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A spoonful of roasted sesame dressing being held over a bowl of dressing. With a green salad on the side. sp

Japanese Deep Roasted Sesame Dressing

  • Author: Pailin Chongchitnant
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 5 mins
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: ¾ cup


A delicious copycat recipe of the Kewpie Brand salad dressing. 


  • 3 tablespoons (45 ml) white sesame seeds (see note)
  • 3 tablespoons (45 ml) Japanese Kewpie mayonnaise (see note)
  • 3 tablespoons (45 ml) neutral flavoured oil (I use avocado oil cuz it's healthy and neutral. If you really want to you can probably use olive oil, but not the extra virgin one cuz that has a strong flavour. You can always try though!)
  • 1 ½ tablespoons (22.5 ml) Japanese soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoons (15 ml)  rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons (10 ml) mirin (optional, see note)
  • 2-3 teaspoons honey or brown sugar (10-15 ml), or sub a sweetener of your choice
  • ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) toasted sesame oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Ingredients and Kitchen Tools I Use


  1. In a dry saute pan, add the sesame seeds and toast them over medium high heat, stirring constantly. Once they turn golden, turn the heat down to medium and continue toasted until they have a deep, dark brown colour. Once the desired colour is reached, immediately pour onto a plate to cool and stop the toasting.
  2. Grind the sesame seeds in a mortar and pestle using a swirling motion until most of the seeds are broken up into a fine meal but you can still see some whole seeds.  Note: You can also grind sesame seeds in a coffee grinder, but be careful not to over-grind. I would do little pulses.
  3. Add all remaining ingredients to the mortar (serves as a handy mixing bowl!) and whisk to mix well and make sure the honey is completely dissolved.
  4. Taste and adjust seasoning to your taste. You can also increase the mayo if you want something thicker and richer. If it's the first time you're making it I recommend tasting it with some actual salad leaves rather than tasting it straight up to get a more accurate idea of where you're at.
  5. Store in the fridge and mix well before using. This should keep for at least a few weeks.

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  • Even if you buy your sesame seeds pre-roasted, you can roast them again to refresh them and get them a little bit darker.
  • Look for the Kewpie brand for the most "authentic" flavour.
  • When choosing Mirin look for a brand that has no corn syrup or sugar added (if possible), such as Eden brand.

Keywords: salad, japanese, salad dressing, healthy, gluten free

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