Creamy Japanese Sesame Seed Salad Dressing

Japanese Sesame Seed Salad Dressing

Make this creamy Japanese Sesame Seed dressing for an impressive salad to start any number of meals from what we make on this blog.  By replacing the mayonnaise with Vegenaise®, it can also be made vegan! It’s simple to make but packs lots of flavor! 


  • *⅓ Cup Roasted white sesame seeds, ground
  • ¼ Cup Rice vinegar (Mizkan preferred)
  • ¼ Cup Sugar
  • ¼ Cup Neutral oil, like avocado oil
  • 1 ½ Tsp Soy sauce or tamari sauce
  • ~1-2 Tbs Grated yellow or white onion (to taste)
  • ⅛ Cup Mayonnaise (optional) or I like to use Vegenaise®.
  • Salt and pepper, sprinkle to taste

*Grinding sesame seeds can be done in a number of ways. There are handheld sesame grinders, a suribachi (Japanese grinding bowl) and surikogi (Japanese wood pestle) or placing the sesame in a Ziploc bag and rolling with a rolling pin. (Be sure to press out the air from the Ziploc and seal securely before rolling!)

White Sesame Seeds and Grinder
White Sesame Seeds and Handheld Grinder

Ziploc and Rolling Pin
Ziploc and Rolling Pin for grinding sesame seeds

List of Tools

  • Small mixing bowl
  • Spoon for mixing
  • Measuring cup or measuring glass
  • ⅓ Cup Measuring cup
  • ½ Tbs Measuring spoon which is also 1 ½ Tsp.
  • ⅛ Cup Measuring cup
  • Spatula
  • Cutting board and knife
  • Fine grater
  • Sesame grinder (or a Ziploc bag and rolling pin will also work)
  • Container for storing
  • Serving bowl for the salad


Crush or grind the sesame seeds

Using any above methods, crush or grind ⅓ cup roasted sesame seeds and place in a small mixing bowl.

Add remaining ingredients to bowl

Now add the vinegar, sugar, oil, soy sauce/tamari sauce to the bowl and stir thoroughly.

Grate yellow or white onion

Peel and finely grate 1-2 Tbs yellow or white onion. It is always best to start conservatively and add more to taste. The onion can quickly overpower the flavor if not careful.

Add the grated onion and sprinkle in some salt and pepper. Taste and adjust the amount of onion.

For a creamier dressing, add ⅛ cup mayonnaise. (optional)


Store in a glass container to avoid the grated onion from ruining any plastic containers. Then place the dressing in the refrigerator for later use. Be sure to mix again prior to using!


Don’t forget to submit a photo of your creations!  You can upload your photos using my Contact form!

Author: mpao

Hi there! My name is Marsha Kumi Pao, and I’m a home cook from the Pacific Northwest. Through my videos and blog, I hope to bring you easy, accessible, and tasty recipes that embody my upbringing as a Japanese-American. These recipes are ones that I’ve grown up on and adopted—merging the tastes of my family’s intergenerational and intercultural cuisine

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