I had another chance to make it again this weekend, for a bridal shower. I lined the ingredients up on the counter as if creating some magic spell. Thinking, "surely it can't be that hard to replicate the sweet sesame flavor, that was thick dark and dreamy on chicken and greens?" Ahhh... but it was! Several attempts ended with a concoction that was too salty, too sweet, too acid, or oily and or runny. Goldilocks would have given up, but I kept adding pluses and minus marks next to each ingredient, trying to get it just right.
Remembering what vinegar I had used before, if I had added honey. How much sesame oil, soy and chili sauce? I grated ginger till my fingers hurt and cried over shallots (which in the final recipe, got cut anyway ). Eventually I produced a few contenders and this one, although not a perfect replica, won the approval of family tasters.
Makes 16 ounces
1 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup sweet chili sauce
1 Tablespoon black pepper
1 Tablespoon dry chili flake
1 Teaspoon fresh ginger
1 Teaspoon crushed garlic
3 Tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons dry mustard
2 Tablespoons dark sesame oil
3/4 cup salad oil
1. Bring vinegar, sugar, chili sauce, dried chili, pepper to a boil in a medium sauce pan. Boil 10 minutes. Remove from heat add ginger, garlic and allow to cool to room temperature.
2. In a medium glass bowl, whisk soy sauce with dry mustard. Place a fine mesh strainer over the bowl and pour the cooled vinegar mixture through (to remove ginger, garlic and chili pepper flakes).
3. Slowly pour in oils into the bowl, whisking vigorously until combined. Chill before serving.
Note; I usually need at least 2 times this amount for a salad to serve about 30 guests. However when doubled, it didn't thicken right. If you need additional dressing for a larger function, you might have better luck making it in batches.