Japanese Edamame Dip
I have been suffering from a profound lack of kitchen creativity lately. Perhaps it’s the changing of seasons that’s bringing out this ennui, or the long hours that I’ve been clocking at work, but lately the thought of cooking has seemed almost like a….like a chore! Tonight I made a pot of KD for dinner. Seriously. This dip was just an afterthought, in a desperate effort to get vegetables back in my diet so I’ll stay scurvy-free until Thanksgiving. After Thanksgiving, of course, leftover cranberry sauce will be my primary source of vitamin C until the holiday season. At that point, I’m hoping that Screwdrivers and Cape Cods will hold me through in good stead. I don’t like to set my sights too high.
So…this dip. It’s a blatant rip off of something I bought from a Caucasian manned faux-Japanese kiosk in the mall. Yes, really. I’m not kidding. Although I’m not a huge fan of mall food in general (with the exception of Taco Bell, may god have mercy on my soul), this caught me eye….because I thought that I was buying a styrofoam cup full of wasabi for only $1.99. I should have known better. On the plus side, once I realized the error of my ways, the dip itself was really quite delicious. If only I had the foresight to have bought the veggie sticks that went with it (note to self: if it comes with chopped vegetables, it’s probably a dip) then I wouldn’t have had to sit at a filthy mall table scooping dip out with my finger-spoon and wondering why I’m not more vigilant about packing Purell into my purse.
Japanese (or faux-Japanese, as the case may be) edamame dip is full of flavor but not in an overwhelming kind of way. You have bright, pungent green onion and garlic, the slow heat from a touch of wasabi, and the ubiquitous dark and nutty sesame oil. However, these ingredients don’t overpower our delightful sweet and spring-like edamame, which still shines through. I like to think of this as the Asian equivalent of hummus, and I’m fairly certain that I could eat just as much of it before hiding the dirty bowl in the back of the dishwasher and trying to convince Mike that I never made it to begin with. Not that I do that, of course. Just….just thinking out loud again…..
Japanese Edamame Dip
- 1 lb (450 g) frozen shelled edamame
- 1 large clove garlic
- 1 large or 2 small green onions
- 1/2 tsp wasabi powder
- 3 tablespoons light mayonnaise *
- 1 tablespoon mirin
- 1 tsp toasted or dark sesame oil
- 2 tsp fish sauce **
- 3 + tablespoons water
* No, you don’t have to use light mayonnaise. I’m just one of “those people”. And by “those people” I mean “those who do not aspire to one day claim Paula Deen’s empire”. I have no issues with mayonnaise, as long as it’s in moderation, but I just prefer to use the light kind. And yes, I realize that the difference in both fat and calories between regular and light, considering how little is getting consumed, is negligible. But hey, it makes me feel better so please just let me have that.
** If you don’t have fish sauce just leave it out, but be sure to season the dip with salt before you serve it. Fish sauce provides a lot of flavor depth to a dish but also a hearty saline kick that you don’t want to miss.
Heat a medium sized pot of water until it comes to a boil, and salt it as much as if you were making pasta. Dump in your frozen edamame and let the peas boil for 3-5 minutes, or until they’re tender and cooked. You can tell that the edamame is ready when they float up all chubby like and hang out treading water and sipping margaritas at the top of the pot.
Drain the edamame and immediately flush them down into an ice water bath. This both stops the cooking process to keep that vibrant hue, and also cools them down quickly so you’re one step closer to the dip going down your gullet.
Drain the rinsed and cooled edamame and put them into the bowl of your food processor along with all the other ingredients except for the water. Puree the mixture for a minute or two and then gradually add the water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until you’re happy with the consistency. Give your spoon a quick lick and you can always season with a touch more salt if that suits your tastes.
Nice and thick, it will stand up well to crispy cruddite or sesame rice crackers.
This dip also does double duty and any leftovers that you might have will also make a wonderful spread for sandwiches and wraps
Fresh, healthful and deliciously flavorful, just like faux-Japanese food should be!