Simple Dipping Sauce for Artichokes


Here’s a suggestion for an easy dipping sauce to enjoy with your artichoke. Years ago, a chef friend remarked that soy sauce and butter was one of his favorite flavor combinations. That comment inspired me to add soy sauce to my earlier dip that I made for artichokes: melted butter with fresh lemon juice. I really love the addition of soy sauce; it adds an umami element to the sauce. Umami has been identified as the fifth basic taste along with sweet, sour, salty, and bitter. Umami is a subtle taste best described as a pleasant and savory. Many people have trouble identifying it alone because of its subtlety, but the effect of umami is to round out the flavors in foods. I think you’ll understand and agree with that description of umami when you taste this sauce.

Butter, Soy, & Lemon

The proportions I like for this three-part sauce are one part fresh lemon juice, one part soy sauce, and one part melted butter. Play around with it and adjust it to your taste. MM and David, for instance, like one part lemon, one part soy sauce, and two parts butter.

When you dip your artichoke into your sauce make sure to stir the sauce well with the leaf; otherwise you’ll miss out on the balance of flavors. You may get too much butter on your first leaves and then, just when you get to the heart of the choke, the end of the sauce will be quite acidic from a larger than desired proportion of lemon juice.

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