Okinawa summer salad with ponzu-sesame dressing

okinawa summer saladWell, it’s blazing hot here on Okinawa. Pair the heat with the high humidity and it’s like a non-stop sauna. Wahhh! My husband is REALLY enjoying this weather, but it’s making me a lot bit cranky. I’ve been looking for ways to keep cool and keep my pitta nature under control. Ding ding ding! Cooling, refreshing salad!

I went to the local farmers market and came back with a bunch of summer veggies that I wanted to experiment with. You’ll probably be seeing some of these in upcoming posts. I’ll be using Okinawa varieties of produce, but I’ll list substitutions next to the ingredients in case you don’t have access to the same produce. I’ve also included picture of these ingredients and the label in case you are in Japan.

shiso and myoga

shiso and myoga











For the salad:

1 package of Mizuna- a bitter, peppery green. Substitute with a blend of lettuce and arugula.

1 medium Mooui – Okinawan yellow cucumber. Substitute 4 regular cucumbers. Yes, 4!

1 Myoga- Japanese ginger. Substitute green onion tops.

2-4 Shiso leaves- Mint and Basil flavored leaf. Substitute 2-3 lemon basil or peppermint leaves.

Peel the yellow skin off the mooui and chop into bite-sized pieces. Cut off the roots from the mizuna then chop. Thinly dice the myoga and shiso, then mix these well with the mizuna and mooui.

At the farmers market

At the farmers market

half peeled mooui with mizuna

half peeled mooui with mizuna

okinawan brown sugar, sesame seed, sesame oil, ponzu, mirin

okinawan brown sugar, sesame seed, sesame oil, ponzu, mirin









Ponzu-Sesame dressing:

1 tbsp sesame oil

2 tbsp sesame seed

1 tsp Okinawan brown sugar (substitute sucanat or brown sugar)

1 tsp mirin

3 tbsp ponzu sauce (you can mix soy sauce and citrus if you don’t have ponzu)

In a food processor or blender, add dressing ingredients and blend briefly to combine. Pour over salad and serve right away.

The bitter taste is perfect for summer since it’s light, cooling and dry. It’s also detoxifying and lightens tissues. The bitter taste is also helpful for reducing water retention, skin rashes and burning sensations.

Pitta-Substitute sesame oil for coconut milk and reduce the sesame seeds to half if you’re feeling too hot this summer

Kapha- Use honey instead of the brown sugar

okinawa summer salad with lotus candle

4 comments on “Okinawa summer salad with ponzu-sesame dressing

  1. kanzensakura says:

    Sounds lovely! Just my kind of eats! I did a post on food for hanami picnics. There’s a hanami salad posted you may want to check out – see what kind of variants on it you come up with.

    • heykellyg says:

      ah! thank you so much for sharing! i love the hanami salad! so cute! and it’s something i could definitely manage to craft up. i missed sakura season here this year, but i’m really looking forward to it next year. and i’ll be ready with hanami pikunikku! =) btw, i tried to comment on your page, but couldn’t. idk if it was operator error or something awry on your page. =/

      • kanzensakura says:

        Who know what goes on with pages. I’ll find replies, like this one way after the fact. But I am actually having that salad tonight (taking to a potluck). Hanami rocks.

  2. […] lettuce, so I brought salad to a recent bbq. People suspiciously eyed the flowers on top, but this salad was a hit! Expressions of doubt were replaced with delight, thanks to the edible nasturtium […]

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