Quick Ginger Garlic Miso Tahini Dressing

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Bowl of Ginger Garlic Miso Tahini Dressing beside plates of kale salad

Sometimes when I’m testing a recipe I want it to be one thing and it turns out to be another. Almost like it has a mind of its own.

Such was the case with this dressing, which was originally supposed to be cashew butter hummus. Sounds good (and weird), right? Well, it turned out to be more weird than good, and then after a series of adjustments it somehow morphed into this seriously delicious miso tahini dressing — and I’m not mad about it.

This is the perfect creamy dressing for kale salads, Asian-inspired dishes, bowl meals, and beyond. Let me show you how it’s done!

Ingredients for making our Ginger Garlic Miso Tahini Dressing recipe

What is Tahini?

The star of this show is tahini, which is made by grinding sesame seeds into a smooth paste. Sometimes the sesame seeds are hulled, sometimes they’re left unhulled; sometimes roasted, sometimes raw.

Origin of Tahini

Tahini is an Arabic name for ground sesame seeds. However, its origins are thought to have been in Persia, where it was called “ardeh.” Tahini later found its way to Israel and was held as a delicacy as sesame seeds were rather expensive to procure. In some cultures, tahini was even used as currency. (source)

Origin of Miso Paste

The other star ingredient? Miso paste.

Miso was believed to have originated in China and later introduced to Japan more than 1,300 years ago by Buddhist priests. It was made with fermented mixtures of salt, grains, and soybeans and used as a way to preserve food during warmer months.

Miso has since become a staple in Japanese cuisine, and is made with a variety of ingredients including: Rice in the north, sweet white miso near the capitol of Kyoto, soy in the central Aichi prefecture, and barley in the south. (source

Miso is rich in minerals like zinc, copper, and manganese, as well as various B vitamins and vitamin K. Soy miso also contains phytonutrient antioxidants (source). And as a fermented food it also provides beneficial bacteria for the gut.

Using a large spoon to stir ingredients for our Ginger Garlic Miso Tahini Dressing recipe

This 10-minute, 1-bowl dressing is easy to make, starting with fresh tahini. If you don’t have tahini, you can sub cashew butter for a similar effect!

Start by adding miso paste, fresh grated ginger, and garlic to create the base flavor. Next add coconut aminos or tamari for saltiness, rice vinegar for acidity, maple syrup for a bit of sweetness, and sesame oil for a bit more creaminess, but mostly added flavor.

Sesame oil adds such a rich, nutty flavor to this dressing, so I highly recommend adding it in! You want dressings to be quite flavorful so they add plenty of life to your dish, so don’t be shy and always taste and adjust flavor as needed!

I typically add more acidity (vinegar), saltiness (tamari), and sweetness (maple syrup) at this point. After a quick mix, just add water until it’s creamy and you’re good to go!

Bowl of our Ginger Garlic Miso Tahini Dressing with a swirl of toasted sesame oil in it

We hope you LOVE this dressing! It’s:

  • Creamy
  • Gingery
  • Salty-sweet
  • Versatile
  • Quick & easy to make
  • & Seriously delicious

This would make the perfect dressing for a quick, Asian-inspired salad, such as the one below. Simply massage kale with sesame oil and top with shredded carrot, cabbage, green onion, and crushed cashews or peanuts.

It would also be lovely paired with a grain bowl (recipe coming soon!). Check out a few of our other favorite easy dressings: 5-Minute Caesar Dressing, Oil-Free Vegan Ranch Dressing, How to Make Tahini Dressing, Tahini Green Curry Dressing, Rosemary Tahini Dressing, and Cashew-Chili Garlic Dressing.

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!

Plates of kale, carrot, and cabbage salad beside a bowl of our Ginger Garlic Miso Tahini Dressing

Quick Ginger Garlic Miso Tahini Dressing

Creamy, rich tahini dressing infused with fresh ginger, garlic, and miso paste. Perfect for topping salads, bowls, and more. Just 10 minutes and 8 ingredients required!
Author Minimalist Baker
Print
Bowl of Ginger Garlic Miso Tahini Dressing with a swirl of toasted sesame oil
5 from 54 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 12 (1-Tbsp servings)
Course Dressing
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Vegan
Freezer Friendly 1 month
Does it keep? 5-7 Days

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup tahini (sesame seed paste — raw or roasted // or sub cashew butter)
  • 1 heaping Tbsp freshly peeled grated ginger (or very finely minced)
  • 2 cloves finely minced garlic (scrape minced garlic across the cutting board with a knife to make more of a paste for bolder flavor)
  • 1 heaping tsp yellow or white miso paste (use chickpea miso for soy-free — we like Miso Master brand)
  • 1 Tbsp coconut aminos (plus more to taste)
  • 1 Tbsp rice vinegar*
  • 1 tsp toasted or untoasted sesame oil (if oil-free, sub water — flavor will be affected)
  • 2 tsp maple syrup (plus more to taste)
  • 2-3 Tbsp water (plus more to taste)
  • 1 pinch sea salt (optional)

FOR SERVING optional

  • 3-4 cups chopped green kale (massage with a dash of sesame oil for softer texture)
  • 1 cup grated / ribboned carrot
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced green onion
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced red cabbage
  • 1/2 cup roasted salted cashews (or peanuts), roughly chopped

Instructions

  • To a medium mixing bowl add tahini, fresh ginger, garlic, miso paste, coconut aminos, rice vinegar, sesame oil, and maple syrup and whisk to combine.
  • Add water until a creamy, pourable sauce is achieved. Taste and adjust flavor as needed, adding more vinegar for tanginess, maple syrup for sweetness, miso for strong miso flavor, garlic or ginger for zing, or salt or coconut aminos for saltiness.
  • Store leftovers in the refrigerator up to 5-7 days. Freezer friendly up to 1 month, though best when fresh.

Video

Notes

*In place of rice vinegar you can sub apple cider or white vinegar or lime juice, but it will affect the flavor.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated without optional ingredients.

Nutrition (1 of 12 servings)

Serving: 1 one-Tablespoon serving Calories: 50 Carbohydrates: 3 g Protein: 1.3 g Fat: 3.9 g Saturated Fat: 0.6 g Sodium: 46 mg Potassium: 39 mg Fiber: 0.7 g Sugar: 1.2 g

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  1. Alli says

    Love this! I drizzled it on our dinner rice bowls – rice, roasted delicata squash, baked tofu and sauteed brocoli and garlic. Yum. Had it all again for lunch at work today and I day-dreamed about making the dressing forever!

  2. Valerie says

    This dressing was so easy to make! I decided to make this miso tahini last minute while my broccoli was roasting in the oven. I made a yummy bowl with the miso tahini dressing over rice and broccoli and furikake.

      • Kortneii Mackenzie says

        Oh ma gawd! This is the most creamy yum ever! I served it on salad (tomato, avocado, snow peas, radishes, pea shoots, red leaf lettuce topped with roasted yam and crispy lentils! So good. Everything you put out is good tho! Thank you!

  3. Rosalia Agioutanti says

    This dressing is AMAZING!! I was so shocked by the result, I couldn’t believe that I actually made something that tasted soo good :) Thank you so much for this recipe!

  4. Lee Wilson says

    I just made this for dinner – it is DELICIOUS! Made it exactly as the recipe is written. I recommend giving it a try. A nice change from “the usual” salad dressings.

  5. Natasha says

    I’ve been looking for a miso dressing recipe and this looks great! Was just wondering if I could use brown rice miso instead?

  6. Tricia says

    Yum! It took a great deal of will power to back away from this dressing and wait for the salad it was intended for! I confess to eyeballing all ingredients but let the proportions guide me, tasting until I was happy. Very very happy! Thanks!

  7. Meera says

    Made the dressing tonight for a kale salad and the dressing was DELICIOUS. (I did not follow the exact kale salad in this post – I used kale, cherry tomatoes, Persian cucumbers, and canned white beans). The sesame oil really adds the perfect touch to this dressing so don’t leave it out! I also used maybe only a teaspoon of the maple syrup b/c I’m not a fan of sweetness in dressings. 10/10 recommend this dressing!

    • Amanda says

      So delicious! I made it as is. Just wondering if the serving size is right? I only end up with about a half cup of dressing but it says it makes 12 2tbsp servings (3 cups!)

      • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

        Thanks for letting us know about the error, Amanda! It should make ~2/3 cup or ~12 1-Tbsp servings. We’ll update it!

  8. Jeannie Le says

    Made this today for an Asian inspired salad and it was delicious! A little thicker than I ‘d like it to be but that’s easily fixed by adding more water to thin it out a bit. The dressing was flavorful and I recommend it. It’s easy to make as well. I used low sodium soy sauce instead of coconut amino.

  9. Erin says

    Just made this last night, without ginger or coconut aminos as I had neither on hand. It was delicious without these so I can only imagine it will be better with them!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad it turned out well! Let us know if you try it with the ginger and coconut aminos =)

  10. Lesley says

    5 stars! Better than a restaurant! This dressing is amazing. I just added it to all suggested salad ingredients. I’m going to add this one into the rotation with all my other favorite MB salad recipes.

  11. Lesley says

    Better than a restaurant! This dressing is amazing. I just added it to all suggested salad ingredients. I’m going to add this one into the rotation with all my other favorite MB salad recipes.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Whoop! Thanks so much for the lovely review, Lesley. We are so glad you enjoyed it! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! Xo

  12. Laura Jones says

    Ok, this was amazing. Made a Buddha bowl and added this dressing to it and wow! Boyfriend claimed he could drink it he liked it so much lol.

  13. Debra J Reese says

    Outstanding! This is the dressing I’ve been looking for all my life! Your starter is spot on, and when you say add the following items to enhance the flavor, that’s when there was a home run! I made it according to my taste buds. It’s super! Been trying to duplicate a miso dressing I had on a Hale Caesar! Salad in a restaurant that rocked my world, well, this is the closest I’ve had! Thank you so much for posting! I will continue to make this and perfect it according to my flavor preference!! Cheers!

  14. Sarah says

    I’ll admit to not being the biggest tahini fan but I always have some on hand for recipes like this. This recipe is a game changer. I’m so glad I made extra to use for the next few days!

  15. shan says

    I have so many sesame seeds and no tahini, so i made this in the blender. After toasting 1/3 cup sesame seeds and adding all other ingredients + a couple extra tablespoons water, I added extra miso and a touch more maple syrup. It was super delicious! I had it with roasted squash, cauliflower and sauteed dandelion greens over wild rice, topped with roasted hazelnuts. BEST dressing to move your veggie/grain bowl into gourmet lunch territory!

  16. Mel says

    This is so.freaking.good. The perfect asian inspired dressing (except I definitely put it on all types of salads).

  17. Marie says

    Is the wooden spoon holding the sesame seeds made by Earlywood? I really like the design and size. Thanks.

  18. Nicole says

    This is totally delicious!! I halved the amount of ginger (I’m pretty sensitive to spice) and used soy sauce instead of coconut aminos as it’s what I had on hand. Will be making again and again!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you enjoyed it, Nicole! Thanks so much for the lovely review! xo

  19. LYNETTE N RAAP says

    This is a proportionally excellent recipe. And, as others note, very forgiving ( substitutions friendly) and expandable ( cumin, sumac etc. for example. I rarely print.. today I did!

  20. Charlotte says

    So delicious! I increased the amount of miso to a tbsp and used 3 tbsp of water. Used soy sauce instead of coconut aminos as it’s all I had in. This is my favorite buddha bowl dressing, over quinoa and roasted veggies.

  21. April L Mancuso says

    I am thoroughly, positively addicted to this dressing. It’s what my food dreams are made of! I’ve made a double batch I think 4 or 5 times in a row. I absolutely cannot be without this dressing in my daily life now!

  22. Renae says

    I was looking for a dressing to add to a veggie sandwich I made for lunch to have with your slaw recipe. This was so easy and delicious. Black eyed peas with spinach and tomatoes in a pita. Does that sound weird? Haha. It was great.

  23. Lacey says

    I love all your recipes and use your recipe book weekly! I’m excited to try this one. I am wondering if I can use red miso paste? I have a big container in my fridge that I would like to use before buying another . Thanks so much.

  24. Elizabeth says

    I am wildly in love with this dressing. I made it last week for our crispy chick pea bowls…and again tonight for my greens. It’s lick the bowl clean good!

  25. Andrea T. says

    I believe there is an error in the recipe. It should say ONE serving. Okay, I confess. I kept looking for veggies to dip in this dressing and ended up having to make a second batch for my lunch salads at work this week. I also made a batch using peanut butter as one person suggested. Outstanding flavor. Thank you.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Ha! We’re so glad you enjoy it, Andrea! Thanks for sharing! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! Xo

  26. Julia Milton (the one in BC) says

    Last night I made this for the first time. So easy yet so delicious! We enjoyed it on a mixed kale salad, plus we also used it as a dip with baby carrots later on, as a wholesome TV-watching snack. While the recipe says to finish it within 5-7 days, I honestly doubt there’ll be any left by then! I’m looking forward to trying it with a lot of other foods.

    I substituted low-sodium tamari (in place of coconut aminos), store-bought minced ginger and garlic in place of freshly chopped. I may have used more of those last two than strictly necessary ;) Also, I omitted the salt but added a dollop of Marmite for some extra umami. No such thing as too much umami, right? Next time I’ll use fresh ginger & garlic and try tweaking the recipe elsewhere for fun — I can see adding more heat in the form of tabasco or habanero sauce, and balancing that with additional maple syrup so that my husband will still eat it :)

  27. calgal says

    I’ve made this so many times and love it! I never make it the same way twice because I always seem to be missing an ingredient or just want to sub something, but the recipe is very flexible and forgiving. I’ve subbed peanut butter for tahini, tamari for coconut aminos, honey for maple syrup, and I always leave out the oil because I’m oil-free. I’ve used powdered ginger and garlic for fresh. All of these subs have resulted in a different but just as tasty sauce!

  28. Rebecca says

    SO. DELICIOUS.

    Only comment is that I need to add more maple syrup than suggested as my tahini is quite strongly flavoured.

  29. Anna says

    I loved this dressing! So flavorful. I did need to add several tablespoons of water to get my desired thickness but overall excellent flavor.

  30. Veganmeister says

    There are no leftovers because it is soooo amazing! I added the dressing to an autumn salad that consisted of cubed red kuri squash, beets and broccoli.

  31. Anne says

    Delicious! My salad achieved another level of goodness thanks to this dressing :)!! Thank you! I will for sure make it many more times!

    Worked great with the following salad: kale, lettuce, cucumber, steamed yam, red cabbage, red onion, tofu and a tiny bit of dried tomatoes ;). (I massaged the kale first with a tiny bit of salt, lemon juice and olive oil).

  32. Siuwai Man says

    I made the dressing tonight and it’s delicious! So easy and so many different layers of flavors. Will definitely make this again. Very soon!

  33. Massie says

    So delicious! I didn’t have coconut aminos so I subbed it with tumeric paste. Love this recipe! I will use this on a grilled romaine salad.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      So great! Thanks for sharing, Massie. Next time would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers! xo

  34. Karen Smith says

    Love, love, love your stuff! Although I’ve tried many of your dishes this is the first one I want to comment on , because, I want to add a word of caution.
    I made the dressing exactly as the recipe outlines and it was WONDERFUL. I chose the recipe because I love everything in it, however, it is an intense and heavy dressing and really needs to be over something substantial like kale, cruciferous veggies or pasta (as suggested in the recipe).
    My word of caution is to NOT pour this over your typical Romaine or leaf lettuce salad, because it simply overpowers it, both in taste and texture.
    Definitely making this recipe again and I wouldn’t change a thing.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks for sharing your experience, Karen! We agree – it’s best to pair this with heartier dishes. Which is why we recommend it as an (optional) extra sauce to the new Miso Chickpea Bowls!

  35. Patsy says

    Outstanding! My husband and I have “bowl night” once a week – he makes his, I make mine – and this was my dressing last night. Yummy! I can picture making it sweeter or more citrusy or more umami (more coconut aminos/soy) or playing with it in lots of ways.
    I wanted heat in mine last night, so I added a little Mongolian Fire Oil and chili-garlic paste. Yum!

  36. Lynn M says

    Was delighted to see you share this on IG as I had everything on hand and was looking for a sauce for a veggie and rice meal I was planning. Made as directed tho I upped the amounts of garlic and ginger as I’m probably to do. Excellent and easy, many thanks.

  37. Ellen Joubert says

    Wow! This is incredible. Our household is very keen on a whole food plant based diet and in this journey we found two main challenges. The first is to have enough dressing / sauce ideas to add levels of flavour to dishes and the second is to have an array of really flavourful dishes to make when we have visitors over. My parents came over for supper on short notice. We made pasta because that is a kind of level playing field for all kinds of eaters, but then I made this kale salad with dressing to add colour to the plate and make sure we have enough food for everyone. My dad ended up eating this dressing even on his pasta and I think if he did not have such good manners, he would have licked the bowl. I thought I made enough to last for the next few days – no chance! If we could drink it we would!
    If you need something to add multiple layers of flavour – this is it. If you need something to distract someone from not finding meat in their meal – this is certainly a game changer!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      haha, that’s amazing. Thanks for the lovely review and kind words, Ellen! So glad you and your family enjoyed it. xoxo!

  38. Karly says

    Wow this is addictively yummy! Even with all my subbing! Braggs soy sauce for the aminos, raw honey for the maple syrup and ACV for the rice vinegar. Still turned out a total killer dressing.. Thanks Dana!

  39. Betsy says

    Yep. I made a totally mediocre, clear out the fridge tempeh bowl and this made it seem like an actual recipe! It’s always in the sauce. Thanks for another great one.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Melanie, you can toggle back and forth between metric and standard measurements using the tool just above the ingredients list! Glad you enjoyed the recipe.

  40. Tasha says

    Tahini is actually a new ingredient for me to use, so I was excited to try this recipe. I had the Kevala brand of Tahini, which I chose because there are no nuts in the Kevala sesame manufacturing facility and we have anaphylactic nut allergies in our household. Well, I tried this recipe and I think the tahini ruined it as the dressing had a bitter aftertaste. I tried adding more maple syrup, but the lingering bitter aftertaste was still there. In the end, I gave up, skipped on having kale salad for dinner and just had a different veg instead. I’m sure this recipe is amazing as the other reviewers commented, but I think my brand of tahini wasn’t great. Do you know of other brands of tahini that don’t have the potential for nut cross contamination and aren’t bitter? Thanks!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Tasha, thanks for the feedback! We’re actually plotting to do a tahini brands review as there can be such varied quality. Stay tuned! Our favorite brands are 365 (Whole Foods) and Alexis.

  41. Caroline says

    ….And this is how I almost ate an entire bunch of kale myself! OMG – this dressing is amazing! I started off thinking I would half the recipe and then I said to myself, this is one of Dana’s recipe, it’s sure to be amazing! And it is!!! I am so glad I made the full recipe, especially since it tastes equally good straight off the spoon, as it does in my salad!!

  42. Hannah says

    Can this qualify as a smoothie? Because I could actually drink it. #lickingthebowl

    For future reference, if I don’t have fresh ginger on hand is there a equivalent that you use or know of for fresh-to-powdered ginger?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      haha thanks, Hannah! I’d say start with 1/4 tsp ground ginger and work your way up from there!

      Also, next time would you mind adding a rating to your review? It’s super helpful to us and other readers! xoxo

      • Hannah says

        Made this last night. So far i can vouch for it being the perfect dip/dressing on salads, noodles, tofu, and chicken. It’s a perfect mock of a dressing at my favorite vegan restaurant in Detroit. So. Good. Seriously. Dip your finger in it when no ones looking good.

  43. Alaina says

    This was delicious. I made it exactly as written and used the full 3T of water to thin it. I served it with the kale and scallions, carrot ribbons etc. on top of quinoa with some cubed sautéed tofu. My husband was crazy for this sauce. Thank you! It will definitely be a regular for us.

  44. Marie says

    So good! I Like the change of no lemon juice or nutritional yeast (from my go-to tahini dressing). Would suggest using an immersion blender if you don’t like little garlic/ginger chunks (will do that next time)

  45. Ludmilla says

    When #minimalisticbaker says easy she means it. Made it yesterday right after I saw the post on Instagram and in no time I prepared fabulous salad dressing for our lunch salad. And in the evening I topped refried beans with it. I know weird but I’m weird that way :)

  46. Helen says

    You make becoming more plant based so much easier. So grateful to have these recipes to make the transition easier for my family and I!

  47. Danelle says

    Super easy and super tasty!
    I like it thin so I added double water and a wee bit more aminos = deliciousness
    Thanks

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks, Danelle! So glad you enjoyed it. Next time would you mind adding a rating to your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers! xoxo

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      You can, but that will likely affect the flavor and also be more salty. So start with a small amount and work your way up to taste!

  48. Britt B says

    Okay this sounds AMAZING! I’m obsessed with miso, so I definitely need to try adding it to dressing! Cannot wait :)

  49. Cath says

    Delicious! We had it with a red cabbage slaw type salad, with roasted Brussels sprouts alongside tofu, mushroom and cabbage dumplings. I added a little lime juice. Yet another winner Dana!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks for sharing, Cath! Next time would you mind adding a rating to your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers! xoxo

  50. Jane Ledwell says

    Simple, delicious, and made with kitchen staples. Perfect on a hearty salad. Today, I will use it as a spread on a sandwich with grilled tofu.

  51. Shannon says

    This is one of my favorite dressings! The ingredients are always something I have on hand (and tbh I always just eyeball the recipe). I’ve served it with MB’s Vietnamese spring rolls & on grain bowls. I want to try it on a warm winter salad when the seasons change. DELISH!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      SMART! Lovely pairings! Thanks for sharing, Shannon!

      Next time would you mind adding a rating to your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers! xoxo

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks for sharing! Next time would you mind adding a rating to your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. xoxo!

  52. Angie says

    For the dressing I just put it all in my vitamin and it was amazing! Will be in my fridge rotation for a while. Soooo good.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      The whole foods brand is actually our go-to and we don’t find it bitter. Another great one is Alexis brand if you can find it in stores or online.