Sweetened red bean paste, or Tsubuan, is probably one of Japan’s most recognized sweet flavors. It’s used in mochi, ice cream, and pastries. It’s even delightful just spread on toast. You can find tsubuan in Asian markets, but it’s so much better when made from read more
It’s time we settled the old Hellman’s vs Miracle Whip debate once and for all; Japanese mayo is the best mayo hands down. Richer, thicker, and with more yolky goodness than its American counterparts, it is essential to this Roasted Sesame Dressing. (And this Potato Salad too!) Japanese mayo has a mild, sweet tang from rice vinegar, and its thickness makes it a perfect addition to dips (try it with Fried Chicken) and dressings. You can find it in the international aisle of well stocked grocery stores, or in Asian markets and online. Kewpie brand is the original but there are a bunch of knock offs that taste identical.
Once you have the world’s best mayo, you can make a batch of this Roasted Sesame Dressing and use it enhance everything from simple salads, coleslaw, or use it as a dip for veggies. All kidding aside though, you don’t have to go out and buy another mayonnaise. This dressing has so much flavor that using what you have in the fridge is just fine.
Making Roasted Sesame Dressing
This roasted dressing is what I would equate to Japan’s version of Ranch dressing. It’s everywhere and every salad dressing/sauce brand has their own version. It’s creamy, deeply sesame flavored, and goes with so many more things besides salad. Like ranch, you can use it as a dip for all kinds of fried goodies, top it on some grilled veggies, or use it to baste simple roast chicken. And it has so much more flavor! Move over ranch, a new player is here.
Whipping up this dressing couldn’t be more simple. It gets its depth of flavor from freshly roasted sesame seeds, and pantry essentials like rice vinegar, soy sauce, and sesame oil. I start by toasting the sesame seeds, even if they are already roasted. (If you can get your hands on raw unhulled sesame seeds, it’s even better.) Nothing beats the flavor and fragrance of freshly toasted seeds. This takes just a few minutes.
Roasted Sesame Dressing keeps well for a week. Just keep it in the fridge and give it a stir before you drizzle in on salads, veggies, even sandwiches.
Try this easy dressing and let me know what you think. Rate and comment on the recipe and tag us in your pics @funkyasiankitchen, we love hearing from you!
- ¼ cup toasted sesame seeds
- ⅓ cup japanese mayonnaise
- 1 Tablespoon sugar
- 2 Tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons soy sauce*
- 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
- 1 large clove garlic finely minced
- Place the sesame seeds in a small dry skillet over medium heat.
- Lightly toast them for 3-5 minutes until they are a golden color and fragrant.
- Place them in a mortar and grind them coarsely. (Alternatively, you can also place the sesame seeds in a heavy duty plastic zip top bag, squeeze out all of the air, and crush the seeds by using a rolling pin until you have the right ground texture.)
- Brush the sesame seeds out of the mortar and into a bowl.
- Add the mayonnaise, sugar, rice vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, and garlic. Mix well.
- Refrigerate until ready to use. Roasted Sesame Dressing keeps well for a week. Stir before using.
*to make this gluten free be sure to use a GF soy sauce
*use a vegan mayonnaise to make a vegan friendly version
*if you can find unhulled sesame seeds, you are such a lucky person and I envy you! Toast the sesame seeds exactly the same way but for several minutes longer until they are a medium golden color. They should be very fragrant. Turn the heat down a little if you see the sesame seeds getting too dark.
Keywords: dressing, salads, healthy, japanese, summer, sesame
July and August in Japan (and really almost everywhere) can be incredibly hot and humid. So instead of steaming hot bowls of noodle soups, they turn to cold noodles, including this hiyashi chuka, a vibrantly colorful cold ramen noodle bowl. Hiyashi Chuka translates to “chilled Chinese”, read more
When I need a really fast, make ahead sweet, I reach for this Mango Sago. Especially now, when mangoes are at their peak. Even with all of the annoying squirrels racing to get their fair share, I still have plenty left to make this recipe. With perfectly ripe summer fruit, this tropical dessert doesn’t even need any sugar. It’s creamy, cooling, refreshing and makes a beautiful presentation. Any leftovers make a great grab and go breakfast too!
I first had this dessert at a Singaporean restaurant in Manila many years ago. It’s a frequent dessert soup served at Chinese restaurants. After a rich meal, this mildly sweet, fruity offering is a sophisticated step above cut oranges. And with just a couple of quick easy steps, you too can have this on your table tonight!
Sago are tapioca pearls, made from the starch of the cassava root. The starch gets gelatinized when cooked, which then thickens liquid into a pudding-like consistency. Sago pudding can be made with all kinds of fruit, and is enjoyed throughout Southeast Asia. Mango Sago is said to have originated in Hong Kong, where it is appreciated for its tropical flavors. Be careful to get the small white pearls, not the larger black or brown tapioca that is used to make Boba Tea.
Preparing Mango Sago
This recipe relies on the sweetness of ripe summer mangoes. When selecting them, look for fruit that gives when you gently squeeze it and has a rich tangy aroma. While you don’t want rock hard, you don’t want super mushy/soft either, because we are going to cut some pretty cubes to garnish our mango sago.
If mangoes are not available or out of season, you can use frozen mangoes or even switch out the mangoes for strawberries, raspberries, or peaches. I’ve also had this soup many times with chunks of taro root floating in it, a traditional version which you can make year round.
Blend until it’s a smooth puree and take a taste. If it’s not as sweet as you’d like, add the optional sugar. Then chill in the fridge for at least an hour until ready to combine with the tapioca. You can make the puree a day ahead too.
Cooking the Sago
It is crucial that your water is at a furious boil before you start. Use a whisk or fork to stir the water as you pour in the tapioca. You need the tapioca to be separate grains and tapioca loves to cling together. If you’re not attentive, you will end up with a tapioca raft, where your tapioca gels into one big blob. Once you’ve poured in the tapioca, lower the heat and cook the tapioca for 13-15 minutes, giving it a good whisk every couple minutes.
Turn off the heat and let the tapioca sit in the hot water for another 5 minutes. This soaking time allows the tapioca pearls to fully hydrate. Any hard white centers will disappear as they soak in the hot water so don’t worry about them. Once the pearls are translucent, drain them in a sieve and run under cool water to cool.
Now that the sago is cooked, it’s time to add the prepared mango puree.
Mix to combine:
Keep them in the fridge until ready to serve. The longer the Mango Sago sits, the more pudding like it becomes. I enjoy eating it immediately after making it as a chilled soup, and then having one the next day when it’s more like a tapioca pudding. Either way, it’s delicious. I hope this easy Mango Sago brightens up your summer. Let me know by commenting and rating the recipe, and tag us in your pics @funkyasiankitchen, we love seeing your creations!
- ¼ cup small tapioca pearls
- 3 fresh ripe mangoes
- 8 oz coconut milk or coconut cream
- ¼ cup condensed milk
- 2–3 Tablespoons sugar (optional depending on the sweetness of the mangoes)
- Peel the mangos and then cut the mango off of the seed in thick slices. Take a couple of the nicest slices and cut them into ¼ inch chunks for garnishing (you should have about ½ cup). The rest will be blended. You should have about 1 pound of mango to puree.
- In a blender, add the coconut milk, condensed milk, and mango. Blend until smooth, and transfer to a large bowl. Taste the puree. If it’s not as sweet as you would like, add the optional sugar to taste.
- Cover the bowl and then chill the mango puree for at least an hour before adding the tapioca. (You can make this the night before and store it covered in the fridge.)
- In a pot, bring 4 cups of water to a boil over high heat. Make sure the water is at a rapid boil, and then add the tapioca, whisking as you pour it in. (If the water is not boiling, the tapioca will stick together and you will create one gooey raft of tapioca).
- Lower the heat to medium high and simmer for 13-15 minutes, whisking every couple of minutes. It’s ok if the tapioca still has a small white spot in the middle. It will disappear as it sits in the hot water.
- Turn off the heat and let the tapioca sit for 5 minutes or just until the tapioca is clear. Drain the tapioca into a sieve and rinse under running cold water to cool. Drain well.
- Add the tapioca to the mango puree and mix to combine. Pour into individual bowls and top with the reserved mango chunks. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
*Do not substitute Boba tea tapioca pearls which are a completely different product.
*If fresh mangoes are not available, feel free to substitute 1 pound of frozen mango or 2 cups of other fruit such as peaches, strawberries, or raspberries. Add sugar to taste once you have made the puree.
Keywords: mango, sago, desserts, summer, sweets, chinese, cantonese