This Japanese Salad Bowl with Miso Tahini Dressing is a favourite in our household. The miso tahini dressing is so easy to make, and really goes great on anything! Serve it on some wholesome brown rice topped with some fresh vegetables, or try quinoa with roasted vegetables for something different.
I love the shift of household staples with the changing season. As the weather warms up, in comes the salads and salad bowls. I’ve already shared Baked Tofu Kale Quinoa Salad with Glory Bowl Dressing and then I followed that up with the lighter alternative Light Summer Salad with a Garlic and Tahini Dressing. Now my love of Asian flavours has inspired this Japanese Salad Bowl served with a Miso Tahini Dressing and Brown Rice, just in time to see summer to its end.
“Miso is a paste made from fermented soybeans and barley, rice or other grains. A soy-free version is made from chickpeas. Like other fermented foods, miso increases the amount of beneficial bacteria in the digestive tract. These friendly bacteria organisms aid in digestion and also play an important role in strengthening our immune system.”
Why I Made Japanese Salad Bowls with Miso Tahini Dressing
The Health Benefits of Miso
Miso comes with so many health benefits, mostly relating to gut health (see 5 Tips On How To Improve Gut Health Naturally – Prebiotics, Probiotics and Fermented Foods) but the fermentation also allows for better digestibility of the nutrients in the soy (see How To Get Enough Zinc For The Vegan and Vegetarian). It also lasts forever and is very versatile.
The Health Benefits of Tahini
Tahini is made from ground sesame seeds. Sesame seeds are particularly high in magnesium and zinc. Zinc is a mineral that many of us may not be getting enough of, and vegetarians and vegans need to pay special attention to this mineral. See my post How To Get Enough Zinc for the Vegan and Vegetarian.
This Dressing Goes On Anything
I also love this Miso Tahini Dressing on this Lentil Roasted Vegetable Buddha Bowl, which is a great dish in the colder months when fresh salad vegetables are lacking. If you are not a fan of eggs or are looking for a vegan version, try it on this Baked Tofu Kale Quinoa Salad.
This Miso Dressing Makes A Great Marinade
To make a miso tahini marinated tofu, take a block of x-firm tofu (preferably already pressed). Slice the tofu into 1/2″ rectangles. Place tofu on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Prepare the miso tahini dressing as per recipe instructions, and layer it on the tofu. Bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
This Tahini Dressing Is Great On Stir-Frys
To make a miso tahini stir-fry, sautee up your vegetables until they are cooked to your liking. Prepare the miso tahini dressing as per recipe instructions. Finally, add the miso tahini dressing to the vegetables, making sure to heat only moderately so not to kill off all the beneficial bacteria in the miso.
This Dressing Is So Easy To Make
Looking for a quick way to jazz up any meal? This delicious dressing can be made in less than 5 minutes. Double the recipe and make a big batch so it can be used throughout the week.
Tips For Making This Miso Tahini Dressing
Which Miso Should I Use?
I like using red miso which is more traditional and robust, and less sweet. If you use a white miso, such as Shiro miso, try using less honey or maple syrup in the dressing and add to taste.
How To Boil The Perfect Egg
Place your eggs in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil on the stovetop with the lid on. Once boiling, let the eggs boil on medium heat for 3 minutes. After 3 minutes, turn off the stove and remove the eggs from the heat, keeping the lid on the pot.
Let the eggs sit, covered in the saucepan and water, for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, remove eggs from the hot water and cool under running cold water to stop the cooking process. This results in perfect hard-boiled eggs, with a slightly softer yolk.
How Long Can I Store This Dressing For
The miso tahini dressing will stay good in the fridge for up to one week. Store it in a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid. Stir to reconstitute before serving.
Notes For Making This Miso Tahini Dressing
Making A Vegan Dressing
Use maple syrup in place of honey to make this dressing vegan. To make the Japanese Salad Bowls vegan, used baked tofu (see Baked Tofu Kale Quinoa Salad with Glory Bowl Dressing) or boiled and shelled edamame beans in place of the eggs.
Make This Dressing Gluten-Free
This dressing is naturally gluten-free. Make sure to not use Mugi Miso which is made from fermenting barley.
Making It Soy Free
Use a chickpea-based miso which is made from fermenting chickpeas instead of soybeans, instead of traditional miso to make this dressing soy-free.
What Can I Substitute Tahini For?
I love making this dressing with cashew butter in place of tahini. Cashew butter has a lighter more neutral flavour than other nut butters, and a creamy consistency that goes well with this dressing. Almond butter and peanut butter can both be used. Try these nut butters with lime juice instead of rice vinegar for a nice Thai style flare.
How To Make A Grain-Free Japanese Salad Bowl
To make this salad bowl grain-free, replace the brown rice with cooked green lentils. To cook green lentils, bring 1 cup of lentils with 2 cups of water to a boil, let simmer for 30 minutes or until tender. Add salt after cooking has completed.
Want More Salad Recipes?
Love salad as much as I do? Try one of these tasty salad recipes:
- Baked Tempeh and Cabbage Salad with Ginger Sesame Dressing
- Kale Salad with Beet Apple and Dill
- Baked Tofu Kale Quinoa Salad with Glory Bowl Dressing
- Light Summer Salad with Creamy Tahini Dressing
- Best Lentil Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette
Looking for more salad dressing recipes? Try this:
Want More Miso Recipes?
Miso lasts forever in the fridge, and because it is a fermented food it is meant to sit for a long time. Here are a few more of my favourite miso recipes:
- Japanese Miso and Soba Noodle Soup
- The Ultimate Vegan Pesto with Hemp
- Raw Nori Stix Snack
- Easy Five Ingredient Cauliflower Miso Dip
Want To Pin This Japanese Salad Bowl with Miso Tahini Dressing For Later?
Japanese Salad Bowls with a Miso Tahini Dressing and Brown Rice
- 3/4 cup brown rice dry
- 8 eggs free range
- 1 bunch kale
- 2 carrots shredded
- 2 cups red cabbage shredded
- 1 bunch radishes finely sliced (optional)
- 1/2 long cucumber thinly sliced (optional)
- 1/4 cup almonds sliced
For the dressing
- 3 tbsp tahini raw
- 2 tbsp red miso
- 1 tbsp fresh ginger minced
- 1 tbsp honey unpasteurized
- 3 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1/2 tbsp sesame oil
- 1/4 cup water + 2 tbsp. optional
- Start by preparing the rice as per package directions. Brown rice usually takes about 30 minutes to cook.
- For a slightly soft yoked boiled egg, place the eggs in a large saucepan and fill with water ensuring that the eggs are covered. Cover with a lid and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat to medium and continue to let the eggs boil for about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and let the eggs sit in the hot water for another 5 minutes, covered. Drain and run the eggs under cold water to stop the cooking process.
- To prepare the salad, first, wash the vegetables. Remove the kale leaves from the stem and tear the leaves into bite-size pieces, discarding the stem. Add the kale to a salad bowl along with the shredded cabbage, shredded carrot, and sliced cucumber and sliced radishes if using.
- Option to toast the sliced almonds in a frying pan over medium heat for about 30 seconds before adding to the salad to intensify the flavour (I like to leave mine raw).
- To prepare the dressing mix all ingredients in a blender until well combined. Add the extra 2 tablespoons of water if you prefer a more runny dressing.
- Remove the shells from the eggs and slice. Serve the salad on top of a serving of brown rice, add the sliced eggs and sliced almonds to the salad bowl. Serve with the dressing on the side.
Rachel Dickens is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator. She graduated with her Masters in Nutrition and Dietetics in 2010 from Griffith University and is currently a PhD student at UBC. She strives to provide evidence-based nutrition information with a focus on Indigenous Food Sovereignty while sharing diabetes-friendly recipes and tips for diabetes prevention.