Wafu Oriental Salad Dressing is a wonderful dressing to make when looking for that Oriental flavor profile. It can be used on this fresh salad, or try it on a Better-than-Applebees-oriental chicken salad.
The Story of Wafu Oriental Salad Dressing
This Wafu Oriental Salad Dressing recipe was served at Relish Culinary, a culinary school in Healdsburg CA, as a part of hands-on seasonal cooking lunch. The oriental influence is delicious when combined with fresh butter-leaf lettuce, lightly blanched snow peas, orange segments, and toasted cashews. It makes a perfect salad.
Cashews done wrong
Now, you would think that a culinary school, which is a school that teaches cooking, would know how to roast/toast a cashew or other type of nut. But as you can clearly see, they didn't. The nuts that went on this delicious little salad were partially burnt, and partially raw. That is not a good combo at all and this is what happens when you:
1. Toast the nuts in a pan that is too hot or
2. Toast the nuts in a pan.
Nuts burn quickly. Managing the heat of the cooktop is difficult, and, as you can see, marked for failure. Not only is it difficult to manage the heat, but it's rather obvious they need to be watched and stirred.
Cashews done right
See those brown pieces of toasty goodness? Those are nuts done right. The best way to toast any nut is in the oven. Big oven or toaster oven, makes no difference. Simply pour the nuts onto a baking sheet; I stick mine into a cold oven and set it for 325 degrees F. Set the timer for 10 minutes and they should be perfectly done. If not, give them a few more minutes in the oven until they are. By the way, you can smell them roasting, they smell so good, but your nose will also tell you "they are done" and when they are, you need to remove them promptly or they will burn, but it will be a nice even burn.
Another great way to get toasted nuts? Buy them that way. Some stores, such as Trader Joe's, sell a variety of nuts, both raw and toasted, so check them out.
Wafu Oriental Salad Dressing
- ½ cup Japanese rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons vegetable or other neutral oil I use grapeseed oil
- 2 tablespoons ground toasted sesame seeds grind in your spice grinder
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
- Mix all ingredients together. Stir well. Refrigerate until ready to use, use sparingly to dress the salad. As always, taste and adjust seasonings adding a bit more sugar if you like it a little sweeter, and/or sesame seed oil.