Add a punch of flavor and color to your meals with this select list of fresh and tasty Japanese Salad Recipes!
Japanese dishes are often colorful, vibrant plates that perfectly balance sweet, salty, and spicy, and traditional Japanese salad recipes are no exception.
Many traditional Japanese salads utilize common Japanese ingredients like soy sauce, ginger, garlic, rice vinegar, mirin, and so many more flavors we have come to love.
There may be more traditional Japanese salads than you might expect, so check out our list of 15 stellar Japanese salad recipes.
From the briny Hotate Salad with seared scallops and baby greens to the crunch of freshness in the Spicy Bean Sprout Salad to the smooth sesame-lime snap of Cold Soba Noodle Salad, you will surely find a new favorite in our list of Japanese Salad recipes here.
Give these recipes a look and find out what kind of flavor opens up in your world!
Seaweed salad, or wakame, is a traditional Japanese style salad served as a side with sushi or other Japanese entrees.
Seaweed salad is light, refreshing, and, yes, a bit slick—but in a good way!
The recipe combines ginger, mirin, soy sauce, garlic, and more ingredients commonly used in Japanese recipes.
If you are looking for a light Japanese green salad that is packed with interesting flavors, wakame is a great salad to make to impress your friends and family.
Kani translates to crab in Japanese, and that’s exactly what this salad is: crab.
Whether you want to use real crab or imitation crab, this salad is pretty easy to make, and many chefs recommend keeping it as simple as possible so you can appreciate the crab flavor.
All you need to add to the crab is some cucumbers, corn, and a delicious sauce to drizzle over.
In this recipe, the sauce is a mayo ponzu sauce that combines the creaminess of the mayonnaise with the salty, bright flavors of ponzu for a perfect flavor that doesn’t overwhelm the crab.
If you’re a fan of mushrooms, you have to try making this marinated Japanese mushroom salad that is a bowl of salty goodness.
The delicate tangy flavor of the marinade is balanced by the rich umami flavoring of the mushrooms.
The recipe calls for Enoki mushrooms which are the traditional mushrooms used in many Japanese recipes—if you can’t find them, there are substitutes.
The recipe uses four different varieties of mushrooms, including Shimeji, Enoki, Golden Enoki, and Baby King Oyster Mushrooms.
This is one of my very favorite salads ever.
Sunomono is a simple salad made of cucumbers and marinated in vinegar, and, no, that doesn’t mean it is a plate of pickles.
The cucumber salad comes together with under ten ingredients and has a light, vinegary flavor and a subtle crunch.
You can add chili flakes for a spicier version or keep it as a simple Japanese side salad that goes well with a variety of dishes.
Sunomono is light, crispy, and seasoned to perfection, so you’ll love every bite.
5. Daikon Salad
Daikon, sometimes called mooli, is a Japanese radish used in many different dishes.
Daikon Salad is mostly radish for a refreshing and crunchy texture that is fun to eat.
To make Daikon Salad, you technically only need the radish and the dressing, but you can top the dish off with additions like cherry tomatoes, rocket, cucumber, katsuobushi dried bonito flakes, or nori seaweed.
Hijiki is a comforting yet bold dish of unique flavors that will have you and your guests making yummy noises throughout the meal.
Hijiki is a type of seaweed, but this Japanese style salad is quite different from the wakame salad.
It is a darker variety of seaweed with a saltier flavor that perfectly balances the sweetness of the carrots.
The carrots, seaweed, and other vegetables combine for a zesty salad that is easy to make and even easier to eat!
Everyone loves a creamy, tasty potato salad!
Like so many dishes, the Japanese take on the potato salad is packed with flavor and Asian ingredients that only elevate it.
The vibrant assortment of vegetables and proteins makes for an extraordinary taste and texture that will revolutionize your idea of potato salad.
To achieve the best texture and flavor for this salad, it is best to use either red, white, or baby potatoes because they are less starchy than yellow.
The secret to nailing this flavorful dish is to use traditional Japanese mayonnaise and not Western mayonnaise because it offers the wrong flavor.
Hotate is a traditional Japanese salad made with seared scallops and numerous other ingredients that enhance the delicate and fishy flavor of the scallops.
This recipe uses baby greens and red bell peppers to enhance the fresh flavor of the dish as well as the colors in the bowl.
The salad comes with a ginger vinaigrette that is sweet but distinct and doesn’t overwhelm the flavor of the scallops.
The most important part of this recipe is ensuring you have fresh, quality sea scallops because they are the star of the dish and need to be perfect.
9. Okra Aemono
The Okra Aemono is a seasoned dish made up of okra, a green vegetable with a flavor profile like sweet grass.
Aemono translates to “seasoned things” in Japanese, so this salad consists of beautifully seasoned okra and not much else!
The idea of these simple Japanese side salads is to create a dish that highlights and exhibits the natural flavor or okra, so only seasoning is necessary.
The seasonings in this recipe are simple, and if you make Asian food every once in a while, you probably already have these ingredients in your kitchen.
Mizuna Miso Salad is a Japanese green salad that uses the leafy green called mizuna along with radish and some tuna.
The canned tuna adds moisture to the leafy greens, and the radish brings some color to the plate.
The salad has a miso dressing that exemplifies traditional Japanese flavors using only a handful of ingredients.
Mizuna can be hard to find, so you can substitute with another leafy green, but these are the traditional leafy greens for this Japanese salad, so do your best to find them!
If you want a traditional Japanese salad with a whole lot of flavor and a kick of spice, this Spicy Bean Sprout Salad is the perfect recipe for you.
The Spicy Bean Sprout Salad was originally Korean, but the Japanese adapted it, putting their unique twist on the spicy salad.
The Japanese version of this salad uses a lot of vegetables, fruits, and roots to add an array of yummy flavors and colors to this salad.
The recipe isn’t super spicy, but if you’re looking for a dish that will burn your eyebrows off, you can add extra chili sauce and more of the other spices.
For a more substantial Japanese salad, you can make this Cold Soba Noodle Salad that will fill your tummy and have your tastebuds dancing around your mouth.
This is a great summer salad if you’ve been craving pasta but can’t stomach the idea of a hot meal along with the hot weather.
The array of fresh vegetables used in this dish creates a beautiful rainbow on your plate that tastes even better than it looks.
The sesame lime ginger dressing that goes along with this noodle salad is tangy, sweet, and a little spicy all at the same time.
You can serve this Japanese green salad as a side dish or as a healthy main, depending on how hungry you are.
The bright green beans and spinach are blanched, drained, making for a colorful, delicious plate that will have everyone asking for a second serving.
The salad dressing is made of soy, miso, mirin, and sesame seeds for a subtle, salty taste that brings the spinach and green beans to life.
Every bite of this salad is a crunchy, refreshing taste of greens and classic Japanese flavors.
Japanese avocado salad uses minimal ingredients but packs a major punch of zesty and sweet flavors.
Avocado has a distinct creamy but fresh flavor and texture, making it the perfect star of this traditional Japanese salad.
The ponzu sauce has bold, Asian flavors that make this dish stand out against some regular avocado toast or guacamole.
This dish works well as a Japanese side salad because you can make a small or large portion depending on how many avocados you want to use.
Tomato Myoga Salad is a super simple Japanese salad that combines fresh, sliced tomatoes with classic Japanese ingredients like rice vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, and ginger.
The salad is perfect for a hot summer day when you are craving a light snack with a ton of flavor.
The acidity in the tomatoes works well with the seasoning for a well-balanced bowl that is colorful and juicy.
The bottom line
Traditional Japanese salads range in ingredients from a myriad seafood delicacies to a simple radish salad.
So, whatever mood you are in, there is a Japanese salad to satisfy your hunger and introduce your tastebuds to a plethora of new and exciting flavors.
If you’re looking for an easy starter or if you aren’t particularly used to Japanese salad ingredients, I definitely recommend trying Sunomono, our #4 in the list.
It’s an easy cucumber salad with lightly sweetened vinegar dressing. It’s forgiving and versatile. Add a bit of thinly sliced avocado when serving for a hearty addition.
Looking for even more? Our Japanese series of recipes continues here:
- Wakame (Seaweed Salad)
- Kani (Seafood Salad)
- Mushroom Salad
- Sunomono (Cucumber Salad)
- Daikon Salad
- Hijiki Carrot Salad
- Japanese Potato Salad
- Hotate Salad (Scallop Salad)
- Okra Aemono
- Mizuna Miso Salad
- Spicy Bean Sprout Salad
- Cold Soba Noodle Salad
- Green Bean Goma-ae
- Avocado Ponzu Salad
- Tomato Myoga Salad
- Choose your favorite recipe from our list of Japanese Salad Recipes!
- Turn it into a fantastic home-cooked meal!
- Leave a comment on our Facebook page and share your dish.