Japanese Roasted Sesame Dressing

August  4, 2023
8 Ratings
Photo by Jun
  • Prep time 10 minutes
  • makes ~½ a cup of dressing
Author Notes

Since my college days, Japanese roasted sesame salad dressing has been my go-to choice to top salads, stir-fries, and sometimes even mashed potatoes. Specifically, I would get the Kewpie brand sesame dressing, which was tangier, richer, and nuttier than most others.

So when I ran out of Kewpie sesame dressing the other day, instead of heading to the supermarket for a top up, I recreated it at home, which turned out to be surprisingly easy!

All you need is to toast up some white sesame seeds (either in the oven or on a hot pan and give them a gentle pounding until they’re sandy. Then, just mix all the ingredients with the sesame seeds in a bowl. There’s mustard, rice vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, and a touch of sugar, all bound together with a few tablespoons of mayonnaise. (Again, I’m partial towards the Kewpie brand of Japanese mayo.)

I think I got pretty close to the original Kewpie dressing I adore. If anything, I would say that mine tasted just a little more nutty, with an extra kick from the wholegrain mustard. All in all, the dressing was so good I didn’t even bother tossing together a salad; I just dipped my greens straight into the bowl of dressing, and scarfed down each lettuce leaf before the dressing could drip off. —Jun

What You'll Need
  • 3 tablespoons white sesame seeds
  • 4 tablespoons mayonnaise (preferably Japanese Kewpie brand)
  • 1/2 tablespoon wholegrain mustard
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  1. Toast the white sesame seeds in a large pan placed over high heat until the sesame seeds turn golden brown, which should take 4-6 minutes. Then, grind the sesame seeds in a mortar and pestle (or with a food processor) until sandy.
  2. Pour the ground sesame seeds into a bowl, add the mayonnaise and mustard to it, and mix it with a spoon. Then, add the rice vinegar, light soy sauce, sesame oil, and sugar, and stir until evenly mixed.
  3. You can use the dressing immediately to dress salads and stir-fries, and store the remaining in a jar or airtight container. It keeps well in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.

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3 Reviews

[email protected] January 2, 2024
This is fantastic! I made it to the letter of the recipe, and it enlivens even boring salads. Love it!
Maxxiboi December 29, 2023
Perfectly balanced and delicious. I subbed an equal amount of maple syrup for the sugar- goes well with mustard and soy. Also mixed everything in a jar w/ lid and shook to combine. Thanks for the great recipe Jun!
BRUGSCA December 27, 2023
This was luscious and delicious over roasted kobocha squash ! Perfect.