Kitchn Love Letters

The $7 Costco Find That’s Always in My Fridge

published Oct 7, 2022
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Credit: Trong Nguyen

If I had to eat one salad for the rest of my life on repeat, it’d be Chinese chicken salad. But not just any Chinese chicken salad — it has to have a creamy, sesame-rich dressing that evenly coats every piece of chicken, cabbage, other crunchy veggies, and wonton strips without making it soggy. At restaurants I’m often disappointed in their dressing choice. It’s either too thin and runny or more sweet-and-sour than sweet-and-savory. But at home I’ve got it on lock, thanks to a giant bottle of Kewpie Deep Roasted Sesame Dressing from Costco.

Credit: Alyse Whitney

What’s So Great About Kewpie Deep Roasted Sesame Dressing?

To know Kewpie mayonnaise is to love Kewpie mayonnaise, the slightly sweet, extra eggy, rich and creamy Japanese-style condiment. (And, yes, MSG helps amplify the umami and makes it all the better.) That signature mayo is the base of this dressing, but with a thinner, drizzle-able, dunkable consistency and a punch of roasted sesame flavor. It reminds me of chili crisp in the juxtaposition of crunchy, flavorful bits suspended in the creamy dressing. I was surprised to not see sesame oil or MSG on the ingredient list, but there is brown sugar to balance out the savoriness from soy sauce — and a LOT of sesame seeds. 

I have had dressings similar to this in the Joan’s on Third Chinese chicken salad in Los Angeles and at some Japanese restaurants and hibachi spots that go for sesame rather than ginger dressings for their house salads. I’d even spotted it during many trips to Japanese supermarkets, but didn’t pick some up until Costco put it on a big end-cap display a few years ago. I saw that Kewpie icon and immediately added it to my cart. Sesame oil is my favorite oil and I use it to finish all of my Asian and Asian-inspired cooking at home, so I knew this dressing would be a slam dunk. 

Credit: Alyse Whitney

What’s the Best Way to Use Kewpie Deep Roasted Sesame Dressing?

Fair warning: A dunk is all you need! A little goes a long way with this flavor bomb of a dressing and marinade. I’ve used it to marinate chicken thighs overnight before grilling for rice bowls, and I’ve also just dunked a rotisserie chicken drumstick in it. It’s excellent in any salad; with raw, grilled, or roasted veggies; or on a chilled noodle situation.

One of my latest quick dinners is shredded rotisserie chicken tossed with the dressing, scallions, and thinly sliced snap peas. I pile that salad on toast, scoop it onto crackers, or tuck it into summer rolls with other vegetables. The dressing also works similarly to a miso glaze on salmon or cod, and I bet it would be excellent with steak or pork, too. It can be friends with any protein, vegetable, or carb you want it to mingle with, and will make anything you make taste infinitely better.

Find it in stores: Kewpie Deep Roasted Sesame Dressing, $6.99 for 30 ounces at Costco

What’s your favorite Costco salad dressing? Tell us in the comments below.