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!
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.
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!
We hope you LOVE this dressing! It’s:
- 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!
Quick Ginger Garlic Miso Tahini Dressing
- 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
- 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.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated without optional ingredients.