I had a yen for a little something something Valentine’s Day afternoon. While the rest of you were focused on chocolate or something pink I was jonesing for the tastes of Japan. One of the most common is sesame in the form of a creamy dressing that appears often on broccoli or a tiny mixed salad. I had some super sweet and crunchy sugar snap peas and a Chinese green harvest radish in the fridge. I’m kind of obsessed with these big green skinned radishes lately. Spicy and crunchy. Whenever I buy a big head of cauliflower I always cut out the core to eat raw. I conveniently had one of those which I cut into slices. So crisp watery crunch dipped into creamy, earthy-nutty sesame. Win! But many recipes for the dressing involved mayonnaise and additional sugar which I really didn’t want. So I decided to riff. Instead of toasting and grinding my own sesame seeds I just pulled out a jar of tahini and spooned a few tablespoons into a small bowl. To cut the fat I added rice vinegar. I only had brown rice vinegar in the house so that’s what I used, but use any kind you have. Then for saltiness I drizzled in some Japanese Shoyu I bought at the fermentation specialist restaurant Kamoshi-do. All it took was the addition of a bit of water to create a creamy texture. It takes five minutes to make. This is going to be my new obsession.
Japanese Creamy Sesame Dip/Dressing
1/4 cup Tahini
2-4 teaspoons brown rice vinegar
1-3 teaspoonz shoyu or to taste
1 to 3 tablespoons Water
Mix together the tahini, rice vinegar and shoyu in small bowl. Adjust flavors to taste. Like it more sour? Add more vinegar. Need a little more salt? Add shoyu. But just add driblets at a time. Once the flavor is balanced to your taste it’s time to adjust the texture from peanut buttery to creamy. To get the texture you want, thicker for a dip, thinner for a dressing add water a teaspoon at a time while stirring with a spoon. Yep. That’s it.
Serve with crunchy vegetables for an addicting and healthy dip.