Monday, July 16, 2012

Versatile Sweet Asian Dressing

Something I don’t do as often as I should is keep a bowl, jar, or bottle of homemade salad dressing in the refrigerator for quick salads loaded with whatever is ripe in the garden or at the farmer’s market. This sweet dressing with Asian flavors is a good one to have on hand and lasts a long time in the refrigerator. It’s quick to put together, too, although, since it requires a step at the stove, it does need to be made in advance if you want a cold salad.

This is as simple as combining vinegar, sugar, soy sauce and a few other flavors and boiling them to dissolve the sugar. I spiced my version up just a bit with some chile garlic sauce, but if you like things milder, you could leave it out. The vinegar balances the sweet ingredients so the dressing isn’t cloying or sugary, but the sugar does make for a slightly more syrupy dressing than a simple vinaigrette.

This dressing was originally for a Napa cabbage salad with broken-up Ramen noodles, but I find that it goes well in other places too. While I did recently pour it over a cabbage salad with yellow carrots and onions, I also like it on a green salad with whatever is ripe and ready. I’ve even poured it over a stir fry at the last minute of cooking, and it was good there as well.

There is enough dressing in this recipe to make a couple of 4-serving cabbage salads, or to pour on green salads for the better part of a week. It also will keep well for that week in the refrigerator, since it doesn’t contain any perishable ingredients and gets a good boiling besides. Right now, I’m really happy to have something to make once and enjoy for a few days during which I can avoid any hot and sweaty efforts. Hope you’re staying cooler than I am!

Sweet Asian Salad Dressing
Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

1/3 cup rice vinegar
¼ cup sugar
2 tablespoons canola or peanut oil
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
¼ teaspoon chile garlic sauce

1. Combine all the ingredients in a small saucepan.  Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar. Boil 1 minute, adjusting the heat to keep the mixture from boiling over. Cool then chill. Stir well before dressing salads or vegetables.

Makes about ¾ cup. Keep refrigerated for a week or more.

No comments:

Post a Comment