Spring Vegetable Salad with Miso Dressing

This lovely Spring Vegetable Salad with Miso Dressing is from Harumi Kurihara — the Japanese Martha Stewart. She is a superstar in her native Japan, riding the wave of the nation’s current obsession with domesticity. This salad is a celebration of fresh, healthy greens!

Harumi has achieved a cult status rare in the culinary world. Her feverish following includes mostly young women, and represents an interesting trend in Japan. The rapid growth of the country in recent decades funneled record numbers of women into the workforce, and recently there has been a backlash resurgence of interest in the domestic arts and traditions. Harumi is the uber-“shufu”, or housewife, who just happens to be a television host, cookbook author, and entrepreneur. It doesn’t hurt that the woman looks half her age, either. (She’s 65!) Part of her appeal is that she taps into a national fascination with the cuisines of other cultures. It’s fun to read about which Western elements have sparked cult followings of their own in Japan; mayonnaise, Parmesan, and Gorgonzola cheese are among them!

This Spring Vegetable Salad with Miso Dressing clearly illustrates why the Japanese diet is so healthy. The seasonal vegetables are barely cooked, just blanched for a minute in boiling water to take the edge off the crunch and bring out the color. The dressing has no oil whatsoever, just lots of umami flavor. This dish fills your stomach while barely making a dent in your daily calorie count.

I worked with a palette of spring greens, but you can use whatever looks good to you. The veggies should be cut in small uniform sizes both for the appearance of the dish and so that they cook evenly

.I used asparagus, broccoflower, green beans, sugar snap peas and green onions. I only put the green onions in for the last few seconds of  blanching.

Thanks to Harumi I can begin to get a real sense of  why the Japanese rank at the top in terms of longevity and health, and have the lowest obesity rates on the planet. On average they consume far fewer calories per day than Westerners do, eat very little saturated fat, and smaller amounts of meat and sweets. They do this partly by eating lots of vegetables and plain rice which are nutritious and filling but low in calories. Smaller portions with more careful attention to visual interest and aesthetics is key. We Americans could really benefit from adopting some of these habits…after all, it’s only fair that we get something in return for giving the Japanese the gift of mayonnaise!


 ~~~from Everyday Harumi

spring vegetable salad
5 from 1 vote

Spring Vegetable Salad with Miso Dressing

Course Salad
Cuisine American, Asian
Author Sue Moran


  • 3/4 cup 185 mL shiro miso paste (white miso)
  • 1/4 cup 60 mL sake
  • 1/2 cup 125 mL mirin (Japanese rice cooking wine)
  • 3 tbsp 45 mL superfine (instant dissolving) or granulated sugar
  • 2 cups 500 mL each: small cauliflower florets, small broccoli florets
  • 1 cup 250 mL green beans, each cut on diagonal in 3 pieces
  • Shichimi togarashi or pure chili powder.


  • In small saucepan over medium heat, bring miso, sake, mirin and sugar to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Cook 15 minutes, whisking often. Cool. Refrigerate in covered container up to 3 weeks.
  • Bring large saucepan of water to boil over high heat. Add broccoli, cauliflower and beans. Cook 1 minute to blanch. Rinse under cold, running water; drain well. Lightly dry vegetables with clean tea towel.
  • Place in serving bowl. Dress with 1/4 cup (60 mL) miso dressing, or to taste. Sprinkle with shichimi togarashi or chili powder.
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although theviewfromgreatisland.com tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.


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  • Reply
    March 17, 2016 at 9:18 am

    What a beautiful array of various green and colorful salads you have on your blog ! This is wonderful ! Thanks for sharing all this ! 🙂

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    April 9, 2012 at 3:18 am

    I’m always looking for ways to make cooking and eating vegetables more fun and delicious. I’ve bookmarked this great combination to try soon.

  • Reply
    April 7, 2012 at 9:55 pm

    Can I ask where you found broccoflower? Never seen it! This dressing looks tasty.

  • Reply
    April 7, 2012 at 9:35 am

    I feel healthier just looking at this! 🙂

  • Reply
    April 7, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    This looks beautiful and like Victoria said…I feel healthier already. No oil in the dressing…I’ll be making this next week.

  • Reply
    A Trifle Rushed
    April 7, 2012 at 5:47 am

    What a wonderful meal. I’ve never cooked Japanese food, but really should give it a try, it sounds delicious and healthy.

  • Reply
    April 6, 2012 at 9:05 pm

    This is a beauty and I am loving that dressing. Grand posting on someone I need to know more about. And I’ll be back to copy this next week.

  • Reply
    April 7, 2012 at 1:47 am

    What an amazing salad! I just love all the shades of green…and it must taste incredible! Thanks for sharing!!

    And I’m drooling at the previous post…I’ve missed too much yumminess this week~

  • Reply
    April 7, 2012 at 1:31 am

    This is really lovely and it is a perfect recipe to highlight the work that has made her so famous in Japan. I will be trying this sometime next week. It sounds wonderful. I hope you have a great day. Blessings…Mary

  • Reply
    Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen
    April 6, 2012 at 7:34 pm

    What a beautiful salad and so healthy too. Happy Easter weekend.

  • Reply
    Mireya @myhealthyeatinghabits
    April 6, 2012 at 5:25 pm

    Your salad looks so beautiful and fresh! Lovely presentation. I’m going to have to try some of that green cauliflower.

  • Reply
    Susan Lindquist
    April 6, 2012 at 4:53 pm

    Wow, Sue! What a beautiful salad! I bought some miso thinking I’d have time to research and do som posting for the past two women … alas. When I can get out to find fresh asparagus, peas, and cauliflower, I will be making this dish … it’s just a perfect Springtime medley!

  • Reply
    April 6, 2012 at 4:17 pm

    I love miso dressing – definitely going to try this!

  • Reply
    Heather @girlichef.com
    April 6, 2012 at 4:00 pm

    I’ve loved learning a bit about Japanese food over the past couple of weeks…and really want to cook more! This sounds like a wonderful salad/side – definitely adding it to my to-try list. 😀

  • Reply
    Jill~a SaucyCook
    April 6, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    I joined this group three weeks ago and have loved the double dose of Japanese foods. Your salad looks delicious and healthful and I will add it to my list “To Try”.

  • Reply
    April 6, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    Sue, you’ve posted a beautiful salad! I love the colors, the crispness of the veggies and the dressing sounds perfect. Great write up on Harumi and your photos are wonderful!

  • Reply
    the gardener's cottage
    April 6, 2012 at 1:36 pm

    this looks so good to me! you must tell tabitha about this miso dressing as she is looking for a good one. when i was in culinary school, many years ago, one of my instructors was japanese and was the cleanest cook i’ve ever met. by that i mean, he wasted nothing. he told us that at the end of the day in a japanese restaurant there would be barely anything in the trashcans whereas here in the usa our trashcans were full of waste that shouldn’t be there. he had a huge impact in the way i cook, even today.

  • Reply
    Jacquelyn Grandy
    April 6, 2012 at 1:18 pm

    I have started to fall in love with vegetables, I mean really fall in love. I mostly eat them in their raw form or quickly blanched and their flavor is robust. I actually ate a whole head of kale the other day because my kale salad was so good. I mean I was licking the bowl, strange, I know.

    I love this dish because it incorporates so many different vegetable combinations and it uses miso, which I love. You have inspired me to try more of Harumi’s dishes.

  • Reply
    April 6, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    Such a colourful and healthy dish for Spring.

  • Reply
    April 6, 2012 at 12:54 pm

    This looks great. I love just barely steamed vegetables that are still very crisp. I bet we all would love that dressing. This one is going on my list to try soon! Thanks, Sue.

  • Reply
    Tricia @ saving room for dessert
    April 6, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    This recipe is so exciting. The review / information is terrific. I love everything about it! This is so different from any salad I’ve ever made but have always loved steamed vegetables in their purest form. The dressing has my attention too! This just moved to the top of my list of must make soon recipes 🙂 Have a blessed Easter!

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