I have to be honest here. The Japanese sesame dressing is really expensive. Haha.. A small bottle cost about $5 and I would just finish that by eating 3 or 4 portions of salad. So, that makes me went ahead in making my own and I made “A LOT” of it, then stored in jar and kept in fridge for my consumption freely. I like the feeling of having to know that I can eat plentiful of it while not being cost conscious plus I know what I put in it.
So what sesame dressing good to pair with? First thing that came to my mind is cabbage. It is a very usual salad side when you are eating tonkatsu. But, I am not a cabbage person. I know how good cabbage is… I know, I know! It’s just that eating raw or undercooked cabbage is not my thing. However, sesame dressing and cabbage is a fantastic match, it’s match made in heaven. So, I will only enjoy eating cabbage with 1 condition, that is to have sesame dressing by my side and I am all good.
Speaking of sesame seeds, have you actually seen the plant producing the seeds? Go ahead and click on the link to see how it looks like. I was in the “aww..” moment when I saw the plant, it’s too cute! So how it’s being purged from the pods? It is to be dried then whacked to release the seeds out from the pods. Just like how you do it to get rice. Interesting right? I learned something new today.
This is not your usual vinaigrette dressing and it has a class of its own. This sesame dressing has a whacky, earthy and nutty smell. When I grinded the toasted sesame, I get some porky lardy smell, weird isn’t it but it is true. Try smelling it. It has a bit of sourness to it which came from the rice wine vinegar and the grainy mustard. Adding sesame oil is to intensify the sesame taste. It makes whole lot of different adding it in. So please add it in.
Japanese Sesame Dressing (makes about 450ml which is about 2 cups)
Adapted from Just One Cookbook
- 1 cup of sesame seeds
- ¾ cup of Japanese Mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon of rice wine vinegar, adjust according to taste
- 3-4 tablespoon of soy sauce, depending on the saltiness
- 1 ½ tablespoon of sugar
- 1 tablespoon of wholegrain mustard
- ½ tablespoon of mirin
- 2 teaspoon of sesame oil
- Toasting sesame seeds: Heat up a pan with high heat then when pan is hot, turn to medium low heat.
- Pour sesame seeds on the pan and distribute evenly. Shake and toss the pan once in a while.
- You will see sesame seeds starts to turn brown and when a few of them pop, turn off the heat. This takes about 10 minutes for me. So it depends on your stove’s heat and the heat but roughly about there.
- Keep aside and let it cool down. I am using a spice grinder to grind the seeds. It is more than welcome to use mortar and pestle but this is a large batch of seeds we are talking about. Feel free though.
- Take ¾ cup from the 1 cup of sesame seeds and grind finely with spice grinder. I want to have 2 types of texture for the salad dressing. Grinding some finely will release the fragrance even more to the dressing.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the ground and whole sesame seeds. Add in mayonnaise, soy sauce, mustard, sugar, mirin and sesame oil. Mix well. Lastly, add in 80% of the rice wine vinegar. Taste it and adjust according to your taste. Why I am doing this? The sourness to me it is a very subjective matter so once you add all in, there is no turning back. That’s why add only 80% or even lesser. Then you work from there.
- Taste and adjust until you get your desired taste. Less sweet, more sweet, saltiness and everything else. It is your dressing!