I don’t know if you have the Asian-inspired healthy food chain Itsu where you are, but if you do you’ll already know all about their magical green sauce (aka green herb dressing). I am in love with that sauce. For the uninitiated, it’s actually not so much a sauce, more of a salad dressing, but it’s just about the tastiest salad dressing that I’ve ever tasted. Honestly, I would eat twigs if they were slathered in this sauce. It’s herby, limey, zingy, sweet and slightly mysterious tasting too. It’s so popular that my nearest branch has started selling little ‘extra shots’ of it in case the rather sizable pot that comes with your salad isn’t enough (it’s never enough! how could it be enough?!). And if I’m totally honest I often have to restrain myself from bypassing the salad delivery system altogether and eating it straight from the pot.
Unfortunately, my bank statements now read something like this: ITSU ITSU ITSU ITSU and my addiction to green sauce is leaving a sizeable hole in my wallet. But having eaten it about a billion times, this weekend it occurred to me – hey, maybe I could reconstruct this…
My first idea was to see if there was actually a recipe online. Perhaps a fellow green sauce addictee had shared their revelations? Sadly no. Fortunately, Itsu’s website provided some valuable clues:
As with all of our sauces the full recipe is top secret… If you were to try and recreate the fresh herb dressing at home it would take you forever… amongst other things you´d need huge amounts of coriander (like making a good pesto), fresh lime juice and a dash of Thai fish sauce.
I love this statement because it sort of tests your commitment to making green sauce. It whispers: yeah, you want green sauce but it will take you literally forever. You will go grey and wrinkly and die before you succeed at making green sauce..now cast aside that foolish notion and come back to our nice little shop where we’ve made it already, and even put it in handy little pots for you…
To which my internal monologue answered: Yes but I’ve made croissants, and those took three days! I can do forever. Green sauce, bring it on!
So I spent the afternoon experimenting with coriander, lime juice and fish sauce, and a few other flavours I thought I’d identified in the sauce, until suddenly, I got it just right. GREEN SAUCE WAS IN MY KITCHEN! And as it happened, once I’d cracked the recipe, it didn’t take long to make at all. Itsu, you lied… But it’s okay, I forgive you, because you invented green sauce.
Before I unveil my version of green sauce, just a little aside. Last year I bought a nifty Breville hand blender, which I’d been happily using to blend soups and the like… But then today, I noticed that I had only unpacked the top third of the box!
Underneath the packaging was a chopper bowl attachment, which I used to make this sauce. What a revelation! It blended all of my ingredients into the most beautiful emerald sauce, with literally no effort on my part. If you’re going to be making green sauce on a regular basis (which obviously you now are), I’d recommend using something like this. Otherwise, Itsu’s warning may come to haunt you… and nobody wants to get old and wrinkly and die before they get to eat their amazing green sauce now, do they?!
- 1 bunch fresh coriander
- 1 tbsp fish sauce
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp honey
- A 4cm long piece of fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
- Juice of 3 fresh limes
- Use scissors to roughly chop the coriander straight into the bowl of your blender and pulse until very finely chopped.
- Then add all of the remaining ingredients and whizz to form a smooth sauce.