinegar, or white balsamic
juice from half an orange
good mustard
salt and pepper
Eyeball all the ingredients til you get the proportions you love. Put into a jar and shake.
This is an absolutely addictive dressing! Everyone eats the salad until it's completely gone.
posted by Tylwyth Teg at 4:29 PM on May 15, 2011 [7 favorites]

Sesame noodle salad.
posted by hot soup girl at 4:32 PM on May 15, 2011 [1 favorite]

I love sesame oil. Love love love. Just some salt with sesame oil and a bit of grated garlic (not too much) to dress boiled vegetables (bean sprouts, spinach, carrots) makes a dish similar to Korean namul. Add sesame seeds and chopped green onions if you like. Soy sauce goes well with sesame oil, too, so soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, salt, pepper, sesame seeds, chili powder if you like, and a bit of grated garlic makes a nice Asian style salad dressing.

On preview, shothotbot's comment reminded me that olive oil and sesame oil go surprisingly well with each other. Add salt and grated garlic and you're ready to go.
posted by misozaki at 4:39 PM on May 15, 2011

Sesame oil is really strong, you probably don't want to use only sesame oil for a dressing. If you like the taste of Sesame, you might want to look up Tahini dressings, too...
posted by empath at 5:01 PM on May 15, 2011

Copied from Mark Bittman

6. Sichuan slaw: Toss bean sprouts, shredded carrots and celery, minced fresh chili, soy sauce, sesame oil and a bit of sugar. Top with chopped peanuts and chopped basil, mint and/or cilantro. (The full trio is best.)

15. Cut cherry or grape tomatoes in half; toss with soy sauce, a bit of dark sesame oil and basil or cilantro. I love this — the tomato juice-soy thing is incredible.

84. Spring rolls, unrolled: One at a time, soften a few sheets of rice paper in warm water. Drain, pat dry, cut into strips and toss with chopped cucumber, grated carrots, chopped cilantro, bean sprouts, chili flakes and chopped roasted peanuts. Dress with toasted sesame oil, fish sauce or soy sauce, and rice vinegar or lime juice. A few shrimp are a nice addition.

93. Mix leftover rice with lemon or lime juice, soy sauce and a combination of sesame and peanut oils. Microwave if necessary to soften the rice, then serve at room temperature, tossed with sprouts, shredded radishes, chopped scallions, bits of cooked meat or fish if you like and more soy sauce.

101. Cook a pot of short-grain rice. While it’s still hot, toss with raw grated zucchini, fermented black beans, sriracha, sesame oil, sake and a touch of rice vinegar. Add bits of leftover roast chicken or pork if you have it, and pass soy sauce at the table.
posted by bread-eater at 5:09 PM on May 15, 2011 [2 favorites]

Bulgur/Arugula salad:

Prepare a cup or so of bulgur (boil, or simply steep in boiling water for ~20 minutes)
Mix with arugula and gently steamed asparagus.
Dress with a mix of lemon or lime juice, sesame oil, minced garlic, and s&p

Very simple but very good -- perfect for summer.
posted by AwkwardPause at 5:45 PM on May 15, 2011

I really like an Asian-flavoured salad with some citrus fruit. Some combination of things like arugula, spinach, cucumbers, red or spring onions, sesame seeds, blood orange/grapefruit/tangerine segments (using one of those fancy cutting techniques that doesn't leave behind the pith), asparagus, snow peas.

The dressing would be 2 parts oil (canola or olive), 1 part rice wine vinegar, spoonful of Dijon mustard (obviously not traditional but I like the way it makes the dressing homogenous), splash of soy sauce and a couple of sesame oil, grated ginger, garlic, salt, and juice from whatever citrus I used (and/or lime and/or lemon juice). Sometimes I add a dash of garlic hot sauce stuff (the stuff with the Rooster).
posted by hydrobatidae at 6:39 PM on May 15, 2011

Here's my random creation that's been successful. I mix sesame oil with canola oil, then add something to make it tangier (rice vinegar, sweet and sour sauce, or lime would be good), diced garlic, minced ginger, and salt/pepper.

For the salad, I use julienned raw kale, carrots, red peppers (or cucumbers), and fresh parsley (or cilantro). The kale is the main thing; the rest is just to liven it up.

I don't measure any of this, just use your judgment.
posted by John Cohen at 6:50 PM on May 15, 2011

chopped carrots, cocktail peanuts, sesame oil, apple cider vinegar + sesame seeds. Super simple. Tastes better after sitting for a day, very good chilled veggie salad.
posted by jessamyn at 6:57 PM on May 15, 2011

the dressing included in this recipe is great and fresh! the dish itself is quite lovely too!
101 Cookbooks Pineapple Rice.
posted by c at 8:50 PM on May 15, 2011

This recipe came off the back of a packet of noodles but I think it's fast become an Aussie tradition - it's at every barbeque I go to, and it always gets eaten. We eat it about once a week in summer.

Cabbage and Noodle salad

½ -1 Chinese Cabbage, or ¼ savoy cabbage (shredded finely)
6 Green Onion (chopped 5mm length)
100g Lightly roasted slivered Almonds or Pinenuts
1 pkt Chang’s Fried Noodles 100g

¼ cup White Vinegar
1/4 cup Castor Sugar
1 tblsp Chang’s Soy Sauce
2 tsp sesame oil (I use a bit more but I love sesame oil)
½ cup Olive Oil

Mix all the ingredients of the dressing in a bowl. Stir well until sugar is dissolved. Combine the Cabbage, chopped Green Onions and almonds in a salad bowl. Add dressing and mix well. Just before serving add the noodles and toss thoroughly.
posted by indienial at 3:50 AM on May 16, 2011 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Mmm, plenty of exciting things for me to be getting on with here--thanks!
posted by lapsangsouchong at 10:15 AM on May 16, 2011

Melissa Clark's Garlicky Sesame-Cured Broccoli Salad. I have to make a half-recipe at a time, or I eat it all and give myself an excruciferating stomach-ache.
posted by palliser at 1:20 PM on May 16, 2011 [1 favorite]

My mother's asparagus salad uses sesame oil. Blanch your asparagus lightly then shock it in ice water to stop it cooking. Cut into roughly 2-inch lengths (a comfortable length to fit into one's mouth, basically) and mix with a smaller amount of diced pimientos. For the dressing, combine sesame oil (roughly a 2-to-1 ratio of toasted-to-untoasted oil) with soy sauce, to taste. Drizzle over asparagus, toss gently, and allow to sit at least 10 minutes for the flavors to mingle. To serve, sprinkle with white & black sesame seeds (if available).
posted by Lexica at 2:29 PM on May 16, 2011 [1 favorite]

I don't know that you'd call it a salad really but I make an "Asian Cucumber Salad" that is simply thinly sliced cucumbers lightly salted to bring out moisture and then mixed with soy sauce, sugar, rice wine vinegar, and sesame oil and allowed to marinate for a while. The cucumber wilts and becomes tangy-salty-sweet. Before serving you sprinkle the top with sesame seeds. You said you didn't want measured amounts necessarily, but in case (and since I brought it to a party last night and it was a hit, I typed it out for friends upon request anyway):

(I often double the amounts--2 big fat cucumbers are about 4 cups anyway)

2 cups cucumbers, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 teaspoons sesame seeds

In a large bowl, combine cucumbers with salt and mix well. Add sugar, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, and sesame oil and mix well. Sprinkle with the sesame seeds and mix. Let marinate at least 20 minutes before serving (I often let it sit for hours in the fridge, because I like the cukes to get super tangy and don't mind when they wilt a lot).

Mollie Katzen's Tofu Salad is a similar sort of thing, where it sits and marinates and gets yummy.

Tofu Salad

4 Tablespoons Chinese sesame oil
5 Tablespoons rice or cider vinegar
1 Tablespoon sugar
3 Tablespoons soy sauce
2 to 3 medium cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. salt (to taste)
crushed red pepper, to taste
optional: 1 tsp. minced fresh ginger and/or 1 to 2 Tablespoons dry sherry or rice wine

6 cakes (about 1 to 1-1/2 lbs.) very firm tofu, well drained (the secret is to take tofu, put it on a plate lined with paper towel, put another paper towel on top of it, another plate, and something heavy--a big can of tomatoes, say--and let it press and drain for at least 30 can let it do that while you assemble the marinade)
8 to 10 medium-sized mushrooms
1 small carrot, (shredded or cut into slender matchsticks)
1 small bell pepper (preferably red), minced

Garnishes/extras (optional):
finely shredded cabbage
1 to 2 minced scallions
a handful or two of fresh mung bean sprouts
1/2 cup coarsely chopped peanuts
minced fresh cilantro
diced fresh, ripe tomato
a sprinkling of sesame seeds

Combine marinade ingredients in a large, shallow bowl or pan.

Cut the tofu into 1/2-inch cubes and add to the marinade, along with the vegetables. Stir gently.

Cover and let marinate at room temperature for at least 2 hours serve cold or at room temperature, topped with all or some of the garnishes.
posted by ifjuly at 2:39 PM on May 16, 2011 [4 favorites]

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