Ginger Salad Dressing with Tamarind

Ready for a salad dressing that changes the game? Our homemade Asian blend of ginger, plum sauce, and tamarind paste offers a deliciously unique flavour. It’s an easy way to spice up your salads with something out of the ordinary!

Looking for a super delicious homemade salad dressing? This Ginger Salad Dressing with Tamarind is so versatile and easy to make in the comfort of your own kitchen! We show you how!

Why You’ll Love Ginger Salad Dressing with Tamarind

Craving a salad dressing that’s anything but boring? Look no further than the vibrant world of ginger tamarind dressing! This unique Asian-inspired condiment takes your taste buds on a delightful adventure. 

The sweet tang of tamarind perfectly complements the bright, zingy kick of ginger, creating a flavour profile that’s both refreshing and complex.

Not only does this dressing elevate salads, but it also moonlights as a marinade. Imagine juicy shrimp or tofu soaking up the gingery goodness, ready to be grilled or stir-fried.

Plus, it pairs beautifully with Asian-inspired dishes, adding depth and complexity to every bite.

With its quick and easy preparation, you can enjoy restaurant-quality flavours in the comfort of your own home. Get ready to elevate your meals to new heights with this tangy ginger salad dressing.

Old Ginger vs Young Ginger

Have you ever noticed the immense difference between the price of old ginger compared to younger ginger? What exactly is the difference?

Old ginger, also known as mature ginger, is harvested after the plant has fully matured. It has a thick, tough skin that is usually darker and more fibrous than young ginger. It is golden brown, knobbier, with more wrinkles and ridges, and may have a hairy appearance. 

The flavour of old ginger is stronger and more pungent, with a peppery and earthy taste. It is often used in savoury dishes and for making ginger tea or herbal remedies. It is ideal for recipes requiring a strong ginger presence.

Young ginger, on the other hand, is harvested early, before the ginger plant has fully matured. It has a thin, light cream or almost translucent skin that is tender and easy to peel. It has a smoother surface with fewer ridges and is thicker with fewer connecting roots. 

The flesh of young ginger is softer and juicier than that of old ginger, and it has a milder and sweeter flavour. Young ginger is often used in dishes where a more subtle ginger flavour is desired, such as pickles, salads, and desserts.

Don’t forget to also try our plum and ginger dressing.

What is Tamarind?

Tamarind is a fruit from a tree which produces bean-like pods with seeds. The seeds are enveloped in a pulp which is fibrous and it’s the pulp that we are after. It is sour to taste but also has an underlying sweetness.

Tamarind originally came from Africa, but apart from Southeast Asia, it is also very popular in India.

When you’re buying tamarind, it usually comes in 2 forms:

Pressed block:  Seeds and pulp come as a “wet” ingredient in a pressed block and are vacuum packed.

Soak the block in lukewarm water and let it sit for a few minutes before you start kneading.

Essentially, you’re removing the pulp off the seed and mixing it into the water. After some time, the consistency of the water thickens. Then drain it through a sieve and you’re left with tamarind water.

Don’t discard the seeds until the cooking process is done, just in case you need to extract more or the dish is not sour enough.

Paste: You can also buy it in a more convenient form, such as paste in a jar. It keeps for longer and is perfect for making salad dressings, as a marinade for fish or a quick soup base.

If you love tamarind, do try our salty tamarind dressing too.

Ingredients

These are the ingredients you need for ginger salad dressing:

Individually labelled ingredients for Ginger Salad Dressing with Tamarind

Plum sauce: Love this sweet and slightly tart sauce that seems to make everything taste better! 

I grew up on the Ayam Brand and Lee Kum Kee brand of sauces, so I highly recommend them. Just in case you’re standing in the sauce section in an Asian supermarket and you’re overwhelmed with all the choices!

Tamarind paste: Love using tamarind paste for marinades or as a quick add on to a soup base for hot pot style dinners.

Don’t fret too much if you’re unfamiliar with which one to get. But make sure you’re getting the paste and not the wet tamarind paste with or without the seeds. You will be able to find them in jars in the condiment section of your Asian supermarket.

Brown sugar: An added sweetness to counter balance some of the tartness.

Ginger: Finely grate the ginger with a micro plane. Do make sure it’s very fine, as we don’t want to find large chunks of ginger in the salad.

Olive oil: Olive oil allows the sauces and pastes to become the dressing it needs to be.

Pepper: Season with a little freshly cracked pepper to taste.

Variations and Substitutions

Citrus add on: Add a splash of freshly squeezed lime or orange juice to brighten up the dressing. The citrusy notes complement the ginger and tamarind beautifully.

Soy sauce addition: For an umami boost, swap out some of the olive oil with low-sodium soy sauce. It adds depth and a hint of saltiness.

Chilli kick: Spicy heat and Asian flavours go hand in hand, so adding some chilli flakes or even fresh chilli to the recipe would work well.

It would be best to stay clear of any hot sauces in this recipe as there are already so many flavours. Neutral-flavoured heat is what you’re looking for.

These neutral flavours also worked really well in our chilli soy dressing and spicy peanut dressing.

Natural sweetener: If you prefer not to use brown sugar, swap it with maple syrup. Maple syrup has a closer caramel finish to brown sugar compared to honey.

Adding sesame oil: To give this vegan ginger dressing a nutty undertone, drizzle in a touch of toasted sesame oil. This complements the ginger and tamarind, adding complexity.

Instructions

Step by step instructions for how to make ginger salad dressing:

Peel a small ginger and finely grate.

In a small bowl, whisk the olive oil and tamarind paste to form a base.

Adding olive oil for Ginger Salad Dressing with Tamarind in a clear mixing bowl with a whisk

Add plum sauce, brown sugar, grated ginger and pepper.

Adding plum sauce for Ginger Salad Dressing with Tamarind in a clear mixing bowl.
Adding brown sugar for Ginger Salad Dressing with Tamarind in a clear mixing bowl.
Adding ginger and brown sugar for Ginger Salad Dressing with Tamarind in a clear mixing bowl.
Adding pepper for Ginger Salad Dressing with Tamarind in a clear mixing bowl.

Mix until well combined.

Whisking the ingredients for Ginger Salad Dressing with Tamarind in a clear mixing bowl with a whisk

How To Make This Dressing Perfectly [Expert Tips]

Fresh ginger: Ginger is the hero of this ginger salad dressing. Ensure you get fresh ginger. Select old ginger if you really want a strong flavour; otherwise, young ginger will suffice. Add more if you really want the fiery and warm tastes to come through. Don’t get pre-made ginger pastes.

Start with the oil and tamarind: Whisk the olive oil and tamarind paste together first. This allows the tamarind to emulsify slightly with the oil, creating a base for the other ingredients.

Infusion time: If time permits, let the dressing sit for at least 30 minutes before serving to allow the flavours to meld together. This will enhance the overall taste of the dressing.

How to Store

Store any leftover dressing in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. The flavours will continue to develop over time, so it may taste even better the next day.

Best Salad for This Dressing

Roast Duck, Caramelised Grapefruit and Wombok Salad

Salt, sweet, bitter, sour, and umami. All of the main flavours packed into this Asian inspired Wombok Salad. You simply can’t go wrong with a juicy roast duck topped with wheels of sweetened ruby red grapefruit.

Roast Duck, Caramelised Grapefruit and Wombok Salad on a slate paddle with flowers on the side

More Salad Dressing Recipes

Small jar if Ginger Salad Dressing with Tamarind with a teaspoon inside

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Small jar if Ginger Salad Dressing with Tamarind with a teaspoon inside
Print Recipe
5 from 65 votes

Ginger Salad Dressing with Tamarind

Ready for a salad dressing that changes the game? Our homemade Asian blend of ginger, plum sauce, and tamarind paste offers a deliciously unique flavour. It's an easy way to spice up your salads with something out of the ordinary!
Prep Time10 minutes
Total Time10 minutes
Course: Salad Dressing
Cuisine: Asian
Suitable for Diet: Low Lactose, Vegan, Vegetarian
Additional Dietary: Dairy Free, Egg Free, Nut Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 55.85kcal
Author: Amy Chung

Ingredients

Click on the toggle below for conversion to US Cooking Units.

Instructions

  • Peel a small ginger and finely grate.
  • In a small bowl, whisk the olive oil and tamarind paste to form a base.
  • Add plum sauce, brown sugar, grated ginger and pepper.
  • Mix until well combined.

Notes

  • Add a splash of freshly squeezed lime or orange juice to brighten up the dressing. The citrusy notes complement the ginger and tamarind beautifully.
  • For an umami boost, swap out some of the olive oil with low-sodium soy sauce. It adds depth and a hint of saltiness.
  • Spicy heat and Asian flavours go hand in hand, so adding some chilli flakes or even fresh chilli to the recipe would work well. It would be best to stay clear of any hot sauces in this recipe as there are already so many flavours. Neutral-flavoured heat is what you’re looking for.
  • For a natural sweetener,  swap brown sugar for maple syrup. Maple syrup has a closer caramel finish to brown sugar compared to honey.
  • To give this vegan ginger dressing a nutty undertone, drizzle in a touch of toasted sesame oil. This complements the ginger and tamarind, adding complexity.
  • Ginger is the hero of this ginger salad dressing. Ensure you get fresh ginger. Select old ginger if you really want a strong flavour; otherwise, young ginger will suffice. Add more if you really want the fiery and warm tastes to come through. Don’t get pre-made ginger pastes.
  • Whisk the olive oil and tamarind paste together first. This allows the tamarind to emulsify slightly with the oil, creating a base for the other ingredients.
  • If time permits, let the dressing sit for at least 30 minutes before serving to allow the flavours to meld together. This will enhance the overall taste of the dressing.

Nutrition

Calories: 55.85kcal | Carbohydrates: 11.46g | Protein: 0.18g | Fat: 1.33g | Saturated Fat: 0.18g | Sodium: 147.67mg | Potassium: 22.96mg | Fiber: 0.37g | Sugar: 9.8g | Vitamin A: 33.16IU | Calcium: 11.86mg | Iron: 0.12mg

*Disclaimer: Nutritional information provided is an estimate only and generated by an online calculator.

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12 Comments

  1. Elizabeth says:

    5 stars
    The tamarind in this recipe is delicious! So good and easy to make!

  2. Helen at the lazy gastonime says:

    5 stars
    Oh man! The ginger with the tamarind is a burst of flavor! I want to try this on more than just salad!

  3. 5 stars
    Ginger Salad Dressing with Tamarind is a game changer! This homemade Asian blend of ginger, plum sauce, and tamarind paste gives your salads a deliciously unique flavor. Super easy to make and perfect for spicing up your greens with something different!

  4. 5 stars
    I love the combo of ginger, plum sauce, and tamarind paste! It makes such a flavorful dressing! I served our appetizer salad with this dressing an our friends were thrilled! Thanks!

  5. 5 stars
    What a great dressing. I grew up eating tamarind fruit off the tree in South America, and made juice with it too. But never tried it as a dressing ingredient. The tamarind adds a unique tang to this dressing that works so well with the ginger. Such a unique and delicious salad dressing. Thank you!

  6. Claudia cristina Ciorteanu says:

    5 stars
    A tantalizing flavor fusion! 🌶️🍅🍃 The Ginger, Tamarind, and Plum Sauce Dressing takes salads to a whole new level! 🥗😍

5 from 65 votes (59 ratings without comment)

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