Whether celebrating with your family or doing a Friendsgiving or early friends’ Christmas, a good potluck dish can steal the show in all the best ways. Let’s be real, a killer side dish is the absolute best.
Ya knows those get-togethers where halfway through everyone is just raving over someone’s side dish? Yup, today we’re going to help you be that person.
Daysha’s poke “nachos”
Before you think “Ew, raw fish nachos,” don’t fret — that “nachos” label is being applied very loosely. No melted jack cheese on fresh raw tuna. That would be sacrilegious, not to mention disgusting.
No, this is just taking poke and giving it a crunchy, satisfying vehicle with which to deliver it from a plate to your mouth!
Daysha has been a part of the Uwajimaya team for five years since coming here from Hawaii. In her recipe, you take wontons, fry them up into crispy chips, and then sprinkle them with your favorite homemade poke.
Frying can sometimes be a bit daunting, but this is quite simple and manageable — you don’t need any fancy deep fryer or anything crazy, just a saucepan that you can fill with just enough oil to fry batches of wontons at a time.
Japanese asparagus salad
This dish is healthy, simple, and very tasty. The asparagus are cut into roughly bite-sized pieces, perfect to peck on. The dressing, meanwhile, is easy to make and takes asparagus from “normally good but kind of bland vegetable” to “practically too delicious to function.”
This dressing takes miso, sake, mirin, and a bit of sugar, and heats it into an incorporated sauce. It’s complex and savory with a hint of sweetness, then a splash of yuzu on top adds a bright fresh flavor to round everything off.
We highly recommend this for a healthy, tasty appetizer.
Fresh pork and shrimp spring rolls
This recipe comes from Taylor Hoang, owner of Pho Cyclo in Seattle. The process is a bit more involved than the first two dishes, but it’s still perfectly doable and worth it when you’re done. Not only that, but it’s fresh-tasting and healthy.
You’ve likely had these kinds of rolls at Vietnamese or other Southeast Asian restaurants. The rice paper wrapper, once rehydrated, is super satisfying to bite into, with a smooth chewy texture. The fillings, meanwhile, are simultaneously refreshing and substantial from the fresh vegetables and herbs along with the hardy shrimp and savory pork.
Alright, back to something you can make with ease!
As a cold dish, this is especially great for the warmer months, but it’s still great year-round too because its flavor and texture profile are so versatile.
The Somen Noodles are super thin wheat noodles that’s satisfying to slurp up. They’re extra refreshing in this dish with all the vegetables of carrot, lettuce, cucumber, and green onions — from there the addition of egg and your choice of meat gives it that filling, tasty protein component; for a salad, this dish kind of has everything.
Lastly is haupia for dessert! It’s a sweet coconut pudding from Hawaii; it’s smooth, sweet, coconut-y… it’s delightful.
The other lovely thing about haupia is how simple it is to make. There are only four ingredients: Coconut milk, water, sugar, and cornstarch. That’s it! Just heat the coconut milk on the stove over a low heat, blend and add the other three ingredients, and continue heating and stirring until the simmering mixture reaches a pudding consistency. The rest of the process is just chilling the haupia in the fridge until it’s cooled.
The texture of haupia is so smooth and oddly addicting, while the flavor is both refreshing and sweet. It means you and your friends may just end up unable to stop eating it.
These are just a handful of recipes we’ve collected at Uwajimaya that work well for sharing with a group. Hopefully you can learn to make them too and experience and share the deliciousness!