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Prepared salad of cucumber, tomato, carrot and lettuce topped with wafu dressing.

Wafu Dressing - Japanese Salad Dressing

Wafu Dressing is an easy vinaigrette you can whip up in less than a minute. With the perfect balance of flavour from soy sauce, rice wine vinegar and sugar, this Japanese salad dressing will bring effortless flavour to raw salads, vegetables and grilled meats.
Course Condiment
Cuisine Japanese
Prep Time 1 minute
Total Time 1 minute
Servings 1 jar
Calories 201kcal
Cost $5



  • Whisk everything together (vegetable oil, rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, garlic, sesame seeds, salt and pepper) in a small bowl, or pour directly into a bottle or jar and give it a shake.
    1 tbsp vegetable oil, 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar, 1 tbsp soy sauce, 1 tsp sugar, 1 tsp sesame oil, 1 tsp garlic, 1 tsp sesame seeds, Salt and pepper
  • Taste, and add a little more of any ingredient until you're happy with the flavour.
  • Use immediately, or store in the fridge in a sealed container for up to a week.


  • Soy Sauce - You can use any kind of regular or light soy sauce for this recipe. For the best flavour and quality, use a Japanese soy sauce. Tamari is also fine for a gluten-free option.
  • Rice Wine Vinegar - Look for this in the international aisle at your local supermarket, otherwise head to an Asian grocer or buy online. If you don’t have this, you can substitute for apple cider vinegar, white wine vinegar, or white vinegar if that’s all you have on hand. 
  • Vegetable Oil - It’s best to use a neutral flavoured oil that will enhance rather than overwhelm the other seasonings. Canola oil, sunflower oil or vegetable oil are all good options. 
  • Sesame Oil - Traditionally, wafu dressing doesn’t contain sesame oil, however we love how it adds a depth of rich, nutty flavour. You can leave it out if you prefer. Choose a high quality brand for the best flavour as some sesame oils can have less flavour than others.
  • Sugar - Sugar in this recipe acts as a sweetener to offset the acidic tang of the vinegar and bring everything into balance. Any sugar is fine – we used white, but brown or raw sugar will work too. 
  • Garlic - Freshly chopped or minced garlic works. You can also add 1/2 tsp of ginger for an extra flavour hit if you like.
  • Portable Dressing - If you plan on taking wafu salad to work, store the dressing separately in a small tub. This will keep the salad leaves crisp and fresh rather than soggy.
  • Optional Garnish - Top with a sprinkling of white sesame seeds (toasted for extra flavour!) or shichimi togarashi (7 spice blend).
  • Add Extra Flavour - Add grated fresh daikon, onion or ginger. You could even try a small amount of karashi mustard or fresh wasabi paste for zingy heat. 
  • Swap Soy Sauce for Ponzu - Use homemade ponzu sauce instead of regular soy sauce for a burst of citrus flavour.


Calories: 201kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Sodium: 1007mg | Potassium: 38mg | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 20mg | Iron: 1mg