Making a Vinaigrette – The Nuts & Bolts

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This post contains vinaigrette making basic instructions followed by a wasabi vinaigrette recipe and a list of other vinaigrette flavor variations to try.

How to Make a Basic Vinaigrette:

The classic ratio of a vinaigrette is 1 part vinegar to 3 parts oil. For more tang, use a little more vinegar. Mustard helps to emulsify (marry the oil & vinegar) the vinaigrette.

Here’s the basic recipe:
1 cup oil
1/3 cup vinegar
1 large minced shallot
1 teaspoon mustard
Salt & Pepper to taste

1. Add vinegar, shallots, salt, pepper and mustard (if using) to a mixing bowl.
2. Whisk, slowly adding oil to taste.

Wasabi Vinaigrette Recipe:

½ large shallot
½ tsp dark sesame oil
¾ tsp soy sauce
3+ tsp fresh wasabi rhizome
½ cup rice wine vinegar
½-2/3rd cup vegetable oil

How to Make Wasabi Vinaigrette:

1. Finely dice the half shallot.  Grate the fresh wasabi root & let it rest 10 minutes, covered (How to Use Fresh Wasabi).

2. Combine the shallot with the sesame oil, soy sauce and rice wine vinegar in a bowl.

3. Whisking constantly, drizzle in the oil until the mixture forms a uniform emulsion.

4. Add your rested grated wasabi to taste (you’ll likely need at least 3 tsp).

Variations: You can substitute more sesame oil for some of the vegetable oil (carefully! It’s strong stuff) to make your vinaigrette richer, or increase the soy sauce. Either of these changes will diminish the effect of the wasabi unless you add more to compensate.

Other Vinaigrette Flavors to Try:

a. Champagne vinegar (because it has a subtle flavor and allows the other ingredients to shine through), extra virgin olive oil and Dijon mustard.
b. Olive oil, balsamic vinegar, a pinch of fresh basil and Dijon
c. One of Justin’s favorites, is to use camelina oil, left-over pickle brine (waste not, want not!) and a bit of truffle honey.
d. replace some of the vinegar with homemade chile infused vinegar to add some heat to your vinaigrette.
e. Use storebought or homemade preserved lemons in this preserved lemon vinaigrette recipe.
f. White Truffle Oil or Black Truffle Oil can also be substituted for olive oil and have an intense earthy, truffle-y flavor.

Warm vinaigrettes are nice as well. Simply deglaze a pan with the vinaigrette for more complex flavor.  For an example warm vinaigrette recipe, see our Tomato Anchovy Vinaigrette Recipe.


Browse More:
Oil Recipes
Vinegar Recipes
Culinary Techniques

Fresh Wasabi Recipes

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