Notes from the Kitchen:
This recipe is largely based on Japanese wafu dressing – wafu (和風) is a Japanese word that (maybe?) best translates as “old-fashioned Japanese style”. It’s a very simple, light dressing that pairs really well with basic salads (crunchier greens like lettuce and cabbage, julienned carrots, cucumbers and tomatoes, for example). It makes a pretty good marinade for light meat and fish.
If you don’t have brown sugar, white sugar will do just fine. You can use any other neutral-flavored oil but there’s really no good substitution for rice wine vinegar.
Making variations of this dressing is easy – try adding some grated ginger and/or miso; crushed black olives for more umami; lemon juice and tahini, or a some fresh spices, chopped fine.