Dragon sauce is a ginger forward creamy sauce that is usually added to buddah bowls - bowls filled with a grain, vegetables, and perhaps tofu chunks that have been baked or fried. But really it's a perfect sauce for all sorts of things: dipping vegetables, drizzing over roasted vegetables, or just heaping a spoonful on top of plain rice. It reminds me so much of a ginger sauce my husband and I enjoyed at a restaurant called Japanese Village back in the 90s. It was baller, as the kids would say. This one is pretty darn close. And what's better is that it's also really quite inexpensive to make.
I originally heard about Dragon Sauce in a number of forums and social media online. There are a few different recipes available for one of the most well known Dragon Sauces, such as the popular Aux Vivres, however almost all of the recipes contained oil - and sometimes quite a bit. This is fine and perhaps tasty, but because I do not consume any oil for health reasons, I couldn't try them out. I was about to try dropping oil or substituting something else, but I ran across this Dragon Sauce recipe mentioned on a Chowhound forum comment that did not contain the copious amount of oil - however, this recipe did not have specific measurements (heaping soupspoon intermixed with tablespoons and cups... bit open to interpretation!). What I first made was also a bit too sweet for my tastebuds on a salad. So I reduced the maple syrup and enhanced the miso and ginger a bit, made specific measurements, and here is the result.
I have made this recipe in both my Vitamix (high-speed blender), and a food processor. It actually changes the taste a little, because the minced garlic doesn't entirely blend in and you get a bit of a chunky texture and more pronounced garlic flavor. Both results are good, my husband likes the food processor version a bit better. If you want a sweeter taste, add an additional tablespoon or two of maple syrup (closer to the original recipe I found). Let me know what you think in the comments!
Oil-free Ginger Dragon Sauce
- Add all ingredients to a food processor or blender, and combine well.
- Store in an air tight container in the fridge for up to a week.
Changes and substitutions
If you do not have tahini, you could try using some cashews or white beans instead. I would probably try about 1/4 of a cup or so.
If you do like a sweeter sauce, increase the maple syrup. Try an extra tablespoon, and then go from there as you continue to blend.
If you like the chunky garlic idea mentioned earlier, but want to blend in a vitamix (or your blender removed the chunks), try stirring in a bit extra after you finish blending by hand.