Trader Joe's Carrot Ginger Miso Salad Dressing

In case you didn't know, Trader Joe's recently released a podcast. Yes, my favorite grocery store released a podcast. Does your grocery store have a podcast? 

Today's post is part two of a three part series (read part one here) on a line of refrigerated salad dressings. Why? Because I intend to finish what I start. Most of the time. Hopefully those of you pursuing a higher education start what you finish...I mean finish what you start. Congrats Class of 2018! 

Carrot ginger miso. That wonderful dressing from your local sushi joint especially delicious over iceberg lettuce. It's savory and zingy with a little punch of ginger. Good all year round. I've tried recreating the dressing at home, and I've gotten close. But better at-home-DIY versions require something like a food processor, a Magic bullet, or something similar to blend all the ingredients together. Shaking it in a hipster mason jar just doesn't cut it here.

...what else would you do with a salad dressing? I don't know about you, I love salad dressing. I don't understand how people can eat naked salads. A prefers his salads sans dressing, because for him eating a salad is like penance. To him, a diet means self-denial (for the greater good he supposes :P), which really means "suffering." So he prefers his salad dry, bland, and sad. Like the look on his face when he eats a salad. 

I, however, am not a masochist. I prefer my salads to be happy - y'know, colorful, full of different textures and flavors, and full of life! Like spring! Enough of this gray weather! 

But for this picture I didn't have enough time to make a proper salad with more than just greens. I drizzled [exactly two tablespoons to show you that it's less than you think] over some massaged kale. If you aren't massaging your kale for salads, you are missing out. Love that kale, and it will love you back! 

As suspected, this dressing is a pretty good dupe for that dressing from every sushi restaurant that gives you a salad and miso soup to start your meal. This TJ's one isn't as creamy, and if you don't shake it up properly, the consistency can be all over the place (somewhere on the spectrum of chunky to watery to chunky watery). The ginger flavor isn't overly strong but still zingy. The flavors are just right - not too vinegary or fermented, not too salty, but balanced. I do think that this dressing is a tad bit more gingery than what you get at sushi places, but not so gingery that it's too much. As an Asian person, I think that's important - because one thing a lot of people do when they try making Asian food is adding wayyy too much of one ingredient (soy sauce or ginger usually) because of the thinking that more is more. NOOOOOO. More is not more. So hats off to TJ's here for getting it right.

I used this dressing everyday until the bottle was empty. And while I've played around with a version at home that is edible and similar to the real thing, I can't say I'm motivated enough to make it regularly at home. Like the rest of the dressings in this series, it's $3.69 for an 11oz bottle. Not cheap by my standards but not bad for a "fresh" dressing without preservatives. I might consider adding to my rotation of salad dressings.

TL;DR: Trader Joe's Carrot Miso Salad Dressing. Yes, like the sushi places. Pair this with your own iceberg for a try. 8 out of 10. Mantou Joe Repurchase? Yaaaas. 


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