Today I am going to write the first instalment from three dips and sauce recipes that have been ‘cooking’ in my head this past few weeks.
The weather has been horrendously hot here out in the East Coast (and the rest of USA), and this really takes out any desire of cooking or eating anything that is hot. Mr. K and I on a daily basis look for vegetables, but we got a bit bored eating them plain like rabbits. While salad remains an interesting option, I felt that it is time to pull out another trick for the table and make some dips for our vegetable sticks.
Bagna Cauda came to mind – let’s make that – but heck, I cannot find any anchovies.
The day is so hot, and I cannot even be bothered driving to Costco to get more anchovies. Surely there is something else I can conjure. Hmm, what to do? What can I make from things readily available in my pantry?
I opened the fridge and two things caught my attention – white miso and some umeboshi. My mind travelled to my Japan Summer festivals, where you can get cold cucumber with miso paste on top, or radish sticks with chopped umeboshi (sour plum) on top.
This is it. I should make the dip that Mr. K loves so much that every time I put it on the table he said, “This is my favorite”.
So… here you are, Dear Readers, Tari’s Signature Creamy Miso and Umeboshi Dip for your enjoyment.
Tari’s Signature Creamy Miso + Umeboshi Dip
Tools: small food processor
- 2 Tbsps. white miso*
- 6 Tbsps. mayonnaise
- 3 Tbsps. parsley
- 3 Umeboshi **(Japanese sour plum, available in Japanese/Asian supermarket), stones discarded
- (Optional) 2 Tbsps. Yogurt (for a looser mixture and some added acidity)
- Put all ingredients in a small food processor. Whizz on low for 30 seconds, and another 15 seconds on high until it reaches the consistency you like.
- Serve with vegetable sticks of your choosing. We usually use celery, carrots, cucumber, radish, lettuce, paprika, etc. Really, whatever you have on hand!
*There are several different types of miso. White miso (‘shiro miso’/白みそ) is one of the most commonly found miso in the supermarket, along with the red miso. White miso has the mildest flavour, unlike its red counterpart and doesn’t overpower others. I prefer to get white miso with fish stock already added, you can see the packaging that says ‘dashi iri’/だし入り written. This has a certain ‘umami’ that adds to a wholesome flavour in the dish. For more information concerning miso, please visit this link.
**If you don’t have access to umeboshi, you can replace with 2~3 Tbsps. of vinegar. I would add to it one tbsp at a time, check the flavour and see if the acidity match what you’re looking for. I like my dipping sauce on the sourest level because I am not a big fan of mayonnaise flavour. However the mayonnaise is needed to make the dip creamy, so I like to bury the mayonnaise flavour with a lot of umeboshi or vinegar.