20161121_144351Not always, but at some ?most? sushi restaurants in the US they offer a small green salad with a ginger carrot dressing. I have those question marks in there because one of our local sushi ‘places’ here on Muldoon in Anchorage offers said salad, and one does not. It seems like it’s as much a staple of a sushi visit as the complementary miso soup.

'Pam's Carrots' are a fine example of Alaska's exemplary produce. As you can see in the picture above they can grow very big, and I kid you not, they are the sweetest carrots you have ever eaten in your life.

‘Pam’s Carrots’ are a fine example of Alaska’s exemplary produce. As you can see in the picture above they can grow very big, and I kid you not, they are the sweetest carrots you have ever eaten in your life.

The salad itself is so simple. Iceberg lettuce, carrots, and maybe green onion and cabbage. The dressing is just as simple… or is it?

I happen not to like much more than an eighth teaspoon of sesame in anything. …not quite, per say, an entire pot of soup, but not far from that. Ginger, however, I can practically eat raw.

I wanted to recreate that fresh garnished flavor of the ginger carrot dressing… but apparently on a bigger scale?

What I have come up with is something less than a slaw or ‘salad’ but more than a dressing or condiment. My Mother and I decided that ‘compliment’ was the best word to describe the accompaniment I created.


Somyn wheat Noodles, served with vegetable broth, caribou sausage, and ginger carrot ‘compliment.’ Sriracha brings heat and bits of torn basil leaf add a great freshness. This was a very fast and well rounded lunch.

Although I fashioned it after the carrot ginger dressing you get at Japanese restaurants here in the US, I wanted to take it’s usability to a different level. After all, this isn’t a dressing. I wanted to make something that would be a great condiment-like dish to have regularly on had for enhancing a meal. It reminds me specifically of ‘Bowl’ type cooking where you pick out a grain/starch and/or a protein, and add a variety of vegetables, garnishes, and ‘raw-like’ sauces to tie everything together. I used pickled ginger because it doesn’t have the same ‘sharp bite’ as fresh ginger and contains the slight sweetness I desired. The juice brings the perfect balance of tang and sweet.

  • Adding this carrot ‘compliment’ to a green salad adds another colorful vegetable as well as some dressing flavors.
  • Adding it to a soup adds depth and tang.
  • Adding it to a fish plate creates texture.
  • During your meal treat it as if you were drawing a smidgen of horseradish into your bite of prime rib, “Mmmm, a little pickled carrot to go with my bite of hard boiled egg.”

Another great thing my mother and I recently discovered, you can use the pulp from juicing carrots and save not only the waste but also the step of having to shred the carrots by hand. And, as with any recipe, there are plenty of ways to personalize this dish. Add sesame oil, garlic, or lemongrass if you like. Of try fresh herbs like cilantro or basil. It would also be really easy to sprinkle in a little bit of your favorite spice, such as curry or the increasingly popular Za’atar blends. And always, you can add heat.

20161121_110132I’m really happy with what I have created, although it really is not what you get on the top of those little appetizer salads in Japanese restaurants. It is just one more step in my attempt to bring more natural and healthful, yet flavorful and beneficial foods into my home and my body.

Perhaps you will find that this little condiment-of-sorts will become a great ‘compliment’ to your healthy meal plans as well.


Carrot Ginger ‘Complement’ Condiment

Serves: 8-10


  • 1 cup loose packed grated carrot – 1 large Alaska “Pam’s Carrot” or 3 average carrots
  • 1/4 cup fine minced pickled ginger
  • 2 T juice from the pickled ginger jar
  • 1 T apple cider vinegar
  • 1 T soy sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Depending on personal preference you can use either the zest grade or fine mince grade of shredder to grate your carrots. (or the pulp from your juiced carrots)
  2. After that it is a very basic add-and-stir of the fine minced pickled ginger, the pickled ginger juice, vinegar, and soy sauce. This is all a cold whisk. Add salt and pepper as desired.

If you plan to use this ‘complement condiment’ in addition to a starter or larger salad here is a recipe for a basic seasoned rice vinegar that works as an accompaniment. It is the same as the seasoned rice vinegar that they sell in the store. You can use it in a ton of recipes, and it is also what is used for making sushi rice.

Seasoned Rice Vinegar

Serves: varies


  • 1/2 rice vinegar
  • 2 T white sugar
  • 1 t salt
  • dash of pepper


  1. The sugar will not truly blend if you don’t heat it. Although you could just whisk the ingredients together in a bowl, I would suggest warming them just slightly in a small skillet until the sugar dissolves. Do not bring it to a boil. When just warmed enough it should be plenty cool for a salad right after. It should certainly not be so hot as to wilt greens.
  2. You can easily make large batch of this dressing to have on hand.

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