At Banana Tree, we know that beautiful things can come from celebrating traditionally. It’s why we’ve dedicated ourselves to cooking authentic recipes, employing age-old techniques to make delicious Indochinese food. And it’s why we totally understand your craving for your dad’s famous roast turkey and your mum’s mince pies at Christmastime – the holiday season wouldn’t be the same without the traditions that make you feel at home!
However, the holiday season is also a great time to break the mould. This year, why not incorporate the flavours of Indochina into your Christmas dinner for a fun twist? These Indochinese dishes add a vibrant flair to your festive feast while complementing the traditional foods you already know and love.
Roasted Aubergine with Caramel Sauce
We can’t think of a better side dish for a succulent, savoury roast turkey than aubergine with caramel sauce, and this version is every bit as good as the one you’d find in your favourite Thai restaurant in Battersea. Simply stir together honey, soya sauce, sesame oil, black pepper and minced garlic in a bowl. Cut an aubergine into chunks and place them on a roasting tray, then pour the sauce over and toss so that the aubergine is evenly coated. Roast in a 200°C oven until the aubergine chunks are caramelised around the edges. Serve with lime wedges and fresh coriander.
Broccoli and Cashews
Sometimes the most effortless dishes are also the most delicious – that’s definitely the case with broccoli and cashews. For this side dish, all you need is a bit of oil, cashews, tenderstem broccoli and oyster sauce. Heat the oil and toast the cashews, then set them aside and add the broccoli to the pan. Stir-fry it until it is bright green and crunchy, drizzle in the oyster sauce and some water and cook a bit longer. Stir in the cashews, and you’ve got a show-stopping plate!
Green Salad with Carrot-Ginger Dressing
Nothing brightens up the table like a colourful, fresh salad, and this one is made even more exciting by a zingy dressing with carrot and ginger. To make the dressing, combine one carrot, a knob of fresh ginger, soya sauce, rice vinegar, lemon juice and sesame oil in a blender. Blitz it all up and spoon the dressing over crunchy lettuce, cherry tomatoes and cucumbers for a simple and striking salad.
Want to play around even more? Consider including some Indochinese condiments in your meal. If you like things spicy, try a bit of sriracha with your dinner. If you’re seeking a punch of fresh flavour, make an Indochinese-inspired herb sauce with finely chopped fresh coriander and mint, minced garlic and ginger, lime juice and sesame oil, and spoon it over your favourite Christmas dish.
Of course, certain elements will always be staples on the holiday table: for many people, the turkey, potatoes and gravy are non-negotiable. But when it comes to side dishes and salads, you’ve got room to change things up – and that’s where these ideas come in. Add some Indochinese flavours to your Christmas meal, and start a new tradition in your family!