What Is a Soy Sauce Dressing?

Angela Farrer

A soy sauce dressing is a light sauce typically used for topping salads and sometimes a few other dishes. Many cooks like making soy sauce dressings as flavorful alternatives to heavier cream-based dressings. Some types of soy sauce dressings are available in grocery stores, and this type of recipe can also be mixed from scratch at home. Making a dressing with soy sauce is usually different from making a soy sauce marinade due to the absence of thickening corn starch found in many marinade recipes. Soy sauce dressing can also have varying flavors due to the addition of other ingredients such as ginger or lemon juice.

Soy sauce.
Soy sauce.

Many recipes for soy sauce dressing call for some type of cooking oil to help bind the ingredients together. Some cooks use olive oil, while others prefer vegetable or canola oil. A few types of soy sauce dressings can also be made without the oil if preferred. This dressing option is often called a shoyu soy sauce recipe in some Asian cooking traditions.

Soy beans.
Soy beans.

Soy sauce dressing can include ingredients such as red wine vinegar, mustard, and garlic salt. Some cooks prefer to use a mixture of apple cider vinegar and red cooking wine as an alternative to red wine vinegar. A few types of mustard can be mixed in with the soy sauce as well. Ground whole wheat mustard or a Japanese mustard called nerigarashi are popular choices among many cooks. Some dressing recipes can be spicier than others depending on this choice of mustard.

Cooks typically whisk their soy sauce dressing ingredients together in a mixing bowl. They then allow the finished product to sit for about an hour so the flavors have a chance to blend well together. Many soy sauce dressings with oil need to be shaken up a few times at first because many types of oil can settle at the bottom of the salad dressing container. Salads can be favorite dishes for this kind of dressing, although these flavors also sometimes go well with other side dishes.

Some Asian-inspired dishes can be topped with soy sauce dressing. One such vegetable recipe calls for a mixture of cooked spinach, broccoli, watercress, and bean sprouts tossed together with a drizzling of this dressing. Some cooks who prepare ahi tuna dishes may also top them with soy sauce dressings as an alternative to plain soy sauce out of a bottle.

Some soy sauce dressings feature creamy, piquant mustard as an ingredient.
Some soy sauce dressings feature creamy, piquant mustard as an ingredient.

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