Crunchy Asian salad with a sweet chili vinaigrette dressing being poured on top
Chinese Vinaigrette Is A Foolproof Way To Bring Umami To Cold Dishes
By Lori McCall
Umami's flavor originates in the interaction of certain amino acids, nucleotides, and minerals in the food upon the tongue. Essentially, it’s a meaty, savory richness.
Chinese vinaigrette is an unconventional umami ingredient that acts as a flavor enhancer to any chilled dish containing vegetables, noodles, rice, or even fish and beef.
You can buy Chinese vinaigrette at grocery stores and online, or make your own. It contains soy sauce, oil, vinegar, sugar, and added flavors or aromatics.
Soy sauce adds an umami boost and makes a strong appearance in this vinaigrette. Sesame oil is classic in Asian cuisine, and a dash of vinegar adds brightness.
Black vinegar reigns supreme for most Asian cold dishes, but you can use rice vinegar too. You can also add honey, ginger, garlic, star anise, cinnamon, or chili for aromatics.
Many Asian cold salad or noodle dishes call for the same base ingredients as our vinaigrette, so having a bottle on hand can be a huge timesaver when dinnertime is approaching.