How many calories are in Japanese ginger dressing?

Japanese ginger dressing is a tasty condiment that can add flavor to salads, rice bowls, and more. But like many condiments and sauces, ginger dressing can also pack a decent number of calories. So how many calories are actually in Japanese ginger dressing?

What is Japanese Ginger Dressing?

Japanese ginger dressing, also sometimes called ginger salad dressing, is a creamy, tangy dressing often used in Japanese cuisine. It’s made with ingredients like rice vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger, and sometimes other additions like orange juice, garlic, or chili paste.

The dressing has a smooth, thick consistency and a sweet yet slightly spicy flavor from the combination of rice vinegar, ginger, and other ingredients. It makes a flavorful topping for salads, slaws, cooked vegetables, rice bowls, and more in Japanese cooking.

Nutrition Facts for Japanese Ginger Dressing

The number of calories in Japanese ginger dressing can vary widely depending on the specific brand and recipe. But in general, a 2 tablespoon (30ml) serving of Japanese ginger dressing contains roughly:

  • 60-100 calories
  • 3-7g fat
  • 2-7g sugar
  • 300-700mg sodium

So a 2 tablespoon serving ranges from 60-100 calories, with most brands clocking in around 70-80 calories per 2 tbsp serving.

The number of calories comes mainly from oil, like vegetable, sesame, or canola oil. For example, 2 tablespoons of sesame oil has about 120 calories. So the more oil is used in the dressing recipe, the higher the calorie count.

Sugar and honey are also sometimes added to Japanese ginger dressings, contributing to the calorie count as well. A 2 tablespoon serving can have around 2-7 grams of sugars.

Calories in Popular Brands of Japanese Ginger Dressing

Here is the nutrition information for some popular bottled brands of Japanese ginger dressing, per 2 tablespoon serving:

Kikkoman Ginger Dressing

  • 80 calories
  • 7g fat
  • 3g sugar
  • 690mg sodium

Marukan Ginger Dressing

  • 60 calories
  • 5g fat
  • 2g sugar
  • 300mg sodium

Sugimoto Ginger Chocolate Dressing

  • 90 calories
  • 9g fat
  • 6g sugar
  • 480mg sodium

As you can see, Kikkoman’s popular ginger dressing has 80 calories per serving, Marukan’s has 60 calories, and Sugimoto’s chocolate ginger dressing has 90 calories. The calories vary based on the amount of oil, sugar, and other ingredients used.

Ways to Reduce Calories in Ginger Dressing

If you’re looking to lighten up your ginger dressing, here are some tips:

  • Use less oil – Try cutting the oil down by 1/4 or 1/2 in homemade dressings.
  • Use a milder oil – Olive or avocado oils have more monounsaturated fats than sesame or vegetable oils.
  • Increase vinegar – Adding more rice vinegar can add tang without extra calories.
  • Skip the sugar – Leave out sugar or honey to remove those calories.
  • Bulk up with vegetables – Fold in shredded cucumber or carrots to make a lower-calorie creamy dressing.
  • Use yogurt or silken tofu – These dairy and plant-based ingredients can replace some of the oil to lighten dressing.

Making your own lighter ginger dressing at home can help control the ingredients and calories.

How Many Calories in Ginger Dressing Salad?

The number of calories in a ginger dressing salad will depend on the ingredients used in the salad as well as the portion of dressing.

For example, a salad made with:

  • 3 cups mixed greens (20 calories)
  • 1/2 cup cucumber slices (8 calories)
  • 1/2 cup carrot slices (25 calories)
  • 1/4 cup ginger dressing (40 calories based on a 2 tbsp/60 calorie dressing)

Would have approximately 93 calories total.

In general, drizzling 2-3 tablespoons of ginger dressing over a salad made with vegetables and leafy greens will add 40-60 calories to your salad. Using a full 1/4 cup could add over 100 calories.

To lighten up your dressing, stick to about 2 tablespoons per salad. You can also bulk up the salad with more low-calorie fillers like cucumbers, tomatoes, mushrooms, and cabbage to allow for more dressing.

Does Ginger Dressing Help You Lose Weight?

On its own, Japanese ginger dressing is unlikely to help you lose weight. The dressing can pack 60-100 calories into a small 2 tablespoon serving, primarily from oil and sugar. So drizzling on ginger dressing liberally could lead to extra calories and hinder weight loss.

However, ginger and vinegar – two main ingredients in the dressing – do have some properties that may aid weight loss when consumed in moderation as part of an overall healthy diet:

  • Ginger – Compounds in ginger may minimally boost metabolism and suppress appetite, according to some studies.
  • Vinegar – Rice vinegar in the dressing may slightly bump up fat burning, research indicates.

But the overall calorie count and nutrition profile of the dressing matters more. A very small 1 tablespoon (15ml) serving of ginger dressing can provide these potential benefits without racking up excess calories.

To lose weight, focus on reducing overall calorie intake, exercising more, and making healthy food choices. Ginger dressing can be part of a weight loss diet, but consume it in moderation alongside nutritious whole foods.

Healthier Ways to Eat Ginger Dressing

While tasty, ginger dressing is high in calories, sodium, and fat. Here are some healthier ways to work it into your meals:

  • Drizzle sparingly over salads and grain bowls – 1 to 2 tablespoons max.
  • Use as a marinade or stir fry sauce – Mix with chopped garlic, soy sauce, lime.
  • Add a splash to stir fries and roasted vegetables.
  • Mix into brown rice or quinoa for a flavor punch.
  • Blend into reduced fat mayo or Greek yogurt as a veggie dip.
  • Spoon over steamed or pan-seared fish.

Pair ginger dressing with lots of low calorie foods like vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. Avoid pouring it directly over high calorie ingredients like noodles, fatty meats, or fried foods.

Should You Avoid Ginger Dressing?

Most healthy adults don’t need to avoid ginger dressing completely. But the dressing should be consumed in moderation as part of an overall balanced diet.

Some reasons you may want to limit ginger dressing include:

  • High in calories – 2 tablespoons packs 60-100 calories.
  • High in fat – Most versions get over 5 grams of fat per serving.
  • High in sodium – Many brands have 300-700mg sodium per serving.
  • Sugar content – Some recipes add honey or sugar.

If you’re watching your weight, have diabetes, high blood pressure, or other health conditions, excessive ginger dressing could be problematic.

However, ginger dressing can be part of a healthy diet. Here are some tips:

  • Limit to 1-2 tablespoons per serving.
  • Avoid pouring directly over high-calorie foods.
  • Choose lower sodium versions.
  • Make your own light dressing version.
  • Use it to add big flavor without extra calories.

Drizzled sparingly over salads and lean proteins, ginger dressing can add zesty flavor without derailing your healthy diet. But avoid excessive amounts to keep calories under control.

Should You Refrigerate Ginger Dressing?

Yes, it’s best to refrigerate ginger dressing after opening to maintain safety and quality.

Unopened ginger dressing can be stored at room temperature. But once opened, ginger dressing contains perishable ingredients like oils and vinegar that could eventually spoil at room temperature.

Refrigerating opened ginger dressing helps slow the growth of bacteria and mold to keep it fresher longer. It also helps preserve the flavors and prevent a rancid taste from developing.

Here are some ginger dressing storage tips:

  • Refrigerate after opening.
  • Keep for up to 2 months in the fridge.
  • Transfer to a sealed container if not using original bottle.
  • Check for signs of spoilage before using, like mold, smell, or texture changes.
  • Discard if smelling or tasting rancid or sour.

A good practice is to write the opening date on your ginger dressing bottle when you first open it. Then you can refer back to know when it’s time to toss it after 2 months or so.

Properly stored in the fridge, ginger dressing can last for several weeks to retain its signature sweet, gingery flavor.


Japanese ginger dressing makes a tasty, flavorful addition to many dishes. Typically, 2 tablespoons of ginger dressing contains 60-100 calories. The number of calories can vary based on factors like oil and sugar amounts in the recipe. While the ginger and vinegar may provide some minor health benefits, ginger dressing is best consumed in moderation as part of an overall balanced diet. Lighten up your ginger dressing by blending in yogurt or reducing the oil. And be sure to refrigerate opened bottles to retain freshness and prevent spoilage.

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