Sesame Miso Dressing

My stepdaughter does not do salad but she said she’d actually like it if it was always dressed with Kayanoya’s creamy sesame miso dressing. It’s an amazing dressing. I’d brought a bottle of it back home from our trip to Japan last summer and—now that it’s gone—I was set on making a version of my own.

I wanted something simple and easy to make on a whim. It’s 5 ingredients, things I usually have on hand: sesame seeds, miso, vinegar, honey, and oil (and water). If you can, freshly grind the sesame seeds because it imparts a nice robust flavor. If you can’t, use tahini instead. The tahini version tastes a bit flat so maybe mash up a little garlic to give it some dimension, if you go that route.

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A side note: Thank you to my readers who encouraged me to continue posting on this blog. It means a lot to me that you reached out and that these recipes are appreciated!

Sesame Miso Dressing
Makes almost half a cup

2 Tbsp sesame seeds
1 Tbsp miso (I used red)
2 Tbsp rice vinegar
1 1/2 tsp honey
4 Tbsp oil (I used canola)
1 tsp water

Toast sesame seeds in a pan, careful not to burn. Coarsely grind (I used a surikogi and suribachi). Add in miso, vinegar, and honey. Add oil in a slow, steady stream while whisking to emulsify. Add water to thin.

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  1. Latha
    Posted February 27, 2015 at 7:10 am | Permalink

    I needed a quick dressing to go into my boys’ lunchbox and I came to search for your Mom’s sesame dressing, but there was a new post from you with exactly what I needed! I was super happy to see it. :) I made this dressing, taking the time to toast the sesame seeds rather than using the pre-roasted ones I also had on hand, and it turned out very delicious. I didn’t have to adjust anything as it was perfectly to our liking. I’ve made a few of your recipes before and loved them. Thank you for sharing them again.

  2. Mia
    Posted March 2, 2015 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    I’m glad you’re back! I can never get proportions right when I try to improvise my own salad dressing (anything more complicated than olive oil and vinegar, at least), so I’m looking forward to trying this. :)

  3. Posted March 2, 2015 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    Latha, thank you for your sweet comment. I’m happy you (and hopefully your boys!) liked the dressing. I forgot about my mom’s dressing, so thanks for reminding me to dig that up.

    Mia, I’m the same way with dressing. It takes a practice to understand balance and I’m still working on it. Hope you like it!

  4. Posted March 3, 2015 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

    I can’t wait to make this dressing. I’ve recently switched diets (lost twelve pounds!!!) to a less restrictive program, but I am still on the lookout for healthier, interesting alternatives to the usual pantry suspects. A new sesame dressing is just the thing. Love miso and need to put my little bins of it to use. :D

  5. Amanda
    Posted March 12, 2015 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    I’m glad you’re back too. And I’m a big fan of this dressing and am happy for instructions on how to finally make my own. I’m looking forward to what you do next.

  6. Marcine M.
    Posted March 16, 2015 at 7:07 am | Permalink

    Hi Azusa,

    I tried this recipe last night and I was so glad I did! It was the perfect dressing for simple greens, tomatoes, tofu, and a bit of torn shiso. I look forward to trying more of your recipes as I’ve only just found your blog and hope you’ll continue to post!

    Kind Regards,

  7. Posted March 16, 2015 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    Marcine, I’m so happy you liked the dressing. The addition of shiso is an excellent idea! I’m going to have to try it when summer rolls around (which feels like NOW in Los Angeles!).

  8. Jennifer
    Posted April 5, 2015 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    I’m thrilled to see you are back! I stumbled upon your blog a year ago, and I’ve cooked several of your recipes with great success. The recipes are sentimental to me; they remind me of my childhood. You present a unique angle on Japanese home cooking which has been difficult for me to find on the web. Your dishes are simple and beautiful just as the name “Humble Bean” suggests. I look forward to your posts!

  9. Posted April 5, 2015 at 10:46 pm | Permalink

    Jennifer, it means so much to know these recipes evoke memories of childhood for you. Thank you for cooking along with me. There’s more to come!

  10. Tina
    Posted April 19, 2015 at 2:11 am | Permalink

    Wow, love this! I will definitely try this in the future!

    On a side note, please continue writing your blog! This is my go-to place for simple and delicious Japanese recipes. I love your clean template, minimalistic style and simple recipes-a humble but precious bean ^^

  11. Posted April 19, 2015 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

    Tina, that is so sweet! Thank you!

  12. Frank
    Posted April 26, 2015 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    Azusa, you’re blog is really outstanding. I have several japanese cooking books, but your recipes are way better, and I am looking forward for many new recipes!

  13. Posted April 26, 2015 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

    Frank, thank you for saying so, that is high praise!

  14. Posted May 19, 2015 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

    It’s an accomplishment to get kids to eat salad, and by the looks of this Japanese dressing, it’s simple and easy enough to do. Wonder how it would taste if you exchange canola oil with sesame oil instead. Can’t wait to try it out, thanks for sharing! Do continue with your blog, it’s comforting to know that there are people out there who are willing to share their recipes for those who wish to experiment on cooking.

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