Japanese Steak House Ginger Dressing – Lightened Up

I have to admit, I am not a huge fan of the food at Japanese Steak Houses. I like the theatricality and all, but I think the food is a bit plain. The steak is usually so-so and the rice is good, but never anything real special. I do however, LOVE the salads with the ginger dressing.   I could go to these restaurants and have nothing else but the salad and I would be happy – albeit starving in about an hour.

So last week when I was trying to come up with a different salad to have with a stir fry, I thought I would try my hand at making a ginger dressing that was still pretty healthy. I found several different recipes, but they all seemed to have a lot of oil in them. I knew I could cut back on the oil and still have some great flavor. I think I came up with a very good solution that made me feel like I was at a Japanese Steak House…without the boring meat and flying knives. BTW, did anyone see the “How I Met Your Mother” episode at the Japanese Steak House? Barney is the best….

Anyways…..we have a nice little Indian grocery store on the way home from my office and I picked up some garlic and ginger paste the last time I went. This is also where I found Citric Acid which goes in the Magic Lemon Water. It is such a fun place to shop because I always discover new things. Anyways, these pastes are found in many Indian dishes, but I have used them quite a bit when I need some quick garlic or ginger flavor in dishes. I thought that the ginger would be great to use in this dressing because the paste would be nice and smooth in the dressing. I also used the garlic paste which worked out great in here.  You can adjust the ginger to your taste.

Speaking of ginger, we always keep a four pack of  good ginger beer on hand at our house.   Ginger beer is the best when someone in the house has an upset stomach.    I drank many diet ginger ales when I  had morning sickness while pregnant with my girls and I also became a big fan of ginger tea and ginger pops.  If you haven’t discovered ginger as a way to settle your stomach you should really try it next time you have tummy troubles.  I swear by it.



Japanese Steak House Ginger Salad Dressing
This is great on some greens with just some carrot and cucumber. You can increase or decrease the ginger in the recipe based on your preferences.
Recipe type: Salad
  • 2 tablespoons of olive or canola oil
  • 3 tablespoons ketchup
  • 2-3 tablespoons ginger paste
  • 1 tablespoon garlic paste
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • dash of salt
  • 1/t tsp celery seed
  1. Combine all ingredients with a whisk until thoroughly combined. Adjust the ginger to your taste. Serve over salad greens with carrots, cucumbers and tomatoes. Enjoy!



  1. Woo hoo! I want steak right now! That looks absolutely delicious! Great recipe.

  2. I love salads and I bet this salad dressing would be delicious on one.

  3. That salad dressing sounds delicious and I love ginger. I must give it a try.
    Thank you for your comment on my daughters mickey mouse cake – she was very pleased with the end result. She is a clever girl – I couldn’t do that! Your children will love it at Disney – we have been and we had a ball. Have fun!!!

  4. I love love LOVE it when a homemade dressing winds up rivaling a favorite. Way to go, Becki!

  5. my favorite thing at japanese steakhouses is the broth they bring out first, isn’t that ridiculous! the house dressing is always delicious, though, and i had no idea how to make it–thanks!

  6. I love that the dressing is lighter yet still packed with flavor.

  7. Can’t beat a good steak, and that one looks amazing!

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