Recipe: Gaijin salad from Gaijin Noodle and Sake House in San Diego

Recipe: Gaijin salad from Gaijin Noodle and Sake House in San Diego
(Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)

Dear SOS: I recently went to Gaijin Noodle and Sake House in San Diego, and it was so good. I enjoyed all the food I had there but loved the Gaijin salad. It had an amazing pickled ginger wasabi dressing. Would you please help get the recipe for the salad and dressing?

Olivia Tanson



Dear Olivia: Gaijin's wasabi ginger salad dressing, deceptively simple to make, adds just enough zing to a colorful salad of Little Gem lettuce, sugar snap peas, red onions, enoki mushrooms and crunchy wasabi peas. The recipe makes extra dressing, perfect also for use as a dipping sauce or sandwich spread.

Gaijin salad

25 minutes. Serves 4

Wasabi ginger salad dressing

1/4 cup cup rice vinegar

1/2 cup oil, preferably a canola and olive oil blend

1 teaspoon chopped garlic

1 tablespoon sliced shallot

2 tablespoons pickled ginger

1 tablespoon wasabi paste

2 tablespoons sliced peeled fresh ginger

1 1/2 teaspoons sesame oil

1 teaspoon lemon juice


In the bowl of a blender, combine the vinegar, oil, garlic, shallot, pickled ginger, wasabi paste, fresh ginger, sesame oil and lemon juice. Blend until the dressing is smooth and emulsified. The flavor of the dressing can vary depending on the brand of pickled ginger and wasabi paste, as well as the freshness of the other ingredients; taste and adjust the flavorings and seasonings as desired. This makes 1 cup dressing, more than is needed for the remainder of the recipe; the dressing will keep, covered and refrigerated, up to 1 week.

Gaijin salad

2 heads Little Gem lettuce, chopped (or tender hearts of butter lettuce)

2 1/2 cups sugar snap peas, thinly sliced on the bias

1 small red onion, thinly sliced into lengthwise strips

2 1/2 cups enoki mushrooms, trimmed into 1½-inch pieces

6 to 8 tablespoons wasabi ginger dressing, or as desired

Scant 1 cup wasabi peas

In a large bowl, combine the chopped lettuce, sugar snap peas, red onion, mushrooms, wasabi peas and enough dressing to coat. Gently toss the salad, then divide it among four chilled plates and garnish with the wasabi peas. Serve immediately.


Calories 346

Protein 14 grams

Carbohydrates 25 grams

Fiber 9 grams

Fat 22 grams

Saturated fat 2 grams

Cholesterol 0

Sugar 7 grams

Sodium 179 mg

NOTE: Adapted from Gaijin Noodle and Sake House in San Diego.