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Bowl of Sour Cream
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One of the best culinary school techniques I ever learned was how to matchstick (looks just like it sounds) a carrot. Don't worry, I can't do it all that well, but it opened up my eyes to the beauty of a simple garnish. I tried it with potatoes, beets, everything. Then, during a rice practical exam (yes, because culinary school has such a thing), I decided to get really fancy and do it with a sheet or nori — a type of dried seaweed frequently used in Asian cooking. Winner!

You can buy packs of the stuff on Amazon or at your local grocery store. A few packages in, I discovered something else about the nutritious sea vegetable: It tastes great when you add it to dips, too.

Eric Kim, a Senior Editor at The Kitchn, agrees, having just shared a story called "the one ingredient that changed my sour cream dip game forever." You guessed it, it's nori. Kim adds nori to his basic sour cream dip with sour cream, garlic, rice vinegar, sesame oil, and a dash of salt, pepper, and sugar. "This dip is salty, creamy, and umami-rich, makes you want to eat vegetables (which I don't do very often). Though it tastes great with bitter, crunchy vegetables like radishes, radicchio, and endive (sweet carrots and cucumbers are very good, as well), more often than not I eat it with Ruffles potato chips, roast chicken, heck, even fried rice," Kim says of the tasty creation. A pantry staple for millions of people, nori is indeed the easiest route to elevate your sour cream dip from forgettable to memorable.

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In my kitchen adventures, I've also happily chopped up sheets of Nori and added them to infuse flavor into hummus, Greek yogurt dips, and soups. No perfect matchstick required.