Saturday, May 18, 2013

Vipassana Sunflower Soy Dressing

I was recently fortunate to visit the North California Vipassana Center again and help a bit in the kitchen. While there I made sure to get the recipe for the famous Sunflower Soy salad dressing which I've named years ago "Sunflower Crack". It's funny how so many students that undergo the retreat remember the salad dressing of all things as one of the highlights. To put in perspective: the other type of dressing they serve is a pretty yummy Italian Dressing, but the instructions in the kitchen are to prepare FOUR TIME more of the sunflower soy than the Italian because it is so popular. I've only seen one other website out there that shared the recipe, but the quantities were all wrong and it came out super salty. Here is the original and correct one:

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: N/A
Yields: 8 cups

  • 1 1/2 cups sunflower seeds
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 3 cups canola oil (non-GMO)
  • 1 cup cold water + 1 after blending
  1. Combine all (except last cup of water). 
  2. Run in blender (Vitamix works best) until there are no traces of seeds, but don't over blend as it will get syrup-y.
  3. Pour into container and whisk in the last cup of water.
For gluten-free option try substituting the soy sauce with tamari sauce and/or Bragg's aminos. If you're not into canola oil then go with another type of gentle flavor oil. Olive oil is probably not the most ideal for this dressing.


  1. Hello!
    I just returned from my very first 10-day course and loved the food. Absolutely loved it. I overheard a server tell one of the sitters that all of the recipes are available online. I scanned the website but could find nothing bout recipes or a cookbook. Are you able to point me in the direction of a place where I can find some of the recipes? I'm particularly interested in the Indian Pickled Vegetables. Yum

    1. I am not aware of any website that has a definitive list of recipes. As far as I know each center has some degree of freedom when it comes to the food, as long as it is within certain guidelines. For example, I've sat in 3 courses since 2001 and never had pickled vegetables... My advice to you - sign up for service at your center! You will not only get the benefits of the service but also access to the recipe book.
      All the best to you! Keep the practice going!


    3. Thanks Jacque! So nice of the Montana Center to share their recipes. It's almost the same as the North California center menu, but there are some differences like serving mac n' cheese on day 6 instead of the noodles in the above.

    4. The link is useless since it requires a password....

    5. The website is intended for old students who completed the 10 day vipassana course. The password is given on the last day of the course at any meditation center around the world.

  2. Yariv, thank you so much for sharing the recipe! I absolutely loved this salad dressing while sitting vippasana in hawaii.

  3. I'm a long-term practitioner and when they redesigned the CVC site they took down the recipes. Glad to see they're up from another VIpassana center.
    My husband (much better at math than I) just reduced the amounts into fourths if you want to make just shy of two cups of the recipe.
    Here it is:
    cups ml
    0.375 88.7205 Sunflower seeds
    0.25 59.147 Apple cider
    0.25 59.147 Soy Sauce
    0.75 177.441 Canola (I used avocado oil)
    0.25 59.147 Cold water + repeat same quantity after blending

    1.875 443.6025 Total volume


    1. Lily, Thank you for sharing this ! Excellent.

  5. The Recipes are posted here:

  6. Thank you Yariv,
    I was just looking for this recipe! I visited Havana Center in 2013 New Year Course.
    Best wishes Yoshimi from Tokyo.

  7. Here is a link to Vipasana recipes.

  8. Thank you!! I think I may have become attached to this sunflower dressing ;)

  9. Thank you!! I suspect I may have become attached to this sunflower dressing ;)

  10. Thank you for posting the recipe! I became addicted to it as well. I made it the other day cutting the recipe in quarter but I think I miscalculated and used too many sunflower seeds as it turned out more white and creamy than the one in the center. It was brown and more liquid there. Question: do you use roasted sunflower seeds or raw?

    1. It's been a long time and I'm not sure. If I have to guess I would say roasted.

  11. Hi! Do you mean the sunflower seed kernels? Or the whole seeds with the husks? Thank you!