Clean-Out-the-Fridge Salad with Miso – Tahini Dressing

salad with miso tahini dressing

This is a great entree salad that can be made with what you have on hand.  However, it’s so good that I often will buy ingredients specifically to use in this salad.

The dressing is made with Tahini and Miso, a couple of long-lived staples that are always in my fridge.  The salad ingredients can be a hodgepodge of fresh vegetables, and frozen or pantry items.  

One ingredient that I always have on hand and that makes the salad really “pop”  is ginger-pickled cabbage.  I’ve been making it and keeping it on-hand for what I estimate to be the last ten years or so.  I don’t know where I got the idea, but I don’t even really have a  recipe.  I just throw a bunch of shredded red cabbage in a jar, add a pinch of salt, some pickled ginger (the kind you eat with sushi – you can get it in jars in most supermarkets), and then cover the cabbage with seasoned rice vinegar or regular rice vinegar and a couple of TBSPs of sugar.  Then in a day or two , you have beautiful, bright purple, slightly sweet and tangy pickled cabbage.  It’s great in salads or as a topping for seafood or veggie tacos, or as an addition to a sandwich or wrap.  I make mine in a pickle press that a bought for a couple of dollars at an Asian market.  It’s just a screw top plastic jar with a spring “press” that compresses the cabbage to expedite the softening, and releasing its natural liquids.  

picked cabbage

Asian Salad with Sesame-Miso Dressing

This flexible salad can be made with what you have on hand. The dressing can also be used as a dip for vegetables or apple slices, just don't thin it as much.
Prep Time25 minutes


Salad Ingredients (choose as many as you like)

  • lettuce
  • spinach
  • mizuna
  • mixed greens
  • cabbage red, green, napa, shredded
  • carrots juilenned or shredded
  • red yellow or orange bell pepper, juilenned
  • green beans blanched, then frenched or chopped
  • snow peas blanched, then sliced
  • sugar snap peas blanched, then sliced
  • radishes thinly sliced
  • red onion thinly sliced
  • scallions thinly sliced on the bias
  • celery thinly sliced on the bias
  • edamame
  • cherry tomatoes
  • broccoli blanched then chopped
  • mandarin slices
  • pickled red cabbage see note above
  • Optional Proteins: cubed tofu chicken or veggie chicken, shrimp, peanuts
  • Optional Toppings: fried won-ton wrappers chopped peanuts, chow main noodles, fried shallots. sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, thai basil, cilantro, mint


  • Makes 2/3 cup dresssing
  • 2 TBSP miso
  • 2 TBSP tahini
  • 4 TBSP seasoned rice vinegar or 4 TBSP unseasoned rice vinegar and 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • 1/2 inch knob of ginger grated or finely minced
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • water as needed to thin to desired consistancy


  • Combine all dressing ingredients in a mini food processor or blender and blend to combine and emulsify.
  • Toss dressing with desired salad ingredients and serve.


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