Holiday meals in Asia are a polyglot of flavours and colours. Veggies and fruit are often thrown together to offset heavier dishes such as curries or noodles dishes.

Instead of holding to traditional sides for your turkey, ham or roast, try out this Asian Slaw, courtesy of The Working Parents Cookbook (Chronicle Books) and the even more adventurous Cucumber and Pineapple Salad (adapted from A Cook's Guide to Asian Vegetables by Wendy Hutton).

ASIAN SLAW

Mix together in a bowl:
  • 1 head green cabbage, thinly sliced and crosscut
  • 1 cucumber, peeled and cut into thin strips
  • 2 carrots, peeled and coarsely grated
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
slow salad


Make the sauce by blending the following ingredients:
  • 2 tbsp tamari or soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • ¼ cup sesame oil
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tbsp of fish sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp grated fresh ginger
  • Pinches of cayenne pepper
  1. Pour the sauce over the vegetables and toss.
  2. Mix in toasted sesame seeds (optional).
  3. Garnish with fresh cilantro.
Serves 6.

CUCUMBER AND PINEAPPLE SALAD
  • 1 large cucumber
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 slices of pineapple, diced (fresh or canned)
pineapple salad


Dressing:
  • 4 tbsp dried prawns, dry-roasted in a wok for 4 minutes
  • 2 red chilis, sliced
  • 1 tsp dried shrimp paste, toasted
  • 1-2 tbsp lime juice
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt.
  1. Put all the ingredients for the dressing in a blender or grinder and make into a paste.
  2. Rake the skin of the cucumber with a fork and rub it with the salt. Rinse under running water, squeeze the cucumber.
  3. Dice the cucumber and place in a bowl with the pineapple. Add the dressing and toss.
Serves 4.

Watch this space for more holiday recipes. By the way, the wonderful food writers at FastFoodOrganics can help you with your festive needs, peruse some of their offerings:
  • Michael Vysokil's Spritz Cookies
  • Champagne Cocktail Recipes from Carries Grovesnor
  • Linda Larsen's Peanut Blossoms
  • Orange Bourbon Sweet Potatoes from Jacqueline Church
  • Devy Stone's Phyllo Pockets
  • Healthy Cooking's Latkes