how to thicken salad dressing?

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That's a fair point, but the original idea was to make a no-oil dressing. If you want to use oil, emulsification is no big deal.
Many (most?) Asian dressings use no oil, they often use sugar instead. No thickening needed. That is just one example, Koukouvagia just shared a couple other great examples with yogurt, or mustard, or avocado puree.
 
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It would be nice to have a recipe for a nice, clingy vinaigrette that uses no oil, but with some added thickener. Take your pick. It actually takes a lot of corn syrup to thicken liquid. 2:1 vinegar:cornsyrup isn't that great, cling-wise.

It would be really helpful for someone with some expertise in thickening with maltodextrin or xantan to weigh in here. As to thickening liquid, rather than solidifying it (e.g. pudding).

In my experience, that's not true that Asian dressings just use sugar. Virtually all use sesame oil.
 
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I would still prefer to use tasty ingredients such as yogurt or mashed up avocado or mustard.
I have no problem with tasty ingredients, but I don't see why those tasty ingredients need to be the thickener. The range of possible tastes is VASTLY larger if they don't need to be responsible for thickening.
 
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In my experience, that's not true that Asian dressings just use sugar. Virtually all use sesame oil.

Wow. To state that "virtually all Asian dressings use sesame oil" is such a broad statement that it can only be wrong. Asia is a vast continent with wildly varied cuisines. You've probably simply googled "Asian dressing" and found recipes authored by westerners trying to make a western style salad dressing (oil-vinegar base) only replacing the ingredients with what they deem to be typical Asian flavors. That's not Asian cuisine.

I have study many of the cuisines in various Asian countries (Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese, Indonesian to name a few) and I can tell you that many of their dressings do not use oil, no sesame oil at all. For example, very typical Vietnamese dressing, Nước chấm, is based on fish sauce, lemon or lime juice and palm sugar.

Good luck with your maltodextrine corn syrup xanthan gum dressing experiences.
 
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I have no problem with tasty ingredients, but I don't see why those tasty ingredients need to be the thickener. The range of possible tastes is VASTLY larger if they don't need to be responsible for thickening.
Range of possible tastes? You’re only proposing hypotheticals here. What kind of dressing are you looking to make besides “thick and clingy?” The typical role of a dressing is to deliver acid. People here are happy to share their knowledge and their recipes but you’re being dismissive.
 
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Range of possible tastes? You’re only proposing hypotheticals here. What kind of dressing are you looking to make besides “thick and clingy?” The typical role of a dressing is to deliver acid. People here are happy to share their knowledge and their recipes but you’re being dismissive.
Dsimissive? I was only asking for advice about the question that I asked. Most of the responses didn't address that question. I know they're just trying to be helpful, and might be to some readers, but it isn't really helping me. As to delivering acid, where did I say I wasn't trying to deliver acid? In short, I'm trying to make vinegar clingy. If I can make water and wine clingy, betcha I can make vinegar clingy.

There doesn't seem to be any real experience here with maltodextrin and xanthan, so I'll go get myself some and play around.
 
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Dsimissive? I was only asking for advice about the question that I asked. Most of the responses didn't address that question. I know they're just trying to be helpful, and might be to some readers, but it isn't really helping me. As to delivering acid, where did I say I wasn't trying to deliver acid? In short, I'm trying to make vinegar clingy. If I can make water and wine clingy, betcha I can make vinegar clingy.

There doesn't seem to be any real experience here with maltodextrin and xanthan, so I'll go get myself some and play around.
Sorry we can't provide the type of help you are seeking. Thickening food with those agents doesn't seem popular for a salad dressing. I did try making this once and it was very good, not thick but can easily be thickened with cornstarch if you want it thick. https://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes...inter-crunch-salad-with-a-mind-blowing-sauce/
 
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Low-fat mayonnaise, mustard and honey can make a good honey mustard, and this could be combined with vinegar for a honey-mustard vinaigrette. it's not fat free or calorie free, but it's still fairly low compared to most salad dressings. I think that's probably going to be your best bet in terms of taste and low cal/fat.

I think any of the starches/gums/etc mentioned would probably throw off the taste of something uncooked like a salad dressing.
 
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Well, sorry to surprise you, but the ingredient list for lo-cal vinaigrette salad dressing OFTEN includes maltodextrin as a thickener. That's a fact. Go look.

So I got some pure maltodextrin and was playing around with it. The stuff is cheap. At a brewer supply store, I got a pound for a few bucks. The issues in my mind were whether it could actually thicken to an oil-like viscosity, and if it added some bad taste. The answer is yes, one can get a very nice oil-like viscosity, but it takes a lot of maltodextrin. Something of order 6:10 maltodextrin:liquid (the credible liquid being vinegar, of course). When you get past 4:10, mere shaking isn't enough to dissolve it. You need to heat the stuff up a bit. 110F seems to do the trick. That won't damage any flavorings. Just pop it in the microwave. No blender necessary. There is virtually no taste. (I did this test with water.) The taste of your salad dressing is pretty much precisely the other ingredients you put in it.

Now, as I said, maltodextrin is often used in making beer to add "mouth feel", which I believe must be viscosity-related. But your average stout will want only 1:100!

Now, it occurs to me that you could, in principle, do this thickening with cornstarch, though you'd need to boil it. You wouldn't want to boil your dressing ingredients, but you COULD boil vinegar with cornstarch to thicken, and THEN add flavorings when cool.

Lots of mythology around here. Hope I helped by providing some facts.
 
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