An Asian Twist To Thanksgiving Side Dishes

If you’re celebrating Thanksgiving this year, why not spice up the family feast with a local twist? A spread of Asian-inspired side dishes transforms this aged-old western tradition into an international food fiesta, packing an array of fresh and bold flavours to complement the classic turkey & stuffing dinner. Below are five recipes to kick-off your very own rendition of an Asian Thanksgiving feast:

Miso Roasted Brussels Sprouts

This delicious recipe from The Foodie Physician will make your kids fall in love with vegetables all over again. Just the thought of succulent salty-sweet vegetable bites makes mi-so hungry – enjoy!


Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 25 mins
Total Time: 35 mins
Servings: 4



1 pound Brussels sprouts1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
2 ½ tablespoons white (shiro) miso paste
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 teaspoon low sodium tamari or soy sauce
½ teaspoon Sriracha or other hot sauce (optional)



1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.

2. Cut off the brown ends of the Brussels sprouts and pull off any yellow outer leaves. Cut them in half lengthwise.

3. Mix the oil, miso paste, maple syrup, vinegar, tamari and Sriracha together in a large bowl. Remove about 1 tablespoon of the sauce and save it to toss with the Brussels sprouts later. Add the Brussels sprouts to the bowl and toss to coat them with the sauce. Transfer the Brussels sprouts to a baking sheet sprayed with olive oil cooking spray and spread them out in a single layer.

4. Roast Brussels sprouts in the oven until caramelized and tender, 20-25 minutes. Stir them once or twice during cooking. Remove the tray from the oven and drizzle the reserved sauce on top. Toss to combine. Serve warm.

Thai Red-Curry Squash Soup

This charming recipe from Joanne Chang of is a zesty rendition of a Thanksgiving’s classic. We know you cannot wait to thai-it for yourself!


Active Time: 1 hr
Total Time: 2 hrs
Servings: 12



4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh ginger, plus 1 cup slivered fresh ginger
2 tablespoons Thai red curry paste
3 pounds kabocha, kuri or buttercup squash—peeled, seeded and cut into 2-inch pieces
5 cups water
2 cans unsweetened coconut milk
2 lime leaves or 1 teaspoon lime zest
1 large stalk of fresh lemongrass, smashed and cut into 2-inch lengths
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
Salt to taste
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 large scallions, thinly sliced



1. In a large, heavy pot, melt the butter. Add the onion and sliced ginger and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened. Add the curry paste and cook, stirring, until fragrant. Add the squash and water and bring to a boil. Cover partially and simmer over low heat until soft, which should take about 25 minutes. Add the coconut milk, lime leaves and lemongrass, cover partially and simmer for 30 minutes longer. Discard the lime leaves and lemongrass when finished.

2. Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender; add it to a clean pot. Stir in the sugar and lime juice and season with salt.

3. In a medium skillet, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the slivered ginger and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until golden brown and crisp, 5 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer the ginger to paper towels to drain.

4. Reheat the soup; ladle it into bowls. Garnish with the fried ginger and scallions and serve.

Crispy Sriracha Honey Lime Tofu

We love this delicious take on tofu by Stephanie Le of I am a Food Blog. Spicy sriracha blends with sweet & sour and honey lime flavours in this simple yet innovative dish. We’re confident this will be a sure hit at your Thanksgiving dinner spread, and remember – one can never be too full for tofu!



1 block tofu (preferably medium, not firm)
1 cup potato starch
Oil for frying
1 1/2 tablespoons sriracha
1 1/2 tablespoons honey
1 1/2 tablespoons lime juice
sliced green onions, for garnish



1. Drain your tofu and cut it into 8 even pieces. Place a couple of paper towels down on a plate or cutting board and lay out your tofu. Place a couple of paper towels on top. They idea is that you’re drying it out slightly – you’re not pressing it, just removing some excess moisture. Pressing removes most of the moisture from tofu, which is NOT what we want here. Leave it a bit moist, this ensures a soft and creamy tofu interior that will contrast with the crunchy potato starch coating.

2. Spread your potato starch out in a shallow dish and coat each piece of tofu, ensuring that there are no bare spots.

3. In a cast iron pan, heat up a bit of oil over medium high heat. You don’t need a bunch of oil here, just maybe about 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons. When the oil is hot and shimmery (you can test it with an uncoated wooden chopstick – when the oil is hot bubbles will form around the chopstick), add the coated pieces of tofu and cook until golden brown and crispy. Time wise, this can vary, but tofu is quite forgiving as it doesn’t brown easily. When one side is brown, flip it over and repeat. Rest tofu on a wire rack (this ensures crispiness) while you make your sauce.

4. In a small saucepan, heat up the sriracha, honey and lime juice over medium high heat until slightly reduced and glossy. Drizzle over the tofu pieces and top with sliced green onions. Enjoy immediately!

Thai Green Mango Salad (Som Tum Mamuang) brings us a refreshing adaptation of this traditional Thai salad, more commonly made using papaya. The favourite fruit of many, mangoes are one of the only fruits that can offer flavour to a dish even in an unripened state!

Servings: 4 – 6



2 tbsp. small dried shrimp
8 red Thai chiles, stemmed, seeded, and julienned
4 cloves garlic, minced
1⁄2 shallot, minced
3 small, green unripe mangoes (about 1 1⁄2 lbs.), peeled and julienned
18 green beans, trimmed and cut into 2″ lengths
14 grape tomatoes, halved
3 tbsp. fish sauce
2 tbsp. fresh lime juice
4 tsp. palm sugar or brown sugar
2 tbsp. roasted unsalted peanuts, chopped



1. Using a mortar and pestle, pound shrimp until coarsely ground; transfer to a small bowl and set aside.

2. Place the chiles, garlic, and shallots in the mortar and pound until bruised. Working in three batches, add mangoes and pound, using a spoon to combine, until softened slightly, 2–3 minutes. Transfer mixture to a large bowl.

3. Add green beans and tomatoes to mortar and lightly pound them to extract juices; stir in fish sauce, lime juice, and sugar. Transfer to bowl with mango mixture. Toss to combine. Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with crushed dried shrimp and peanuts.

Coconut-Scented Sweet Potato Jasmine Rice Stuffed in Butternut Squash Bowls

Squash the competition and get your guests talking about the unique flavour in this inventive dish by Chef Kathy Fang of The Daily Meal.


Servings: 4



2 butternut squash, split in half and hollowed out
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 large sweet potato, cut into small cubes
1/2 cup coconut chips
2 cups dry jasmine rice
3 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup coconut milk
Pecans, toasted and chopped for garnish



1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place butternut squash halves cut side up on baking sheets and season well with olive oil and salt. Roast in the oven until tender about 50 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, in a pan, toast the coconut chips and sweet potato in butter for 2 minutes or until fragrant.

3. Pour sweet potatoes and coconut chips into a pot along with the rice, water, and coconut milk and stir to fully incorporate. Cook in a rice cooker or in a stove pot until rice is al dente. Remove lid and fluff with fork, then taste and season with salt as necessary.

4. Serve the rice in the butternut squash shells and garnish with more coconut chips and pecans.

Ready to start cooking? Gather all the ingredients you’ll need from B.I.G., – our Malaya Kitchen section houses a wide range of products for all things to do with spicing up your cooking. Visit for featured products and for more recipe ideas. For those celebrating, Happy Thanksgiving!


Have you ordered your Thanksgiving Turkey? Have your Thanksgiving the BIG way by pre-ordering a roast turkey, roast lamb with some sides! Pre-order from 15 Nov – 20 Dec 2018! Click on the image below to download the pre-order form today!

Experience a complete grocery adventure through our impressive array of ingredients and gourmet products at Ben’s Independent Grocer today!

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