I had bought the ingredients to make this quintessential kiwi condiment over a month ago but if I’m honest, I wasn’t too keen on making it. I couldn’t see how three random ingredients could make anything that would actually taste nice.
Kiwi Onion Dip was invented in New Zealand in the early 1960’s by a lady called Rosemary Dempsey who worked at Nestle in one of it’s test kitchens. Apparently, Rosemary would be given a run down of the most unpopular products and tasked with coming up with recipes that would boost sales. As onion soup was bringing up the rear, she started experimenting with that and after combining it with another unloved product, reduced cream, she found that she had made a delicious onion dip.
60 years later, Kiwi Onion Dip is as important to people of New Zealand as rugby or the number 8 wire mentality. I’ll explain that last one in another post…
I have never come across reduced cream in the UK. I was at a barbeque with some of my karate friends at the weekend and asked them what reduced cream was.
“Is it like condensed milk?”, I asked through a mouthful of chicken drumstick.
“Yeah, nah”, said my friend putting down her wine glass. “It’s cream.”
“In a can?”
“So like thickened cream?”
“Sort of.” She picked up her hot dog and took a bite. “It’s got the texture of sour cream but it’s not sour.”
This strange description of the apparently iconic ingredient piqued my curiosity and the next day, I decided to make onion dip.
And I was very glad I did.
To make this dip, you’ll only need 3 ingredients: a tin of reduced cream, a packet of onion soup and either vinegar or lemon juice.
Now you won’t find reduced cream on supermarket shelves in the UK and honestly, there is nothing quite like it. A reasonable substitute would be Nestle’s Carnation Extra Thick Cream. Or you could use sour cream and not add the vinegar or lemon juice.
It’s incredibly simple to make. First, you empty the entire can of cream (230ml) into a bowl.
Then add an entire packet of onion soup.
Ok, bear with me here. I know it doesn’t look like much but I promise you there is true alchemy that happens when you mix these two together and add a tsp of either vinegar or lemon juice. I went with lemon juice.
My son actually wanted to help me make this and given that his presence in the kitchen is so rare, I grabbed the opportunity for some mummy-son time with both hands. Speaking of hands, those are his hands in the photo above.
Then all you have to do is whisk everything together until it becomes homogenous, decorate with something green so that it looks less like a bowl of beige goop and more like something you want to stick a carrot into and…voilà!
I present to you, Kiwi Onion Dip!
It is rich, creamy, oniony and salty. Everything you want in dip and more. We won’t talk about calories here.
That would just ruin everything.
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