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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.


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.


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