Dip from Japan to Greece


The innovative combination of pureed edamame beans, feta, yogurt, and olive oil make a deliciously distinctive dip, a wasabi-pea-green and salty-not-quite-sour dunking medium for rice crackers or vegetables.
Moving house, slow going though it is, means I’ve not cooked a meal in the new kitchen yet. I’m eager to enjoy the miles of counters (even if they are blue) and corresponding upper and lower cupboards. Someone had the bright idea to apply contact paper (a light green speckled 1960’s layer covered with a layer of plain white). The adhesive has dried out around the edges but traps gunk (a technical term for crumbs, dust, and unidentified elements) underneath. A heat gun helps, along with a high tolerance for boredom and sore knees on the lower levels.

So while I submit this relatively healthy snack I’ve brought over to sustain us at the work-new-house, you can enjoy it as an accompaniment to beer, sake, or as an appetizer.
This is a recipe I posted about a couple of years ago, and I posted an article with information about green soybeans in the garden.

Bright Green Edamame Dip
Edamame Dippu
1 ½ cups dip
page 176—Hiroko Shimbo’s book: Japanese Cooking

  • 14 ounces edamame (green soybeans) in their shells
    —about 1 cup of shelled beans—you can buy them frozen already shelled
  • 2 ounces feta cheese
  • 6 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 Tablespoons plain yogurt
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt Add part of the salt and taste: some feta cheese is very salty!
  • a sprinkle of paprika for color

In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the edamame until they are tender, 5 to 6 minutes. Drain them in a colander and fan to speed cooling. Or put them into cold water and shake dry.
Shell the beans, and discard the shells. In a food processor or blender, blend the beans and all the rest of the ingredients to make a creamy paste.
Serve the dip with rice crackers or crudites.


11 thoughts on “Dip from Japan to Greece

  1. Good morning Tess!
    Your crackers have such a lovely silvery lustre I can feel the crunch, the oh so delicious melt on the tongue! I made an edamame dip inspired by an earlier post of yours with your sesame cracker recipe. Those little mouthful were so salt-sweet-addictive. They were truly everything umami. Seeing this post I’ll have to try making these rice crackers for dunking in something so wonderfully green.

    (The idea of dunking just brought back a vivid recollection of camping with friends a few years back. We were sitting under the stars having a last cup of milky coffee before bed and munching on homemade chocolate sugar biscuits. Libby, my friend suggested that as I don’t drink coffee I should dunk my cookies in her mug. It seemed such a generous gesture. No?)

  2. Good evening Carolyn!
    Oh no: I didn’t make these crackers—the sesame cracker recipe you commented about was what got me wanting to make them again. This is the same dip, though.

    With moving books, and paper-lining the library and kitchen shelves, and getting rid of junk collected over 27 years (and should have been discarded rather than ignored), cooking has taken on a lower priority. Don’t be too disappointed that I don’t have a new cracker recipe.

    Great picture, stars and conversation and friends who will let you dunk … :-)

  3. Oh Tess dear you are excused from cooking altogether with this big move on! I am surprised you have time for your blogs but grateful that you do. Don’t forget to look after your back with all the carrying and lifting – Mr Tess too. I would make you a big pot of soup if I could.

  4. You know, Ms. Shimbo was criticized by some people for including this recipe in her The Japanese Kitchen but this dip is too good to be missed. Also another dip made with soybeans: soybean hummus—it’s really a nice dip to make.

    Yes, lifting, carrying, crawling around on the floor cutting shelf paper, back and knees, but the stress is coming from the clearing out this old junk…

    I’ve been craving beans; do you make a good bean soup!! LOL

  5. Yes packing up can be tough on the heart as well as the knees and arms. I helped my mother-in-law pack up a house she had been in for fifty years. In one closet we found a tiny Scout’s uniform with all the badges still to be sewn on…It made her feel guilty but we decided it was probably Markie’s job to sew them on but he just never got to it.

    Beans, beans…I can make smokey baked beans… I’m ashamed to tell you that I don’t really have many beans soups to my name – except minestrone. I can do a pot of lamb and barley or hot and sweet chicken noodle Vietnamese style. Potato and sorrel is another stand by as we have a big clump of sorrel in the vege patch and lots of new potatoes at the moment.

    We had a tremendous hail storm this afternoon enough to bruise the stone fruit I’m afraid. Now it’s gone back to being steamy and hot. Perfect for yoghurt making. I froze some of the starters too as you suggested. The buttermilk is making the best pancakes ever. Sometimes life is good.

    Look after yourself.
    C Xx

    • Yes, packing up is what it is. In many ways, I’d like to just leave everything here and start fresh: like going to stay at a hotel. I always enjoy how simple it is, staying in a hotel where you’ve brought a limited amount of stuff. Of course I’ve never stayed long enough to collect a new bunch of stuff, account for a change of seasons, or develop a new hobby.

      The first time I ever had pho was on a visit to Seattle. Sister-in-law took us to this very plain small brightly lit restaurant where they served only pho. It was amazing. Since then we’ve spoken English with two Vietnamese families sponsored by our church. The wives cooked some very nice meals for us! For a while, there were several Vietnamese restaurants in town which served wonderful noodle soups. mmm

      Think I’ll make some miso soup for lunch at work. Some leftover chicken, tofu, wakame, and udon.

      With your steamy weather you could make some cold buttermilk soup. Either a version with berries or one with cucumber and dill. Or something using your potatoes and sorrel…

      Yesterday was our first snowfall for the season—just fragments of white barely covering the grass.

  6. It continues to storm and steam today. Cold buttermilk soup sounds Scandinavian and therefore cooling merely by virtue of its northernness. Thanks for the suggestion. You have snow on the ground – that sounds so pretty. Is winter very fierce in Michigan?

    • Not so much snow on the ground as a white filigree over the grass and un-raked leaves… Pretty, but not cheerful.

      Winter is fierce in some parts of Michigan. It’s a big state, easily identified on many maps by the mitten shape of the southern part of the state surrounded by the Great Lakes. Michigan is about 600 miles (965 km) long, and about 613 miles (987 km) wide. Not including Isle Royal. The various places I’ve lived in the state, winter can have very fierce snow blizzards, or extreme cold, or just simply long winters: both cold and snowy, dark, and long. In south-east Michigan we don’t usually get lots of snow, and we don’t usually get to extreme cold. It has happened some years though. Always, it is “fierce” here for the perrenial plants: not enough snow to shelter them, but enough cold to kill them off without the snow cover.
      The buttermilk soup is Scandinavian. At least as a Finn descendant I think so. Let me know what you make!

  7. What a beautiful photograph Tess! I can just about imagine the crunch underfoot.

    I haven’t made the buttermilk soup yet but I’ve been using it in dressings for what we call Swedish Summer salad though probably not at all authentic – poached chicken breasts sliced through, hard boiled eggs, dill pickled cucumbers, watercress, boiled new potatoes, blanched runner beans, tomatoes tossed with chive flowers and a slice of buttered rye. Over the chicken and potatoes I spoon the buttermilk dressing.

    1/2 cup buttermilk
    1/4 cup mayonnaisse
    1 tab sweet mustard
    1 tab honey
    salt and freshly ground pepper
    1 tab finely chopped chives

    This is somehow substantial enough for a family dinner but cooling too…

  8. Pingback: Japanese Menu for Six « Tess's Japanese Kitchen

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