Recipes like dipping sauces are so simple that I sometimes feel silly posting them. But then I see things like gyoza dipping sauce for $5 a bottle (or more) when I can make the same amount for under $1, and my blood pressure begins to rise! This is my favorite mix for dipping gyoza, dumplings, wontons, egg rolls, potstickers, etc. It’s simple fast, and oh so happy on my tongue.
Since this recipe is so simple and doesn’t need much explanation, I thought I’d share some of my gardening ideas with you. This year I’m growing 20-25 different varieties of fruits and vegetables in addition to our CSA. If growing my own food works out well this year, we may give up our CSA spot next year to someone who needs it since there’s always a long waiting list.
Gardening season is starting to take off in Washington. We’ve had a LOT of rainy days this spring. Fortunately every week has had at least one sunny day to give us some light and warmth for young seedlings.
One of the big problems I have for gardening is limited sun. First of all, we live in Washington state, just south of Seattle. The amount of sun that actually shines around here is pretty scarce. Secondly, between the houses, trees and fences, all our sun comes in patches in various areas of the yards.
I spent some time studying where the sun shines for how long and planned my garden around that. We have a bunch of cement bricks given to us by a friend that I used to build some raised beds along the fence that gets the most sun. Rather than planting everything in groups, I’m spreading various plants around mixed in together.
For instance, one bed will have two tomato plants in the back with a row of leeks down the middle. On either side of the leeks will be a couple varieties of lettuce, kohlrabi and fennel.
Another bed has some Korean plants I got on whim at the Korean market. I got 4 Korean pepper plants, 4 sesame leaf plants and 1 Korean cucumber plant. I’m excited to see how they do, I’ll put some spinach and cauliflower in that bed as well.
Along the back wall of our house is where we get the most sun. That will be radishes, carrots, turnips, tomatoes, cucumbers, peas and some herbs. Once the new kale I’m growing gets a little bigger, I’ll dig up the kale from last year, which is taller than me and needs to be staked. I’ll plant some herbs in its spot and put the new kale somewhere else in the interest of crop rotation.
In addition to building raised beds (which was an AMAZING arm and back workout), I’ve been building my own trellises and tomato cages. I have some wood in the shed but no electric saw so I’ve been using thin branches from our hazelnut tree that I can just clip off. I don’t know yet how well they’ll hold up but I’m excited by the natural look they give.
I think the first new plant we’ll get to eat is definitely radishes, they grow crazy fast! I’ll be making some radish butter for sure, and I’ll let you know any other exciting ways I play with them. We should have a ton of lettuce soon as well, it’s sprouting up pretty quickly. Saladpalooza!
Of course we also have several perennial herbs left like lavender, oregano, rosemary and the sage below which is just beginning to bloom.
Now, just a quick note on the dipping sauce. The recipe is not exact. Like I always say, use it as a guideline. I never measure (except to test the recipe for you my dear readers). I just do equal amounts of soy sauce and rice vinegar and then dump in everything else to taste.
You might want more sriracha to make it spicier or more sesame oil. Taste as you go and add to taste.
So I’m curious. Are you gardening this year? Where is it in your season? My friends Todd and Diane California are at the end of pea season, while my peas in Washington have just started sprouting!
Soy Dipping SaucePrep time: 2 minutes Cook time: 0 mintues Total time: 2 minutes Yield: 1/2 cup
- 1/4 cup
- 1/4 cup
- 1 tsp – 1 TBS
- 1/8 tsp
- 1/8 tsp
- 1/2 tsp
- Whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl or shake up in a sealed jar. Leftovers can be refrigerated in an air tight container for two weeks.
Approximate cost/serving: To get your sauce as cheap as mine, get your Asian ingredients at an Asian grocery store and get your spices in bulk, either in the bulk spice section of various grocery stores in the amount you want, or the large containers available at bulk stores like Sam’s Club. This cost me 40 cents and serves 6-8 as a sauce. That means just 6-8 cents per serving!
Vegetarian/Gluten Free: This is vegetarian and vegan as well. For gluten free, make sure to use gluten free soy sauce and check the ingredient list on your garlic and onion powders to make sure there’s no bad ingredients.
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