Monday, September 26, 2011

Asian Green Salad Recipe with Soy-Sesame Dressing and Sesame Seeds (Dairy-Free, Vegan, Gluten-Free)

This amazing Asian Salad with Soy-Sesame Dressing and Sesame Seeds is a new favorite at my house!

sian Green Salad with Soy-Sesame Dressing and Sesame Seeds found on

I'm infatuated with salads.  Many days I'll eat a big salad for lunch and then have another small salad as part of my dinner.  I like salads of every kind, and years ago the Salads category on the blog got so crowded I had to subdivide it to make the page more manageable. With all the salad love going on around here, every so often a salad comes along that really knocks my socks off, and for more than a week now I've been eating this amazing Asian Green Salad with Soy-Sesame Dressing and Sesame Seeds.

The salad came from Food to Live By, a great cookbook written by one of the owners of Earthbound Farms, and it's a recipe she got from the owners of Flying Fish Grill, where it's one of her favorite things to order.   It's the flavorful shake-in-a-jar dressing that makes this salad.   Romaine lettuce and baby greens are tossed together with the dressing and then top with slivered carrots, slivered cucumbers, diced tomatoes, and sesame seeds.

That's all there is to it, and truthfully when I was making it I was skeptical, especially about the dressing which seemed awfully thin to be a dressing for lettuce.  But the ultra-flavorful salad was absolutely devoured by Jake and I the first time we made it, and I think I've made it five more times in a week.  If you're a salad lover like I am, I promise this is a salad worth paying attention to. 

Combine soy sauce, unseasoned rice vinegar, grapeseed oil, sesame oil, and sweetener of your choice in a jar.  Put the lid on and shake until everything is dissolved together. (Be sure to use gluten-free soy sauce if needed.)

If I hadn't been skeptical about the dressing I might have done a better job on my matchstick cucumbers and carrots!

I couldn't resist using a few of my Green Zebra tomatoes which are still hanging on, but small grape tomatoes would be great in this. And if it's not tomato season I'd just skip the tomatoes!

Tear apart one heart of Romaine lettuce and wash and dry in a salad spinner (or by hand.)

Combine the Romaine with about 4 cups of baby greens and toss with enough dressing to coat the lettuce.

Arrange the dressed lettuce on a plate or in a salad bowl, top with carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, and a generous sprinkling of toasted sesame seeds.  This salad will be devoured by anyone who tries it.

Amazing Asian Green Salad with Soy-Sesame Dressing and Sesame Seeds
(Makes 3-4 small salads with some dressing left for another day; recipe adapted just slightly from Flying Fish Salad in Food to Live By.)

Dressing Ingredients:
1/4 cup soy sauce (We used low-sodium soy sauce; be sure to use gluten-free soy sauce if needed.)
1/4 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
1/4 cup grapeseed oil (or other neutral-flavored oil)
1 T sesame seed oil
1/4 cup sugar, Splenda, or Stevia in the Raw granulated (use Splenda or Stevia in the Raw for South Beach Diet)

Salad Ingredients:
I heart of Romaine lettuce, torn apart, washed, and dried
4 cups baby greens
1 cup diced tomato
1/2 cup matchstick carrots
1/2 cup matchstick cucumber
1-2 tsp. toasted sesame seeds

Combine the soy sauce, rice vinegar, oil, sesame oil, and sweetener of your choice in a jar with a tight-fitting lid.  Put lid on and shake jar until all the ingredients are dissolved.

Tear apart the Romaine heart, wash, and spin dry or dry with paper towels.  Dice tomato.  Cut carrots and cucumber into matchstick strips until you have about 1/2 cup of each.  Toast sesame seeds in a dry frying pan for 1-2 minutes, just until they start to smell toasted.  (Or buy pre-toasted sesame seeds and you can use them right from the jar.)

Put the washed Romaine and baby greens into a medium sized bowl and toss with enough dressing to coat all the greens (about 2-3 T.)  Arrange the dressed greens on individual salad plates or in bowls.  Top each salad with some tomato, carrots, and cucumber and sprinkle with sesame seeds.  Serve immediately.

South Beach Diet / Low-Carb Diet Suggestions:
You would have to omit the carrots from this salad if you're eating it for phase one or another strict low-carb plan.  As long as you use Splenda or Stevia in the Raw in the dressing, everything else here is a great choice for any phase of the South Beach Diet.  I'd eat a big bowl of this for lunch or serve it as a side salad for dinner with something like Forbidden City Chicken or Chicken Breasts with Cilantro and Red Thai Curry Peanut Sauce.

Ten More Green Salads with International Flavors:
(Recipes from other blogs not always South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)

Mediterranean Lettuce Salad with Purslane from Kalyn's Kitchen

Ottolenghi's Perfect Lettuce Salad from Kalyn's Kitchen

Peperoncini Chopped Salad with Romaine, Red Bell Pepper, and Feta from Kalyn's Kitchen

Fattoush - Lebanese "Crumbled Bread" Salad with Sumac and Pita Chips from Kalyn's Kitchen

Mediterranean Salad with Hummus Dressing from Kalyn's Kitchen

Crispy Lettuce Wedge with Low-Fat Russian Dressing from The Perfect Pantry

Chopped Antipasto Salad from Ezra Pound Cake

Strawberry and Goat Cheese Green Salad with Basil Vinaigrette from Cookin' Canuck

Carne Asada Salad from Food Blogga

Fresh Green Salad with Lemon-Lime Dressing from My Colombian Recipes

(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.) counter customizable free hit
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  1. Those tomatoes look amazing! are they bitter? wow. Yum dish 10/10
    T x

  2. I'm usually not the biggest salad lover, but with a fun dressing like this...I could be converted.

  3. I just realized that I have 3 big jars of sesame seeds in my pantry. Apparently everytime a recipe called for them, I bought them, in bulk!!

  4. The green zebra tomatoes were really the perfect addition to this salad scape!

  5. Miss T, the Green Zebras are sweet and delicious. They've been my favorite for a few years now.

    Joanne, the dressing is so tasty. I can see adding a lot of different things to this.

    Pam, that's funny! I keep my sesame seeds in the freezer so they stay good longer. I have black, white, and toasted ones right now!

  6. Tom, not sure why I got your comment after I had replied to the others. Just Comcast being weird. I did love the Green Zebra tomatoes in this!

  7. I'm asian, and this is my standard salad dressing. You know, the one I eat every day and never get tired of. It's even better with almonds (along the toasted sesame seeds, of course) sprinkled right before serving, or a squeeze of lemon juice. I've found it to be very versatile.

  8. I love anything with Asian flavors and this sounds fantastic!

  9. What a gorgeous salad. Love the dressing Kalyn.

  10. So glad people are liking this and I think there are endless variations that would be good for salad ingredients with this dressing.

  11. I made this salad today and I hope I don't "drink" the rest of the dressing today!! I love it. I even forgot the sesame seeds and I had them ready to go into the salad. Thanks for this wonderful recipe.

  12. Jan, so glad to hear I'm not the only one who thought the dressing was really spectacular. I think it would taste good on just about anything.

  13. I adore salads with rice vinegar as one of the main flavorings. We tend to bury it on the Asian shelf of our pantries, but it's really an all-purpose mild vinegar with great flavor.

  14. Lydia, I loved the rice vinegar flavor in this. Just enough tang to make it interesting with the sesame-soy flavors.

  15. Love this! We're big salad fans - I would go so far as to say salad is my husband's number one favorite food (I know!). And I think I have all the ingredients for this fabulous dressing on hand! Thanks.

  16. Kalyn - love this recipe, as I do all of yours!! Give us a hint on how you chop the matchstick carrots, etc. so good!! Mine are always a mess!!

  17. Katherine, I'd say you're lucky. Some guys won't eat anything green!

    Donna, I cut the carrot and cucumber into thin lengthwise slices and then slice those pieces crosswise. It helps if you work with shorter pieces, not the whole cucumber or carrot too.

  18. Gorgeous salad, Kalyn. I've got to try this dressing. I'm in a rut when it comes to salad right now. Time to kick it in gear. Jealous of your green tomatoes. Had to finally pull all my plants.

  19. Thanks Kelly. My tomatoes are about done for the year too, but I am trying to hang on to them as long as I can!

  20. What a recipe! Can't wait to try this one...I looove salads! It's nearing lunch time at work and this one's making me real hungry. Thanks for sharing!

  21. Beautiful! We eat salad every day and changing the flavors always makes it more interesting. We love Asian-inspired and flavored dressings best!

  22. Emily, so glad you like the sound of it. Still eating it here!

    Jamie, I try to eat salad every day too and have a lot of dressing ideas really does help. This one is a keeper!

  23. The salad looks delicious! More importantly, the ingredients are easy to get and can be put together in matter of minutes. Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe!

  24. That sounds like a salad I could enjoy everyday too. The ingredients are similar to a salad dressing I used to buy at the Asian grocery store.

  25. Yin&Yang and Jeanette, just had it again last night for dinner!

  26. Made this last night for dinner. OMGoodness, it is WONDERFUL!!! I used grape tomatoes, cut in half, but otherwise followed the recipe to a tee. The only thing I might do differently next time (and there will be a next and a next and a next...) would be to use 2 T low-sodium soy sauce and 2 T regular soy sauce. It was a tad bit salty and I love salt. Thanks for a great recipe! Oh, and I served it with Pan Seared Scallops with Sesame Sauce. Yummmmm

  27. Mimi, glad you liked it. And duh, I think we used low-sodium soy sauce so I will change that in the directions, Thanks!!

  28. So yummy -- cannot count the number of times my hubby said, in many different ways, how delicious it was!

  29. Margaret, so glad you enjoyed it.

  30. It took me a few days to get all my ingredients tog. I followed as directed. I really love the salad,and will make again.However I must make this one comment in regards to the amount of sweetener. I used the yellow package stuff,and measured it out to equal the recipe. For me it was way too sweet. The second day I added some additional vinegar to offset that,but it was still too sweet. I marked on the recipe to reduce the sweetness to at least 1/2. Love the concept,and will work at this again. I was shocked at the price of the oil,one store it was $ Certainly not in my budget, I did find some however for $6. which is still high. Hope Kalyn can help me use this in other dishes.;o)

  31. I'm surprised you found it that sweet, as there are equal amounts of soy sauce, vinegar, oil, and sweetener but definitely use less next time. I buy Grapeseed oil at Costco, where it's very reasonable. There are a few other recipes on the blog using it, and more to come!

  32. sauce isn't gluten free

  33. Josephine, there is gluten free soy sauce like this one. I am assuming that's what people would have in their fridge if they need it.

  34. I made this salad dressing yesterday, although I can't remember whether I used sweetener or not! If I did, I just squezed a few drops of a carb-free liquid sweetener (no Splenda in Switzerland). I like that the recipe for this dressing can easily be remembered - this is certainly a plus!
    For the salad I just used what I had on hand: iceberg lettuce, red bell pepper, bean sprouts, spring onions and I used black sesame seeds for more contrast.
    I served the salad as a side to gingery beef pie and after having a first bite of the salad my boyfriend proclaimed: "This is good!". I guess that means I'll make it again!

  35. Sue your version sounds great, especially the black sesame seeds. So glad it was a winner for you.


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