Soy Milk Dressing for Greens
Learn how to make a delicious contemporary Japanese house salad from the En Japanese Brasserie in New York City. This salad features mizuna leaves, walnuts, and yuba, with an irresistible dressing made of soy milk, classic caesar salad dressing, Japanese sesame paste, and honey, adding layers of complexity and Japanese sensibility to the dish.
I love this salad, where mizuna leaves, walnuts and yuba are accented with an irresistible dressing composed of soy milk, sesame paste, and a classic caesar salad dressing. The soy milk and sesame add layers of complexity, creaminess and, of course, a Japanese sensibility to the caesar dressing. Fantastic. I asked Abe-san if I could share the recipe for his dressing, and he graciously agreed (Thanks, Abe-san!). For home, you can prepare this salad with just mizuna and walnuts, or substitute the mizuna for another green of your liking. Here's the recipe:
- 2 1/4 cups soy milk (preferably the thick, creamy variety found in Asian markets)
- 1/2 cup classic Caesar salad dressing (recommended: Epicurious recipe)
- 3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon Japanese sesame paste (or tahina as a substitute)
- 2 tablespoons honey
- Salt to taste
- Combine Ingredients: In a mixing bowl, use a whisk to blend the soy milk, Caesar salad dressing, Japanese sesame paste, and honey until smooth.
- Season: Add salt cautiously, keeping in mind the Caesar dressing's inherent saltiness from the anchovies.
- Soy Milk Selection: Opt for real soy milk that's thick and creamy, containing only soybeans and water, for the best texture and flavor in the dressing.
- Sesame Paste: Japanese sesame paste is preferred for its delicate flavor profile, but tahina can be used as an alternative if Japanese sesame paste is not available.
Techniques and Their Purposes:
- Whisking to Combine: Ensures a smooth, homogenous mixture, fully integrating the distinct flavors of the Caesar dressing, sesame paste, and honey with the soy milk.
- Cautious Seasoning: Adjusting the salt content carefully accounts for the dressing's complexity and prevents over-salting, given the anchovy-based saltiness of the Caesar component.
This recipe creates a unique fusion dressing that combines the umami and creamy qualities of a classic Caesar with the nutty depth of sesame, enhanced by the subtle sweetness of honey, perfect for drizzling over fresh greens or as a dip.