Dipping Into New Hodo Dips

New Hodo Zesty Lemon Dip that I slathered on an Everything bagel.
New Hodo Zesty Lemon Dip that I slathered on an everything bagel.

Dip into new organic, plant-based, dairy-free, gluten-free, and nut-free dips made by everyone’s favorite organic tofu maker, Oakland’s Hodo.

Yup, no surprise, the new dips are made of soybeans and soy milk, plus flavorings. If you’ve ever whizzed soft or silken tofu in a blender to make salad dressings or your own dips, you get the drift.

I had a chance to try samples of the three new dips: Zesty Lemon Dip, Chili Crisp Dip, and Sambal Sweet Chili Dip.

Store the dips in your refrigerator.
Store the dips in your refrigerator.

The dips look a little like hummus, with a slightly thick, semi-smooth texture.

The Zesty Lemon (made with roasted garlic, lemon juice, and lemon zest powder) has the buttery bite of garlic and a nice citrus brightness. It’s probably the most versatile of the three flavors, lending itself to a crudite platter, slathered on a bagel or sandwich, or drizzled over grilled veggies or a green salad. Of the three, it has the most noticeable “beany” aftertaste, so tofu haters might not take to it readily.

Chili Crisp Dip.
Chili Crisp Dip.

The Chili Crisp (with shallots, chili flakes, Sichuan peppercorns, shiitake mushroom powder, tamari, and smoked paprika) was tamer than I expected. There is a subtle fruity heat and the barest tingling from the Sichuan peppercorns. In fact, I wished there had been more of those peppercorns to give it more oomph. It takes readily to being dolloped on Asian grain bowls, Asian cold noodle salads, and grilled chicken or pork.

The Sambal Sweet Chili (fortified with chili peppers, onions, tomato paste, lime juice and cane sugar) was my favorite. It has enough fire to warm the throat but not singe it, along with a nice tomato-y sweetness for a full, deep taste akin to Thai sweet chili sauce. Dollop it on Korean-style veggie pancakes as I did or serve it with fried spring rolls, fried won tons, roasted potatoes or even smeared on hot dogs and sausages.

The Sambal Sweet Chili jazzing up Korean-style pancakes.
The Sambal Sweet Chili jazzing up Korean-style pancakes.

A 2-tablespoon serving has 60 to 80 calories; 4.5 to 7 grams total fat; and 105 to 190 grams sodium, depending on the variety. The dips have no cholesterol.

Find the 8-ounce tubs at Whole Foods for $5.99.

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