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Trader Vic's Javanese Dressing

-----Original Message----- 
From: Nancy 
Sent: Friday, May 06, 2016 4:37 PM
Subject: lost recipe !

Hello !

I just discovered your site !  Hope you can help.

I have been trying to re create Trader Vic's Javanese Salad dressing recipe 
for a long time.  I come close but something is missing !

It would be fun to know the real deal.  It had such a great taste.

Thank you for any help with this !


Hi Nancy,

I had no success finding a recipe or a copycat for this, but I did find a list of the ingredients (except for Trader Vic's secret spice blend) in an article from the 1940s:
"Now Trader Vic is packing a few of his exotic foods for retail stores. Comes his Javanese Salad Dressing, a strange stuff indeed, made of rice and vegetable oil in combination with wine and pineapple vinegars, soya sauce in the mixture, sugar, egg yolks, tomato, Worcestershire, the final touch the herb medley of the Trader's designing. Pour that into an avocado half-shell—the effect is pretty utter. One thing about this dressing is you can't make it better because you can't make it. You haven't what it takes, we mean the ingredients such as rice oil and some of the odd seasoners."

I have copies of three of Trader Vic's cookbooks:

"Trader Vic's Book of Food & Drink"
"Trader Vic's Helluva Man's Cookbook"
"Trader Vic's Pacific Island Cookbook"

That recipe is not in any of them. I did see a rather shaky clue on the web that this recipe might be in "Trader Vic's Book of Mexican Cooking" - 1973. You can buy a used copy of this cookbook for as little as one cent on Amazon. I can't guarantee that the Javanese salad dressing recipe is in there. Trader Vic's bottled this dressing and sold it as a retail product, so I imagine they weren't too quick to give away the recipe.

Let me know if you have any luck finding it or faking it.



Dan sent me a photo of the back label of a bottle of this dressing. Here's a list of the bottle ingredients:

Trader Vic's Javanese Salad Dressing Bottle Ingredients

soybean oil
red wine vinegar
balsamic vinegar
white distilled vinegar
tomato paste
sodium benzoate(preservative)(?)
xanthan gum
lemon peel
natural flavors(?)
anchovy extract(fish)
tamarind extract
citric acid
caramel color(?)

If anyone is brave enough (or foolish enough) to try to make it from this list of ingredients, let me know how it turns out. I have no idea about quatities or what you should use for the ingredients with a (?).

You might have more success with this copycat recipe that I found:

Trader Vic's Javanese Salad Dressing Copycat

1 tsp Garlic
1 tbsp Shallots
3 tbsp Ketchup
1 tbsp Lemon juice
2 tbsp Soy sauce
1/8 tsp Cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp Celery seeds
1 Pepper, Freshly ground(?)
1/3 cup Olive oil
2 tbsp Red wine vinegar

No instructions were given. I've no idea about the "1 Pepper, freshly gound". Surely you don't put a whole, ground bell pepper or chile pepper in it? One ground black peppercorn sounds better, I guess, but then why doesn't it just say "1/4 teaspoon of black pepper or something similar?" If you try it, let me know if it's close.

Hey Phaed:
This is the recipe I use; perhaps it is close to Vic's.       

Timm in Oregon
Javanese Salad Dressing


3 tablespoons Heinz Ketchup with no high fructose corn syrup
2 tablespoons good quality red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice, freshly squeezed
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon celery seeds
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon light olive oil
1 tablespoon shallots, peeled and minced
1 teaspoon garlic, peeled and minced
Black pepper, freshly ground to taste


Measure the ketchup into a bowl. Whisk in the lemon juice, vinegar and soy sauce. 
Add the spices and then slowly whisk in the light olive oil, shallots and garlic. 
Let the salad dressing sit for 1 hour for the flavors to blend. Refrigerate unused 
dressing and return to room temperature before using again. Note: Use the best 
ingredients you can find.

Tomato Butter Using Yellow Pear Tomatoes

-----Original Message----- 
From: Jenny 
Sent: Wednesday, May 04, 2016 9:31 PM
Subject: Tomato butter using pear tomatoes

I found a recipe online last year for an old fashion tomato butter. Using 
yellow pear tomatoes. I've looked for it everywhere and can't find it!!! 
I've seen the ones you have listed and there was only 2 that came close but 
still didn't have the exact one. Here is what I can remember from the 
recipe: it called for honey not sugar. Also had allspice , ginger root, 
cinnamon, whole cloves, and the recipe required you to use a food mill. ( I 
remember this part very well. Because I cussed the entire time I was using 
the food mill. Lol ). The recipe didn't call for lemons or pectin!!  Please 

Hello Jenny,

I had no success at all finding a tomato butter recipe that specifically called for yellow pear tomatoes and the ingredients you list. The closest recipe that I was able to find called for simply "yellow tomatoes", but it had no cloves and called for both honey and sugar. See: Chickens in the Road

I'll post this for reader input.

Sites and pages do vanish from the Internet from time to time. I might still be able to find it if you can recall the name of the website where you found it.


From: Anny
Sent: Monday, June 13, 2016 12:47 PM
Subject: Tomato Butter using Pear Tomatoes - 5/4/16 request
Hello again Phaed, 

Could this be the recipe this reader is looking for?  It's from the Ball Canning cookbook: Plant to Eat


Hi Anny,

Well your recipe doesn’t call for yellow “pear” tomatoes, and it has some sugar, whereas she said "it called for honey not sugar". I sent it to her anyway, so we’ll see.


Cole Farms Coleslaw Dressing

From: Karen
Sent: Wednesday, May 11, 2016 10:40 AM
Subject: Cole farms cole slaw dressing

Dear Phaedrus, 
I used to buy Cole Farms cole slaw dressing all the time, but my store no longer carries it.  
I have searched all the stores in my area and no one has it.

Is there any chance you can come up with a recipe for it so that I can make it!  
If you can, it would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you,


Hi Karen,

I did a thorough search for this in 2015, and I posted the request for reader assistance. It’s been a year, and I have had no reader responses. I did a new search today and again had no success. There are several requests on message boards for this recipe, but no one appears to have had any luck.

Cain Foods made the commercial version, but appears to have discontinued it. You can still buy the dressing in the Cole Farms restaurant in Gray, Maine, and if you buy it there, it’s made on the premises.

The label ingredients are fairly simple:

Cole Farms Cole Slaw Dressing ingredients:
Sugar, Soybean Oil, Cider Vinegar, White Vinegar, Water, Salt, Garlic, and, Turmeric - See at: Food facts
No spices, unknown ingredients, artificial flavors, or anything else listed.

If you live too far away from the restaurant to make the trip, perhaps your best bet is to experiment with those ingredients until you get a dressing that tastes right. To get you started, try the below creation of my own. This a small quantity recipe, so you can experiment without wasting much in the way of ingredients before you get it right.

Coleslaw Dressing

3 tbsp. salad oil (The Cole Farms label says “soybean oil”)
1/4 tsp. turmeric (adjust to taste)
2 tsp. sugar (adjust to taste)
Dash pepper (optional)
1 1/2 tbsp. cider vinegar 
1 1/2 tbsp. white vinegar 
Dash salt
1/4 tsp. garlic powder


Once you have it just right, you can double or triple the quantities to make a larger amount of dressing.


Subject: Cole Farms Old - Fashion Cole Slaw Dressing
From: Michele 
Date: 8/28/2018 12:32 AM
To: ""

Dear Phaedrus, 

A lady by the name of Karen wrote to you May 2016 asking for the recipe 
for Coles Old-Fashioned Cole Slaw Dressing, and you gave her a recipe based 
on the ingredients the bottle of dressing had on it.

I just wanted to say Yes! You were right on point. I as well bought only 
this cole Slaw Dressing and loved it. It has so much flavor, you can just 
put it on cabbage alone and it's great, even with no other seasonings on it 
or you can even leave out the carrots if you want and the flavor is out of 
this world. I always bought 2 glass bottles of it at a time because I was 
afraid the grocery store would stop selling it. So, also saved one empty 
bottle of it just in case I had to search for it on the internet. Amazon 
doesn't have it. But I took a photo of the bottle and copied the 
SKU #  0 48727 00020 0     down. 
On the bottle it also says Cain's Foods L.P. Ayer, MA. 01432.
I still have that glass bottle it came in.?? And came across your website 
and Karen's letter today as I tried to search for this coleslaw Dressing one 
more time. It Always happens, when you find a great product and then the  
company discontinues it.

Another great buy was from the company of Progresso that had a great Garlic 
RedWine Vinegar and it was amazing, especially with Extra Virgin Olive Oil. 
Then they discontinued it. I had to try and make my own with that discontinued 
product as well. And I did the same back then, saved the bottle and SKU# with 
no luck in my search. Only to find the end result that Progresso disconnected 
it. I can't imagine why. I Loved it.

Thanks for your letter Karen, it's nice to hear someone else loved that Cole 
Slaw  product. And thank you Phaedus for your part in this research as well. 
You brought it all together again with the recipe you posted . I  too will 
play around with the ingredient amounts. The Cole slaw bottle did say for 
Calories it was 120  for 2 Tablespoons and 8 servings per this container. 
Maybe this can help narrow down the measurements some.

Thanks again for bringing this back to my list of favorite products to use. 
(Some of these good one's you just have to save, like the flavor of a best 
recipe) Especially around Holiday's or when company comes over.


Hi Michele, When you said that the Cole's jar said "Cain's Foods", that caused me to pause and to ponder, because even though they no longer make Cole's Old Fashioned Cole Slaw Dressing, Cain's is still active and they still make three kinds of Coleslaw dressing: "Creamy", "Classic", and "K-Style." I don't think you will find these for sale in the grocery. Cain's appears to sell them only as Food Service items, in one gallon containers. If Cain's made Cole's dressing on contract, then one of Cain's own coleslaw dressings might be very similar to it. Granted, it's a slim chance, and I could not say the best way to follow it up. I doubt that Cain's would give out a recipe for Cole's dressing, but if someone were highly motivated to locate a dressing similar to Cole's, then locating and purchasing these Cain's dressings might be one avenue of investigation. Of course, you might end up with three gallons of coleslaw dressing that are not what you wanted. See: Cain's Foods


Roundeye Supply


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