Creamy Japanese Sesame Salad Dressing Recipe: Nutty, Sweet & Tangy by Ann Marie Patitucci

Creamy Japanese Sesame Salad Dressing Recipe: Nutty, Sweet & Tangy

I typically love anything with sesame seeds, and I always have. I love sesame bagels, bread sticks, sesame chicken, sesame crackers, sesame hamburger buns, pita chips and more. I also love homemade salad dressing. Nothing beats homemade dressing on a salad.

This is a Japanese salad dressing recipe. It’s creamy, nutty and a great combination of sweet and tangy. You might even want to use it as a marinade, too. One of the things I like best about it is that even if you don’t have all the ingredients on hand, you can probably still make it; there are substitutions that work well. This allows you to customize the sesame dressing and make use of what you have on hand.

For example, if you don’t have mirin, you can add a bit more water instead. If you don’t have rice vinegar, you can substitute apple cider vinegar. While roasted sesame oil does provide a nutty, earthy flavor, there are other options, such as olive oil or grapeseed oil. In addition, if you’d like to try Japanese mayonnaise, go for it, but you don’t have to. I love a flexible recipe!

Cuisine: Japanese
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

Servings: 4


  • 3 tablespoons toasted white sesame seeds 
  • 1/4 teaspoon black sesame seeds (for some color and texture), optional
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar, unseasoned (possible substitution: apple cider vinegar)
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise (consider trying Japanese Kewpie mayonnaise)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce (I recommend low-sodium soy sauce.)
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil (possible substitution: olive oil or grapeseed oil)
  • 1/2 teaspoon mirin (possible substitution: a bit more water instead)

Here’s how to make it:

  1. Toast the white sesame seeds in a skillet on low heat. When a couple of sesame seeds start popping, remove skillet from the heat. Grind the toasted sesame seeds with a mortar and pestle until smooth. 
  2. Combine the ground seeds with all the other ingredients in a bowl. Mix everything together using a whisk. Drizzle the dressing on top of a salad or use as a marinade.

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Rice Vinegar $3 & Up
Mirin $4 & Up
Soy Sauce $3 & Up
Mayonnaise $3 & Up

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We love Japanese foods and especially sauces. So much flavor.
Elisa Schmitz
I'm with you on loving sesame seeds, Ann Marie Patitucci . That flavor is really crave-able and this dressing is amazing!

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