smoked salmon wasabi dip

smoked salmon wasabi dip

Every 15 months or so I get the itch. The desire to hop on a plane, fly to New York, and head straight to 80th and Broadway. Zabar’s, the 90 year grocery haven, is my favorite place on Earth. I walk in and I feel at home. The grocery store is fabulous, smelling of olives and fresh baked bread, but the deli counter next door is where it’s at.

smoked salmon wasabi dip

at the zabar’s counter

The hole-in-the-wall deli counter has a single long communal table with one counter where you place your order. Lining up for the counter, you’re sandwiched between folks sitting at the communal table and a refrigerator filled with drinks and sandwiches. A humble bagel sandwich, filled with cream cheese and smoked salmon, graces the fridge but it’s easy to overlook. That simple sandwich has the perfect ratio of cream cheese to salmon squeezed between a cold, soft bagel. Those unassuming bagel sandwiches are one of my favorite things to eat in NYC and no trip is complete with my visit to Zabar’s.

This smoked salmon wasabi dip is my ode to Zabar’s lox bagels and my favorite way to indulge my smoked fish craving when I’m at home on the West Coast.

balance is everything

To balance the flavors of the salty smoked salmon, I use a combination of cream cheese and sour cream. The ratios have been carefully tested to ensure plenty of flavor without an overly salty bite. A squeeze of fresh lemon juice and dill elevate the simplicity of the dip, while wasabi powder adds a horseradish punch.

I love to serve this smoked salmon wasabi dip with leaves of fresh endive, colorful radishes, or tender baby carrots. It also works well with woven wheat crackers, pita crackers, or smeared onto bagels.

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as my taste testers do! If you’re craving more New York City inspired fare, try one of these recipe below:

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smoked salmon wasabi dip

smoked salmon wasabi dip

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  • Author: Sepideh Esmaili Campos


  • 1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened at room temperature 
  • ½ cup sour cream 
  • Juice of 1 lemon 
  • 2 teaspoons dried wasabi powder
  • 8 ounces smoked salmon, finely chopped 
  • 2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped 


  1. Place the cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment in place. 
  2. Whip on medium speed until the cream cheese is softened. 
  3. Add the sour cream, lemon juice, and wasabi powder to the bowl. Whip until completely combined. 
  4. Add the finely chopped salmon and dill to the bowl. Mix until combined. 
  5. Transfer the dip to a glass bowl, cover and chill for at least 1 hour and up to 5 days. 
  6. Serve with crudités or crackers or smear over bagels. 
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