Japanese Style Houmous (For Emily)

If you think giving someone a jar of homemade houmous as a birthday present is slightly odd then you perhaps wouldn’t do well as my friend. As that is exactly what I gave my  lovely friend Emily last year. As keen a foodie as me, she had always raved about my houmous and when I decided to invent a new flavour, I thought she might like to try it. Having spent many happy lunches merrily inhaling sushi together I knew she would appreciate the new flavour combination, and thus she was bestowed a large jar of my new creation. Wonderful friend that she is, she thanked me warmly, and if it seemed to her a bizarre thing to receive then she certainly didn’t show it.

I’m aware that this recipe may be considered sacrilege to some, but I couldn’t resist combining the smooth, garlicky taste of houmous with some of my favourite Japanese flavours. I tell myself that it isn’t too much of a leap, seeing as regular houmous uses tahini, and here I am just replacing it with pure sesame oil.. Besides you can now buy all manner of different flavoured houmous so why not throw another version out there! The flavour combination works surprisingly well. I say surprisingly as I just kind of threw it all in and hoped for the best (some of my best … and worst food inventions happen this way). I generally find chickpeas to be such a bland substance on their own and so in this they act as the perfect carrier to the bold flavours of the sesame and soy sauce.

In my previous houmous recipe I recommend that to achieve the smoothest texture you could peel your chickpeas. Ha! Just try to get me to peel a chickpea these days – Not a chance!! It does give you an insanely smooth finish, so if you’re obsessed with it being silky, like I was before, then by all means peel away. But if you’re not overflowing with free time, and frankly who is, then just chuck them all in and blend for a bit longer.

I ate this whole plate with the very thin slices of beetroot pictured, which was a lovely crunchy vehicle for the houmous. But let’s be honest, it also just tastes really great with crisps, if you happen to have some lurking around. I never do, as if they’re in my house then they get eaten instantly.

I hope you like this recipe – let me know in the comments if you give it a try!

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Japanese Style Houmous

Makes: A large bowl

Prep time: 20 mins


  • 400g can of chickpeas, drained
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce (or tamari for gluten free)
  • 1 tsp flaky sea salt (halve if using fine salt)
  • Sesame seeds, to garnish


  1. Add all ingredients, aside from the sesame seeds to the bowl of a food processor or blender.
  2. Process into a smooth paste, stopping to scrape down the edges as needed. If your mixture is very thick and not becoming smooth you can add a tablespoon or two of water to help it blend.
  3. Spoon into a bowl or a plate and top with sesame seeds, and some fresh herbs if you like, chives work well.

Houmous will keep for 3 days in the fridge, in a sealed container.

3 thoughts on “Japanese Style Houmous (For Emily)

  1. Visually appealing and beautiful! I’m from India and we don’t a lot of ingredients (mentioned) that are sold here but if I had the access, I would’ve definitely made it.


  2. Looks beautiful! Apart from the recipe, the visuals are very eye catching. I’ll definitely try it, thank you so much for posting.


  3. Good afternoon and thanks for this nice recipe that certainly conforms to the helthy Japanese credo of “wholesome food.” Un baccione.
    Happy Thanksgiving if you’re in the USA and if not Happy Holidays.


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