stonesoup enters the world of video blogging with japanese salads
[5 ingredients | 10 minutes]

japanese salad dressing japanese salads

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Which makes me wonder, how many words would be the equivalent of a 5 minute moving picture? There’s no denying that many people learn better by watching, so I’ve finally decided to enter the wonderful world of video blogging.

Don’t worry, stonesoup isn’t about to become a crazy YouTube-obsessed hub. No things are going to continue to focus on words and pictures but once a week, I’m planning on including a little instructional video along with my recipes.

I’ve got a LOT to learn about video, so please be gentle.

And first cab off the rank is a wonderful Japanese style salad dressing based on my dear mate Cait’s wonderful Japanese salads. I love going into Japanese food shops – so many creatively packaged treats. And the salad dressings are a thing to behold. My favourite is a sesame, creamy style that claims that it has no added oil but has an essay for an ingredient list. So encouraged by Cait, I’ve come up with a 4 ingredient alternative that is just as delicious, and super simple to make.

japanese salad dressing

[5 ingredients | 10 minutes]
japanese salad dressing

makes enough for 2

I like to serve this as a dip for raw veggies. Things like red capsicum (peppers), carrot, celery and witlof (belgian endive) but feel free to explore.

It’s also really lovely served with wilted spinach. Or you could ditch the water and use it as a sandwich spread in place of mayonnaise. I’m also thinking it would be a lovely cross-cultural alternative sauce to hummus for falafels.

I’ve used sherry vinegar but any white vinegar would be fine. Rice wine vinegar would be a bit more Japanese feeling but it’s not going to impact the flavour enough to warrant buying a bottle.

Tahini is a paste made from ground sesame seeds. It’s available from the health food section of supermarkets or specialty health food stores.

1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 tablespoon water
2 tablespoons tahini
1/2 teaspoon sugar

1. Mix the soy, vinegar, water, tahini and sugar to a smooth paste in a small bowl.

2. Taste and season. Feel free to add a little extra soy or sugar if you think it needs it.


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And I had the pleasure of being interviewed by GP of the wonderful blog simply optimal. Check it out for some talk of food, minimalism, adventure, projects, and even a love story…


  • I just skipped across to check out the article and the interview was excellent. I feel I got to know you a little better too. Love your blog and your recipes.

  • Hi Jules, congratulations on your first video! I loved it!

    I’m so glad you decided to make a Japanese dish your first topic. Very informative and helpful, maybe you’ll get your own minimalist cooking show one day ;)

    Keep up the great work,
    Jessica (aka. another Japanophile)

  • Looking good Jules!

    I think a wider view of the kitchen mixed in with the over-the-shoulder angle could be interesting. Seeing you move around your kitchen would be fun to watch. Also, I noticed music playing in the background. If that was intentional, it’s probably better to do that in post production.

    Looking forward to more instalments

  • Hey Jules, congratulations on your first video, I liked it :)

    I love Japanese food, so thank you for sharing this salad dressing recipe.

  • Bravo! (And BRAVE-o, too! I don’t even have my picture on my blog… :) )

    That’s a wonderful interview, too. I totally agree about most chefs making thing too complicated, and love what you’re doing here. I was lucky enough to meet the great Jacque Pepin last year, who confides in his newest cookbook that his dear friend Julia Child was a wonderful person and chef, but there were MUCH easier ways than hers to achieve the same result!

    That puts you in pretty good company, my friend!

  • thanks for the encouragement guys

    and giang – thanks for the suggestions. no the music wasn’t intentional – but I decided I liked it but good point about post production being better for adding tunes

    glad you enjoyed the interview – I loved doing it – it’s such a pleasure when you have well thought out questions

  • thanks marie
    will have to keep an eye out for jaques pepin’s book. always interested in chefs who are open to a more simple style

  • Hi Jules: Congratulations. Video once weekly is a great idea and I liked your presentation. Simple, easy and no fuss. I think many people shy away from cooking at home because the majority of recipes presented to us have too many ingredients and take too long to prepare. Simple, easy and tasty is a great way to make meals.

  • LOVE the video! i agree about the music, i like it, but at first, since someone was singing, i got a bit confused cause you were talking at the same time. it was better to have the background music, when it was just instrumental and it was upbeat so that added to the mood of this recipe being quick and easy. and i love how you tasted the dressing, using the spoon to put a little on your hand, vs. dipping a finger or dirtying up another spoon. thanks!

  • Loved it. Dinner in 5 minutes. Beautiful colors. You showed how quick and easy it is. I wanted to focus on the prep of the food and did not need wider angles of the kitchen. Well done.

  • I agree with Carol – I enjoyed the music when it was instrumental…I like the fact that it was on, like we are seriously just in your kitchen with you, and not on a fancy cooking show on tv.

  • Great video, good start. Loved seeing you and your introduction at the beginning. I think that really added to the story of why this dressing. Your plating looked very nice. Yummy!

    If I were you, I’d invest in a whole bunch of those small, clear glass bowls to hold your pre-measured ingredients. I like showing the product bottles, but having your mis en place would make for a smoother presentation.

  • Just watched the video! Beautiful dressing and lovely fresh range of colours in the vegetables. I like that you really ARE as minimalist in the demonstration as your recipes and blog suggest – not much mess, not much washing up (many people I know would change the bowl they mixed the dressign in for a differnt one to serve), and a fantastic meal prepared in such a small area (though I am guessing your kitchen is bigger!). :-)

  • Jules – just a thought – I know I asked you to write about flours, now I have another request.

    I know your chocolate recipes in the past have been sweet ones – have you any comment on different chocolate and types of coffee in savoury cooking and how to retain the flavour/aroma/earthiness or sourness that they provide (other than adding them at the end?).

    What part of the chocolate is it that we want in sweet vs the part we want from it in savoury?

    I first started noticing these popping up on menus around the world about 5 years ago, and have noticed that in Oz food lit, these are a ‘big deal/hot thing’ right now, even though have been common in Middle Eastern/Central American cooking for a long long time.

  • I’ve just discovered your website and am LOVING your minimalist 5-ingreds|10 mins philiosophy. I’ve searched your archives and used about 5 of your recipes since Saturday! Used up some random vegetables in the fridge and enjoyed some delicious quick and easy meals.
    This is another great recipe.
    It occurs to me that you could replace the water and sugar with MIRIN to give you the sweetness, that leaves one “spare” ingredient – you could use grated ginger, thinly sliced carrot, or crushed sesame seeds to give authentic Japanese flavour and appearance.
    Personally I love a gingery dressing!

  • I’ve been reading your blog for the last few months and love your style! It’s great to put a “face to your blog” and actually see you at work! Thanks and I’m looking forward to seeing more!

  • Thank you for continuing the text version as well as the vlog. I am deaf and depend on text to enjoy your wonderful installments!

    By the way, I substituted a couple drops of agave nectar (lower glycemic) for the sugar. It worked very nicely!

  • Go the Video!!
    I had noone to watch when learning, and watching videos on the net really helped me learn about what I was doing, and how others did things.

  • Georgie (5) and Liv (3) loved your first video blog Jules. They commented on how yummy it looked and were even keen to have a go at the witlof! More please.

  • Looks delicious! I’d only been using tahini in hummus and didn’t really know what else I could make with it – can’t wait to try this : )

  • Great video, keep it up!
    Just wanted to say that it might be a bit better to put the video before the text in your post… I read the whole story and in the intro of the video you more or less said the same things as you mentioned in the text above the video. People who viewed the video could skip that text… I also agree on the whole ‘mise en place’ thing another commenter mentioned, but opening the bottles before you start filming will also help.

  • This is not a comment on your video but a response to your concern about your video blogging. Although not a book on video blogging, Making Fun Family Videos, really helped me take better videos. Perhaps it would be helpful. Keep up the great work.

  • Love the recipe and your video. This is such a great reminder about how the simplest and most beautiful of ingredients can provide a glorious and healthy meal. Keep up the videos! Thank you

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