Asian Salad Dressing

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This Asian salad dressing recipe is absolutely amazing! It has a beautiful flavor profile that’s perfectly balanced between sweet and savory. This authentic Chinese chicken salad dressing is also a deeply-satisfying Asian marinade for beef, chicken, fish and tofu!

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Asian Salad Dressing

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🥗 About This Asian Salad Dressing

Here in California there’s a restaurant that produces the most memorable Chinese chicken salad you’ve ever tasted. This salad is fabulous. But it’s their special Asian salad dressing that brings it to life and makes the taste buds tingle. Today I’m sharing that authentic recipe. It’s a dressing you’ll make again and again, and treasure for years to come.

👩🏻‍🍳 EXPERT TIP: This dressing is also a delicious Asian chicken marinade. It will produce tender juicy chicken. Marinate the chicken in the fridge for 30 minutes to 2 hours.

Asian chicken marinade

🛒 Ingredients

  • Fresh Ginger: A traditional ingredient in Asian recipes, it adds a peppery flavor to this authentic Asian salad dressing.
  • Garlic Cloves: Provides a rustic taste that pairs well with ginger.
  • Black Pepper: Adds an earthy taste with a hint of heat.
  • Rice Vinegar: Contributes acidity and zing to this salad dressing.
  • Dark Sesame Oil: Adds a delicious, savory, nutty flavor.
  • Molasses: Adds color, and a prune-like flavor with hints of caramel. It’s an important ingredient for the unique flavor profile of this Asian salad dressing.
  • Organic Honey: Adds the perfect amount of natural sweetness.
  • Water: Thins the dressing to a desired consistency
  • Soy Sauce: Adds a delicious punch of salty umami flavor.
  • Crushed Red Pepper Flakes: Add color, texture and a bit of heat.
  • Sesame Seeds: Contribute a sweet, mild, nutty flavor and some texture.
  • Smooth Peanut Butter (optional): Thickens the dressing while adding a rich nutty flavor and delicious mouthfeel.
Asian Dressing

📖 Recipe Steps

  • STEP 1: Add all ingredients to a small mixing bowl.
  • STEP 2: Whisk until the mixture is completely combined.
  • STEP 3: Transfer Asian sesame dressing to a carafe.
  • STEP 4: Allow mixture to sit for about 10 minutes so the flavors have a chance to dance and mingle. Don’t skip this step!
  • STEP 5: Your Chinese salad dressing is ready to enjoy!
Asian sesame dressing

🥡 🥢 More Delicious Asian-Inspired Recipes

Are you ready to make some restaurant-style Asian recipes at home? Add these fantastic favorites to your meal-plan rotation. You’ll save money on take-out, while still enjoying all of the savory flavors you love from similar restaurant appetizers and meals.

Rate This Recipe ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Flavor testers rated this the BEST Asian Salad dressing recipe. They said it was outstanding. They loved the sweet-and-savory Asian flavors that made their Chicken salads delicious. They also had a chance to sample it as a flavorful chicken marinade. They rated it 5 stars out of 5.

If you agree this recipe’s a keeper, give it a 5-star rating in the comments. Then be a recipe hero. Share it with friends. 📌 Pin it to Pinterest.

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Asian Salad Dressing

Asian Salad Dressing

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4.9 from 34 reviews

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This Asian salad dressing is a restaurant recipe. It has a delicious flavor profile that’s both sweet and savory. It’s ideal for drizzling over Chinese chicken salads, and for use as a fabulous chicken marinade.


Units Scale
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons fresh ginger, peeled and finely minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely minced
  • 1/3 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/2 cup dark sesame oil
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon water, or more if desired
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red chili flakes
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
  • 1/2 tablespoon creamy peanut butter* (PB Allergy Alert)


  1. Add all ingredients to a small mixing bowl.
  2. Whisk everything together until all of the ingredients are fully incorporated. If the dressing is too thick, add a bit more water until you achieve the desired consistency.
  3. Transfer the dressing to a carafe. Allow the mixture to sit for 10 minutes so the flavors can combine.
  4. Serve it with this Chinese chicken salad, or use it as a flavorful chicken marinade.



*Expert Tip: Whenever you’re making this Asian salad dressing recipe for a potluck, gathering or other social event where you’re not certain if there may be someone present who has a peanut allergy, absolutely omit the peanut butter. Otherwise, if you’re making this recipe for your family and/or friends who are not allergic to nuts, the peanut butter raises the flavor profile and takes things to the next level.

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Category: Condiments
  • Method: Mixing
  • Cuisine: Asian, Chinese
Gold Line: Sprinkles of Inspiration |

Asian Salad Dressing 👉🏻 Join the Convo

Do you love the flavor profile of restaurant-style Asian salad dressings? Are you excited to make this easy recipe? Will you use it for a DIY Chinese chicken salad kit, or as a chicken marinade? Join the conversation in the comments below.

Asian Salad Dressing

NOTE: This popular Asian Dressing recipe was originally published on July 31, 2018. Format changes were made so the recipe is more user-friendly and easier to read. The recipe itself remains the same, with the singular change of using less water for thinning it out.

Chinese Chicken Salad with Asian Salad Dressing

Generously drizzle Asian salad dressing over this healthy Chinese chicken salad. Say goodbye to expensive take-out salads from your local Chinese restaurant. You now have all the secrets you need to make this easy delicious meal at home.

This Asian salad dressing is a restaurant recipe that's sweet and savory. It's also a delicious chicken marinade. Make it in 10 minutes.

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  1. Awesome dressing, didn’t have enough sesame oil, so ended up using equal parts rice wine vinegar and sesame oil. This was perfect and I don’t think I’d use the whole 1/2c of sesame oil in the future. Love the molasses and peanut butter in the recipe, makes the dressing stand out a bit more from your run of the mill Asian dressing. Also added a bit of salt, because we only had reduced sodium soy sauce. Will be dressing for Asian chicken salads tonight!

  2. Oh my gosh! I made this dressing last night and it was excellent! It reminded me of Cheesecake Factory’s Asian chicken salad dressing! I reduced the water to only one Tbsp per comments about it being thin. Definitely a keeper! Who knew molasses would make such a difference! Thank you for sharing 🥰

    1. Hello Chris! Thank you so much for taking the time to give your feedback on this recipe and leave a star rating. Because of your wonderful suggestion, I updated the recipe to 1 tablespoon water. If others would like a thinner consistency, a bit more water can be added as desired. Many wishes for a great week ahead!

  3. Having lived in HAWAII for 50 years and enjoying great Chinese food, homemade and super Chinese restaurants I was expecting something different , this was good as a salad dressing, did not try it as a Mariana de. I will try some other sources.

  4. I loved this dressing. Personally would have liked it a little thicker as it was the consistency of the vinegar. The ginger was also an interesting touch that I didn’t hate or love as a big ginger fan. Sesame seeds was a great touch. I used toasted white, my aunt recommended black next time

  5. I loved this dressing. Personally would have liked it a little thicker as it was the consistency of the vinegar. The ginger was also an interesting touch that I didn’t hate or love as a big ginger fan. Sesame seeds was a great touch. I used toasted white, my aunt recommended black next time

    1. Hello Deb. Ground ginger is intended for baking. It has a very different taste than fresh ginger. Most especially for Asian recipes, these two ingredients are best not interchanged. I recommend waiting to make this recipe until you have a chance to pick up some fresh ginger root at the market.

    1. Good morning Sandi! I’m so glad to hear you loved this Asian Salad Dressing recipe. Paired with Chinese chicken salad it’s so scrumptious. It’s one of my go-to recipes for picnics, potlucks and family gatherings. Thank you for coming back and leaving a comment. I really appreciate it! Many wishes for a wonderful week!

    1. Hello Penny. This Asian dressing will not taste the same without the molasses! If at all possible, head to the market to pick up a small bottle of it. Your taste buds will thank you later!

  6. I’m eager to try this recipe but I’m unfamiliar with molasses. When I went to add molasses to my online cart there were oodles to choose from. Which would work best for this recipe: full flavor molasses, mild flavored, unsulphured, or blackstrap? I never knew there were so many choices. Help!

    1. I didn’t see that you replied to Michelle’s question about what type of molasses to buy for this dressing. Since I will also have to buy some, I’d like to know which one to purchase – full flavor, mild flavored, unsulphured vs sulphured, or blackstrap??? I’d hate to buy the wrong one and ruin the recipe. Also, since prices for everything have skyrocketed and are still climbing, I’d like to buy the right product the 1st time.

      Thanks for any recommendation you can make. I can’t wait to try the salad and the dressing! I have everything but the molasses…

      1. Hello Dianna. Thank you so much for asking this great question! I use “Grandma’s Original Unsulphured Molasses.” It’s in a clear jar with a yellow lid and label. You can pick it up at Walmart. I’m so excited for you to make this delicious dressing. It’s one of my favorite recipes. If you make it and love it too, I’d appreciate it if you’d come back and leave a star rating!

    1. Hello Nikki. Public health standards require the refrigeration of salad dressing. When sugar is added to a liquid it can cause a bacteria feeding frenzy. In this case, the sugar is in the form of molasses. I hope you’re loving this Asian salad dressing recipe! Have a wonderful week. :-)

  7. Will this dressing be ok without the molasses? I don’t use this ingredient and would hate to buy a bottle and then it just be wasted

    1. Hello Bee. I haven’t tried leaving the molasses out of this Asian dressing recipe. However, if I didn’t have molasses on hand I would try substituting with one of these three ingredients: honey, corn syrup, or brown sugar.

      1. I know the flavor profile is different, but maybe substitute hoisin sauce with brown sugar added might work in place of molasses. Any thoughts?

        1. Hello Bee. I was just out at Target today here in California, and a bottle of molasses is just $3.39. I highly recommend picking up a bottle of molasses as this really makes all the difference! And then you’ll have it on hand when making additional batches of this dressing during the upcoming spring and summer seasons. :-)

          1. Wow, this dressing is delicious!!! So glad I bought the molasses and made recipe exactly as written. Question, how long does this last in refrigerator? I made a batch 2 weeks ago& tried to use it last night & the oil would not blend well together when shaken. Could it have been that it was cold?

          2. Hello Bee! I’m so glad you bought the molasses and enjoyed this flavorful Asian dressing! Any dressing containing garlic has a shorter lifespan, even in the refrigerator. Personally, I wouldn’t save it past 7 days. I usually make my dressing just before serving, and then we use it all up at that time. But after refrigeration, bringing the dressing back to room temp will help it blend together beautifully.

  8. Looks good! Do you use a natural peanut butter or one with added sugar? I’d prefer natural but have both if one works better.

    1. Hello Tracy! I actually use Skippy Creamy Peanut Butter when making this Asian salad dressing recipe, because that’s the product I usually have on hand. Since you have both types of PB on hand, you may want to pull out two little dessert spoons or tasting spoons. Put a little PB on each spoon, then add a few drops of the Asian dressing to each. After a taste test you’ll be able to select the one that you prefer!

  9. Just saw this recipe and am really interested in trying it. In the list of the ingredients molasses is included but when you read farther down to the actual recipe, molasses is not listed. I guess I’m just looking for the amount of molasses that needs to be included. Thanks,

    1. Good morning Sue! Thank you so much for spotting that missing measurement. It’s 1 tablespoon molasses. This Asian dressing is really good. I hope you enjoy it as much as my family does. :-)

    1. Marybeth, you just made my day! Thanks so much for coming back to let me know how this yummy Asian Salad Dressing worked out for you. Have a great week!

  10. This dressing sounds so delicious, I like the idea it can double as a chicken marinade as well. I will definitely be trying, thanks for sharing!

    ~xo Sheree

  11. I could eat Asian dressing on just about anything. I love the flavor profile it adds to simple chicken dishes and it always tastes amazing in salads.

  12. I am a huge fan of asian salad, but never thought to use the dressing as a chicken marinade! Double duty for the win! I’m definitely adding this to my list to try!

  13. As the mom of a child with peanut allergies, I appreciate the warning about using peanut butter in recipes when attending a gathering. I’m looking forward to making it with soy butter as an alternative to peanut butter.

  14. This dressing has become my “new” favorite salad dressing. I absolutely love the flavors! Your recipe makes the perfect amount – thank you for a wonderful recipe.

  15. The ginger is what really makes this dressing for me. Delicious and very versatile. I’ve used a similar recipe as both chicken marinade, which you mentioned, as well as for fish dishes. Can’t wait to try this one out!

  16. I love anything with Asian influence, so this dressing sounds so delicious! It probably has a little bit of spice because of the pepper flakes! I’ve definitely have tried similar dressings before with the honey and soy sauce, but the addition of the spice element sounds so yummy. I’m going to have to try it out myself! Great post xx


  17. This recipe sounds delicious and super easy to do! Might just try it over the weekend:) Thanks for sharing Denay!

  18. I love salad dressings. They give a twist of flavor to the veggies. Thanks for this wonderful recipe. Now, we can try a new dressing additional to the classic hundred island and honey-mustard dressings we get used to.