Chopped salad with soy-ginger dressing

Perk up your plate with this flavourful, colourful dish!

After years and years of testing, I can confirm with confidence that salads made with chopped rather than torn greens stay fresher longer. It’s a hotly debated topic in some circles however based on my experience, tearing typically bruises the lettuce, making it discolour more quickly. I’m a big fan of chopped salads and I’ve put together this Japanese-inspired version as a great way to add a burst of nutrition to plates at any time of the year; it is easy to make and as healthy as it is colourful. For another fun salad option, check out this great recipe.



  • 2 tablespoons (30 mL) rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons (10 mL) soy sauce (or tamari for gluten free)
  • 1 small clove garlic, finely minced
  • 2 teaspoons (20 g) minced pickled ginger or 1 teaspoon (2 g) freshly grated ginger
  • 1 tablespoon (11 g) nutritional yeast flakes
  • Pinch sugar
  • 5 tablespoons (75 mL) olive oil, divided
  • pepper, to taste


  • 3 cups (60 g) mixed baby greens
  • 3 cups (225 g) chopped romaine lettuce
  • 1 cup (50 g) grated carrot
  • 1 cup (90 g) shredded red cabbage
  • 1/2 cup (75 g) slivered red pepper
  • 1/2 cup (50 g) diced cucumber
  • 1 clementine or mandarin orange, peeled, segmented and seeded
  • 1 tablespoon (9 g) black sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoon (12 g) minced green onion tops


  • Make dressing up to 48 hours ahead of time. Cook garlic in 1 tablespoon (15 mL) of the oil (I do this in a small dish in the microwave for 30 seconds). Set aside to cool.
  • In a blender (or with a stick blender) combine vinegar, soy sauce, garlic plus the oil it was cooked in, ginger, nutritional yeast and sugar. Once this mixture is smooth, keep blender running and slowly drizzle remaining 4 tablespoons (60 mL) of olive oil in very slowly until the dressing is thick and well blended – this process should take about two minutes if you are going slowly enough. Season to taste with pepper. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  • Prepare salad by putting greens in a large bowl. Scatter carrot, cabbage, red pepper, cucumber and clementine segments (cut in half if they are large) over top and toss gently to combine. The salad can be refrigerated, covered, for up to 12 hours before continuing.
  • To serve, drizzle half the dressing over the vegetables and toss gently. Add just enough of the remaining dressing to the salad to coat everything lightly (without causing a puddle to form in the bottom of the bowl.
  • Sprinkle sesame seeds and minced green onion over top and serve.

Serves 4 – 6.

Author: Paula Roy

Welcome to my kitchen! I love simple dishes prepared with passion and am always seeking to find new methods to make food as fun and flavourful as possible. If you enjoy this space be sure to check out my Rogers TV Ottawa cooking show, Paula Roy's Favourite Foods, available on local cable, streaming and a dedicated playlist on Rogers TV's YouTube channel.

5 thoughts

  1. This dressing sounds delicious!
    I’ve always been told to tear the lettuce rather than chop, but, especially with large quantities, I’ve chopped it with no dire consequences, so usually that’s what I do unless I don’t want such a neat look.

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