Asian-Style Almond Cilantro Sesame Dressing for Stir-Fry, Noodles, or Salad

by Mary on April 14, 2012

Stir-fry with tofu triangles and veggies over rice on a dinner plate

Stir-fry with almond cilantro sesame dressing

Basic dinner stir-fry, right? Tofu and veggies over brown rice. But with a secret sauce. Well, an Asian-style almond cilantro sesame dressing anyway, one that elevates the meal well above the average slap-it-on-the-table weekday stir-fry.

Creamy with almond butter, gingered, hot, sweet and sour, and cilantro-flavored all at once, the dressing is rather indulgent. Combined with the tofu it makes a very filling meal. Hope you’re hungry!

The almond cilantro sesame dressing works on noodles, in a stir-fry, or on a chopped cabbage salad. The recipe began as a peanut-sesame dressing from the The Real Food Daily Cookbook and would be more authentically Asian with peanut. But I, who can’t eat peanuts, like it very much with almond. The sour vinegar and sweet maple syrup balance each other. I enjoy the maple flavor here, but if you don’t want the added sugar, cut back on both the vinegar and the maple syrup, or use agave syrup for a sweetener with a lower glycemic index.

If you make marinated baked tofu for the same meal, you can recycle some of the marinade in the dressing. That’s where I got the ginger, garlic, tamari, and sesame oil. But I’ll give a recipe as if you are making it solo. Here you go:

Asian-style Almond-Cilantro-Sesame dressing for Stir-fry, Noodles, or Salad
Prep time
Total time
Recipe type: sauce or dressing
Serves: 5
  • ⅔ cup almond butter
  • ¼ cup brown rice vinegar
  • ¼ cup Grade A maple syrup
  • 3 Tbsp. water
  • 2 Tbsp. tamari
  • ¼ cup ginger root, peeled and minced
  • 2 tsp. dark sesame oil
  • pinch red pepper flakes or to taste
  • 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  1. Combine all ingredients except the red pepper flakes and the cilantro in a food processor or high-powered blender such as a Vitamix. A low-powered blender could work but the ginger root may not become completely smooth.
  2. Add the red pepper flakes a pinch at a time until you reach your desired level of heat.
  3. Add the cilantro and blend just until the cilantro is incorporated and chopped finely. If you blend the cilantro in completely the sauce will turn a light golden green color (I've done it, it will still taste fine!).



{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Ivy April 15, 2012 at 6:27 am

Vegan dishes are so healthy and although I haven’t tried tofu the dish sounds delicious. Thanks for your comment about kafkalithres and myronia. I google searched it as well and found the article which you mention and I have linked it to a recent post of mine, using these ingredients again.
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Laurie Arndt April 16, 2012 at 4:59 am

oh this looks good, both the tofu and the stir fry. i am going to try this when i am healed from my surgery


mary April 17, 2012 at 12:05 am

Thanks, Laurie. Best wishes for a speedy recovery!


the wicked noodle April 17, 2012 at 12:46 pm

YUM! This sauce sounds amazing!
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mary April 17, 2012 at 1:48 pm

Thank you, Kristy! It is quite good if I do say so myself.


Theresa February 11, 2013 at 5:05 pm

This looks awesome, I am adding this to my must make recipes for next week!
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mary February 11, 2013 at 5:53 pm

Thanks, Theresa!


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