I like Asian-inspired recipes. After Latin and Italian cuisines, I think I excel at Asian recipes. I don't claim to make authentic Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese, Japanese or Korean style meals, but I can make a reasonable facsimile of them. I guess I tend to do a mash-up of Vietnamese/Chinese/Japanese style cooking. I usually always have on hand two kinds of soy sauce - low sodium and Kecap Vietnamese Sweet Soy; Rice Vinegar or Mirin; Sesame Oil; Hot Chili Sauce; Fish Sauce; A variety of mustard, ranging from Asian to French. I like my condiments, what can I say? They help keep my cooking interesting without adding a lot of fat calories. So when I cooked an All-Asian inspired barbecue for Memorial Day, I realized I need a good appetizer that would be light, easy to make and work well for a hot day. Perspiration is a good inspiration, on a hot day, who wants to heat or grill one more thing? I needed a little starter that works well with either a stir fry or Asian barbecue and a batch of rice crackers. I looked to the condiment cupboard threw together things I thought would work well, and voila, a miso dip that is rich (without being fattening) and has great Unami; it can be used as a filling in an Asian wrap, folded into Asian Chicken Salad, or used as a dip with simple rice crackers or Wheat Thins, the possibilities are endless.
Yes, you really ought to make a trip to the Asian Supermarket)
- 1/4 Cup White Miso Paste
- 1-8 ounce Package Low-Fat Cream Cheese (softened)
- 1/4 Cup Low-Sodium Soy Sauce
- 1 Teaspoon Chili Paste (or more to taste)
- 2 Teaspoons Spicy Brown Mustard or Chinese Mustard (or one take-out packet)
- 1 Tablespoon Honey
- 1 Tablespoon Fresh Lemon or Lime Juice
- 1 Teaspoon Chinese 5 Spice Powder
- 1/4 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- Rice Crackers (such as Kame Wasabi Rice Crackers) and other assorted crackers for serving
- Use a large mixing bowl and beat together the miso paste and the softened cream cheese until well-blended.
- Stir in the soy sauce, chili paste, mustard, honey, lemon or lime juice, Chinese 5 Spice Powder and freshly ground pepper. Blend to fully incorporated all the ingredients until the mixture is smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings, adding more hot sauce, honey, lemon/lime juice and or soy sauce to suit your taste.
- Put the dip into a serving bowl and chill for at least 30 minutes to set and allow the flavors to blend together. Serve cold, with Rice crackers or crackers of choice.
- Dip will work well as a spread in a wrap, or stuffed into a chicken breast, on salmon or tilapia, or as a dressing for an Asian-style chicken salad.
- Makes 2 cups. Refrigerate, tightly covered. Will keep for up to one week.