Sunday, July 20, 2008

magical dressing

There is a magical salad dressing that comes out of this part of the world. Originating, I believe, at a certain overpriced and addictive Japanese restaurant where I made my start, this dressing could start a war. I speak, of course, of ume scallion dressing.
When I worked at the unnamed restaurant, I swear that people would offer up their unborn children for the recipe, not to mention shovel piles of money on the sushi bar to take home a little paper to-go bowl of dressing home with them. I'm sure people used that dressing inappropriately, spread it their skin, other's skin, or like me, poured it on lots of other kinds of food besides salad. It is, shall we say, not a salad dressing, but a dressing for what you will.

Long story short, I made this dressing yesterday. Without a recipe, and it came out so good that I poured it over the whole dinner. I have no idea of the measurements, but I know what it looked like, and this I will share with you.

You will need an indeterminate amount of the following ingredients:
scallions, sliced, all of the white and most of the green
watercress (about a normal sized bunch here)
Umeboshi Vinegar
Canola Oil

You will need a lot of scallions. One really big farmer's market bunch, or at least two supermarket bunches. Put them into the blender. Add the watercress. Fill the blender about a third to a half (depending on the size of your blender) full of canola oil around the veggies. Shake in the vinegar for what seems like a bit too long. Add a pile of salt. Blend. The dressing should be bright green. Taste it. If you do not swoon, adjust your seasonings. Pour over everything. Magical. It will turn anything green and make it tasty.

Yes, yes, I finally posted measurements. Here you go.


  1. Can you be a little more specific about the amount of vinegar you use? I'm sure you've made this many more times since you originally posted it.

    This is that swoony good dressing from Bizen in Great Barrington, and you're right: I'd do anything to be able to make it at home. All attempts to date have failed, so I'm in your debt if you can help me out!

    Love your blog!



  2. Hi Alana,
    this blog is great,
    and I'm not surprised to find you when
    I did an internet search for the ume dressing, which I've tried to make and failed miserably.
    A big kiss to you

  3. I went to Bizen for the first time last winter and have not been back...we moved down south...ANYWAY, I have been trying to find the mysterious "green" dressing recipe and this DOES seem to be it! It came out great. Thanks!

  4. Hi Sue.. Sorry for some reason I have not seen your question until now, but if you're still looking for the magical vinegar amount, I would start with 2-3 tablespoons and go with your taste from there. This seems to be an often visited post though, so I will update it soon with exact measurements- this dressing is so good that we should definitely be more scientific about it, I think.

  5. So glad to be of assistance here, Heather. Ume dressing is definitely one of the best things about Great Barrington, so I'm happy you can transport it when you need it.

  6. I can't believe it! I have been dreaming of Ume Scallion Dressing for over 6 years, since I had to move from Great Barrington area to (!) Michigan!! I bought Eden's Ume Plum Vinegar yesterday, determined to somehow make a variation of the beloved Magical Dressing. When I read your blog, I knew it had to be Bizen. Small World. I will run out and grab some watercress and mix up a batch tonight. I can hardly wait.
    Thank you! Thank you!!
    PS - my first time ever chiming in but I just had to thank you. Magical Indeed!

  7. my friend megan silken just made this dressing for a potluck at her house the other day...i totally swooned, and took note! 'This is an amazing Salad!' it was all in the dressing, and generous was she to send me home w/some and direct me here. thanks so much for your blog, I'm really loving it!


  8. Hi angie! Nice to meet you here... glad to know Megan is keeping the magical dressing going!

  9. Mine continues to turnout bitter despite any changes I make... thoughts?

  10. Are you using the recipe from the updated post? I updated the quantities- (also, living over at my new site):
    Beyond that, bitterness might be rancid oil? I'd suggest switching oils to another neutral oil, like grapeseed.