Vietnameser Dressing

I discovered this unique recipe by Pete Scherer on the Food52 website. He had always loved making his own Caesar dressing, the proper way, but with a Vietnamese-American wife, he altered his recipe to include Asian ingredients. For example, he substituted fish sauce for the anchovies!

There isn’t any Parmesan included in this Vietnameser dressing recipe, but it can be included depending on your salad choice.

From the author: “Just like standard Caesar dressing, this variation is excellent with any kind of protein, from shrimp to chicken to hard-boiled egg. For a Southeast Asian alternative to croutons, try pan-frying shards of rice paper in a bit of oil until they puff and crisp, then scatter them on top of your dressed salad to add a pleasant crunch.”

The eggs and this dressing were wonderful together, as was the crunchy vegetable salad. I can’t wait to make a similar salad with salmon!

Vietnameser Dressing

1 small nub fresh ginger
1 clove garlic
1 large egg yolk
1 tablespoon kewpie mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
2 teaspoons Vietnamese fish sauce (nuoc mam)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons finely chopped cilantro
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Use a microplane to grate the nub of ginger and garlic clove. If you don’t have a microplane, use a knife to mince them as finely as possible. Add the ginger and garlic to a pint jar with a lid. Add the remaining ingredients to the jar, then close the lid tightly.

Shake vigorously for one minute to emulsify. Season with salt and pepper to taste. I added some chopped cilantro on top for more color.

Drizzle over salad, or use as a dip for crudité.

These flavors are so wonderful. A perfect salad dressing recipe.

I used it on similar vegetable salads for a few days in a row, and I can’t wait to make it again!

By Published On: May 11th, 202241 Comments

About the Author: Chef Mimi

As a self-taught home cook, with many years in the culinary profession, I am passionate about all things food-related. Especially eating!

41 Comments

  1. BERNADETTE May 11, 2022 at 6:28 AM - Reply

    I really like the idea of adding ginger and fish sauce. The salad looks wonderful. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

    • Chef Mimi May 11, 2022 at 7:18 AM - Reply

      If you make this dressing, you will be mad that you haven’t discovered it sooner!

  2. Nigella Eats Everything May 11, 2022 at 8:27 AM - Reply

    Oh how delicious! All those flavours together in a dressing sound utterly addictive

    • Chef Mimi May 11, 2022 at 9:16 AM - Reply

      I hope you really try this, because it is outstanding! I’ve already made it another time.

  3. Dorothy's New Vintage Kitchen May 11, 2022 at 8:28 AM - Reply

    Sounds delightful Mimi. I’m sure the ginger and sesame oil add a great deal of flavor!

    • Chef Mimi May 11, 2022 at 9:17 AM - Reply

      And the salads that go with this dressing are really endless…

  4. kitchenriffs May 11, 2022 at 10:00 AM - Reply

    This looks terrific — familiar, yet quite, quite different. I almost never use kewpie mayo — it’s good, though, so I should. Neat recipe — thanks.

    • Chef Mimi May 11, 2022 at 1:32 PM - Reply

      I’ve already made this a second time. It’s so good with just about any kind of salad!

  5. For the Love of Cooking May 11, 2022 at 11:56 AM - Reply

    Bookmarked. My daughter just requested that I buy some Kewpie mayonnaise. This dressing & salad look terrific.

    • Chef Mimi May 11, 2022 at 1:32 PM - Reply

      You’ll love it. I’ve already made it again.

  6. Thao @ In Good Flavor May 11, 2022 at 7:54 PM - Reply

    I love the Vietnamese twist on Caesar salad dressing. It has both creaminess and umami.

    • Chef Mimi May 12, 2022 at 6:45 AM - Reply

      Exactly! It was so good.

  7. Pauline McNee May 11, 2022 at 9:51 PM - Reply

    I adore Vietnamese food and I can tell from the ingredients that this dressing would be delicious. Great combination of flavours. Thanks for sharing this one Mimi.

    • Chef Mimi May 12, 2022 at 6:45 AM - Reply

      You are so welcome. It’s such a great share!

  8. Sherry M May 11, 2022 at 11:25 PM - Reply

    what a wonderful and tasty dressing this is, mimi. I love kewpie! and the other flavours too.

    • Chef Mimi May 12, 2022 at 6:45 AM - Reply

      This guy knows his ingredients!

  9. Tandy | Lavender and Lime May 12, 2022 at 1:13 AM - Reply

    I am salivating reading the ingredients! One day I will succumb and purchase a bottle of kewpie mayonnaise :)

    • Chef Mimi May 12, 2022 at 6:46 AM - Reply

      It’s got a little more zing than regular mayo. You could try regular and add some vinegar to it – that might do it!

  10. David @ Spiced May 12, 2022 at 6:37 AM - Reply

    What a fun twist on a classic! I do love Caesar dressing, and the thought of putting an Asian twist on it for this salad is quite tempting. It’s not even breakfast time here yet, but I’m craving a big plate of salad now!

    • Chef Mimi May 12, 2022 at 6:46 AM - Reply

      Well you have good taste! This was so so good.

  11. Healthy World Cuisine May 12, 2022 at 8:49 AM - Reply

    I’m so happy to hear that we are not the only one that has a thing for Kewpie Mayo. Love that stuff and your delicious dressing recipe. Can’t wait to make it.

    • Chef Mimi May 13, 2022 at 5:48 AM - Reply

      I love that stuff! And it does add some extra zing to this dressing.

  12. terrie gura May 13, 2022 at 10:06 AM - Reply

    What a great idea! When I first saw your post, I thought, “oh dear, is that a typo?” The play on Caesar to Vietnameser is so clever and your pictures (as usual) are stunning and eye-catching! I don’t think I’ve ever seen Kewpie mayonnaise. Is it merely a different brand, or is there something special about it that I could replicate?

    • Chef Mimi May 14, 2022 at 6:13 AM - Reply

      I’ve never looked into how Kewpie is different, but to me it has a zingier taste, like a bit more vinegar. But it’s so good I’d try some – I get mine from Amazon of course. I wouldn’t use it in a giant potato salad, I’d stick with a good mayo, but in small amounts it really stands out.

  13. nancyc May 14, 2022 at 8:02 PM - Reply

    This sounds like a dressing with lots of great flavor for all those spring and summer salads! :)

    • Chef Mimi May 14, 2022 at 8:31 PM - Reply

      Definitely. It would really go with so many different salads, but lots of slaws and veggie salads with chicken or salmon… so many options!

  14. David Scott Allen May 15, 2022 at 2:49 PM - Reply

    I love this combination — though have never had Kewpie mayo. I’m sure it’s available at our Asian market. I’ve wanted to try it for a long time. By the way, I’m always interested in finding salad dressings to serve with Asian meals. Thanks!

    • Chef Mimi May 15, 2022 at 2:51 PM - Reply

      This one will do it! I’m about to make it a third time for company tonight. Of course I always like the basic ones with rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, ginger, peanut oil, Tabasco…

  15. Debra May 15, 2022 at 5:06 PM - Reply

    Another really worthwhile recipe, Mimi. I love the “look” of it a well as the taste profile. :-)

    • Chef Mimi May 16, 2022 at 7:02 AM - Reply

      It’s so good. I just made it a third time last night for a friend!

  16. Ronit Penso Tasty Eats May 15, 2022 at 6:57 PM - Reply

    If I hadn’t read your introduction, I would never have thought this dressing has any connection to Caesar salad dressing! However, it sounds really good, and definitely worth trying. :)

    • Chef Mimi May 16, 2022 at 7:02 AM - Reply

      I know – it’s a little bit of a stretch, especially without the Parm, but it’s really good!

  17. neil@neilshealthymeals.com May 16, 2022 at 5:22 AM - Reply

    Lynne hates anchovies. I have to leave it out of my Caesar dressing. I never thought of using fish sauce instead.

    • Chef Mimi May 16, 2022 at 7:01 AM - Reply

      This dressing is so good – I made it a third time last night! She should love it.

  18. Gerlinde de Broekert May 16, 2022 at 9:20 AM - Reply

    I always look for new dressings and this one looks intriguing.

    • Chef Mimi May 16, 2022 at 3:14 PM - Reply

      You’ll love it! I promise!

  19. Carrie Tyler May 18, 2022 at 11:17 AM - Reply

    Talk about flavor, Mimi! From the ginger to the garlic to the mustard to the sesame oil and cilantro! And the beautiful colors in your salad make this a dish that I want NOW! Thank you for this delicious recipe.

    • Chef Mimi May 18, 2022 at 1:03 PM - Reply

      You are so welcome! I’ve now made it a third time!

  20. Raymund May 19, 2022 at 4:45 PM - Reply

    Love this dressing! specially that Kewpie, fish sauce and sesame oil combo.

    • Chef Mimi May 19, 2022 at 5:02 PM - Reply

      It’s so good! Hope you get a chance to make it!

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