Asian Salad with Carrot-Ginger Dressing

Carrot Ginger Dressing |

I hope mother nature has been kinder to you than New Yorkers this summer. The heat has been unrelenting. The heat and the humidity has been unbearable. And if you are a fellow New Yorker trudging through the subway system, I empathize. It can feel like you are simmering in stew. And if you are visiting NYC on vacation, don’t get too happy if you spot a relatively empty train car when the others are packed to the gills. The air conditioner is likely broken in that car. 😉

This summer has also been especially busy. Compound that with the weather, and I didn’t cook much this summer. Making anything that involved the stove(top) didn’t/doesn’t appeal to me. We’ve also been drinking more wine (white wine and sangria) to fight the heat and, let’s face it, because it tastes good. As a result, my husband’s psoriasis has flared up.

I didn’t know anything about psoriasis until I met my husband. But apparently millions of people suffer from this. And although most doctors believe that there is no connection between diet and flare-ups, we’ve noticed otherwise. His doctor says that he has a mild case and shouldn’t really worry much about it. And if it bothers him, he can always take prescription medication. But we would prefer not to go that route, especially with the scary side effects.

So we’re trying a program recommended by a doctor who specializes in healing through food. The program closely mirrors a vegan diet, but it allows the occasional fish and eggs. It’s a pretty strict, but a healthy and clean, eating program. Needless to say, we’ll have to cook and eat at home more often this summer to adhere to the guidelines. In case you are interested, I will keep you posted on my husband’s progress.

It’s still crazy hot; so I decided to make a huge salad with carrot-ginger dressing. Carrot-ginger dressing is one of my favorite dressings. It’s simple to make; and it can easily be modified to fit your taste and needs; AND it’s so much healthier than what you’d get at Asian restaurants. You’ll be surprised by how rich this dressing tastes.

This ended up being a fridge-clean-out salad for us with lots of greens, avocado, tomatoes, red onions, radishes, steamed broccoli, etc. But you can make it as simple (or as complicated) as you want. We had this as an appetizer. But add some tofu or tempeh, and make it a main dish. It will taste delicious either way. The dressing makes all the difference!

Carrot Ginger Salad Dressing |

Asian Salad with Carrot Ginger Dressing Recipe

Makes about 1 cup
2 small carrots or 1 large carrot, roughly chopped
~ 1 inch ginger, roughly chopped
2 TB shallot, roughly chopped
2 tsp tamari (gluten-free soy sauce)
3 TB rice vinegar*
2 large dried dates (optional)*
1/4 cup canola oil or other neutral oil
1-2 tsp toasted sesame oil
~ 3 TB water
salt to taste

any type of cut greens (romaine, red leaf, butter, etc.)
tomatoes (grape or cherry)
avocado, cut into bite-sized pieces
red onions, sliced thinly
cucumber, radish, red cabbage, or lightly-steamed broccoli (optional)*
1 green onion, chopped green parts

  1. Add carrots, ginger, shallot, tamari, vinegar, and dates, if using, to a blender. Pulse the contents until they are finely minced or pulverized. Slowly turn up the speed (to prevent splattering) of the blender. While the blender is on, slowly add the oils and water. Blend until the contents are smooth and emulsified. Salt to taste.
  2. Combine the salad ingredients in a bowl. Drizzle with dressing.

*Cook’s Note

Use about the same amount of shallot as ginger. The 1-inch piece of ginger I used had a circumference of about 1 inch (thick piece of ginger). Remember, they both have a spicy kick. You can decrease or increase accordingly depending on your tolerance.

1 TB of the rice vinegar can be replaced with fresh lemon juice if desired.

Dates are totally optional. Additionally, if you don’t have dates available, 1 TB of honey or agave nectar can be used in lieu of dates.

Try to use sweet carrots. It will make a difference in the flavor.

Make sure to use toasted sesame oil. The lighter sesame oil will not result in the desired Asian flavor.

If you are using cucumbers, radishes, or red cabbage, lightly salt them for a few minutes. Give them a quick rinse and pat them dry before adding them to the salad. This will draw out some of the water to reduce the pool of liquid that often ends up in the bottom of the bowl. This will also improve the texture of these veggies.

Carrot Ginger Dressing Ingredients |


19. July 2013 by gomo
Categories: Asian (Non-Korean), Dairy-Free, Dips/Spreads/Sauces, Gluten-Free, Raw, Salad, Side Dish, Vegan, Vegetarian | Tags: | 18 comments

Comments (18)

  1. Woo..the bright vibrant colors speak to me! Looks great.

    Oh God~ just listening to you speak about the hot humid NY weather sounds just EWWW!

    • There’s just something about summer that makes me want a colorful and crunchy salad. I hope you’re experiencing a milder summer where you are. It is just that here these days – ewww! Happy Saturday!

  2. so glad you posted this! i love this dressing but it usually has crazy mayonnaise in restaurants. there’s tons of flavor without it and i think the texture is improved. great recipe.

    • I’m glad you found it useful Jasi. Don’t know why; but I dislike mayo more and more as time goes by. This actually tastes quite rich without it. Thanks and I hope you’re having a wonderful weekend!

  3. What an unusual, original dressing! I have never ever heard or seen anything similar. I absolutely must do it one day. Thank you for the inspiration! I am sure I will surprise my husband (and myself!).
    In my small city we have only trams and buses and most of them have good air conditioning, but it’s been very hot here too. I shouldn’t complain; I prefer this than cold winter days.
    I hope your husband will be able to enjoy some wine on this diet too… By the way, I have a friend, who was told to eliminate temporarily tea from her diet (no idea why) but since she likes wine, she drinks now twice as much (she replaces evening tea with wine). I have heard of worse diets 😉

    • Thanks Sissi! I love this dressing in the summer. It’s light and refreshing – perfect for this oppressive hot weather. You know, I say the same thing about hot weather. I can tolerate heat better than the cold. But if this unusual heatwave continues, I may have to change my tune.

      Unfortunately, wine is out. If it’s anything else, I would join him in the deprivation. But wine, I can’t do without! We’ll see if he can stick to it. Hope you are well!

  4. I don’t think there are many places on earth worse than Manhattan during a hot July day – it can be so stifling! Sorry to hear about your husband’s psoriasis – that can be so painful. Hope the diet works. And if it involves eating lots of this great salad, what luck! This looks wonderful – love the combo of flavors. Thanks so much.

    • I think heat finally broke today – well, if you can call 88 high a break in heat. I can’t believe I’m saying this. But I’m actually looking forward to a cleansing rain! My husband’s condition is pretty mild. So it’s more of an annoyance at this point. We just want to make sure it doesn’t get worse. We’ll this how this program works out. Thank John! Happy Sunday!!

  5. I’m a firm believer that some diseases can be controlled by diet. I hope it works for your husband. This salad looks like a cure for a lot of things – disease, hungry and the heat! Stay cool my dear.

    • We’re keeping our fingers crossed. I’m a little leery of prescription drugs – especially when they say that one of the side effects is death! A bit ironic huh?

      This salad did hit the spot. It was so flavorful. I hope you are well MJ!

  6. I found your site through Pinterest because I was looking for a carrot ginger dressing. Your salad looks AMAZING and I know it tastes delicious. I can’t wait to get the ingredients and make this dressing. It’s a favorite of mine at restaurants, but I’ve never made it at home. Thank you for sharing. =)

    • Thank you for coming by the site Nicole! This is one of my favorite dressings. It’s great for the summer. I hope you enjoy it. Have a great week!

  7. Your salad looks and sounds delicious. I love dressing that you made. I hope you’ll have some cooling time soon…it’s been hot here, too but we have rain almost daily so it does cool down a bit however humidity is high which is never good thing.
    Enjoy your week ahead!

    • Thanks Sandra! The heat did break a bit here today. I still don’t feel like cooking! Good thing I made a huge bottle of this dressing to use for the whole week. Hope you have a great week too!

  8. what an interesting dressing, never thought of incorporating carrots. I was making a fridge clean out salad earlier and was at lost with what dressing to you, so end up with my usual lemon + olive oil. this carrot ginger would have made my dinner more interesting

    • Thanks Shannon! It’s one of my favorite dressings. The carrots give the dressing a lot of sweetness, flavor, and thickness. So not a lot of oil has to be added to this dressing. It’s a great, healthy dressing, especially for the summer when you want something refreshing. Hope you give this a try. Have a great weekend!

  9. That carrot dressing is so intriguing, I bet the kids would like it. It’s so nice to have plenty of salad recipes on hand for hot summer days.

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