Once more I am calling attention to another Japanese recipe that I’ve made before, because it is a favorite meal of mine that deserves another look by my readers.
I recommend it because it is delicious and satisfying—a sort of comfort even for those not familiar with Japanese food. What is not to like about a marinade with toasted sesame seeds, scallions, garlic, soy sauce, honey, and black pepper?
I can understand why Ms. Shimbo notes that this is one of the most popular salad dressings in Japan. Note that a traditional Japanese dinner menu does not usually include a raw vegetable salad as is common in the U.S. and Europe. Cooked, but still bright and crunchy vegetables, such as broccoli, asparagus, and spinach are often served with a dressing. Vegetables are very briefly cooked in boiling water and then plunged into cold water to keep the colors fresh.
Ms. Shimbo says that when she teaches in Tokyo, students ask for “that delicious shoyu dressing” they had at some restaurant. It’s a dressing often served with raw vegetables—the concept of a raw vegetable salad with dressing is a recent import from the West. Though there is not a standard recipe, she knows exactly what they are talking about. Proportions vary, but the dressing always include shoyu, sesame oil, vegetable oil, komezu (rice vinegar), grated vegetables (onion and carrot), sugar, and sesame seeds. I’ve always wondered how to make this dressing too!