Sunday, 23 October 2011

"Rooi Slaphakskeentjies" or Cooked Onion Salad

Rooi Slaphakskeentjies

Hi there!  Remember me?  Yes, I has been months and months since my last post and you probably thought that was the last you would see of me, right?  Wrong!  There are quite a few reasons why I haven't been posting, but the most important one is that it has been just too hot and too humid to get into my kitchen.  Well, it has cooled down sufficiently for me now to get back into my galley kitchen and I've been thinking about what I could do my "come back" post on.

I rode my scooter past a truck by the side of the road, on my way home on Friday afternoon and saw that the old man was selling onions: brown ones, red ones and bright white ones.  I've been wanting to make "rooi slaphakskeentjies" for a while now and the onions from this vendor was almost the right size.  It is a traditional South African cooked onion salad and directly translated means "red loose heels."  I found this really easy to make recipe in Yuppiechef's Spatula Magazine.  By the way, both my cameras have now given up the ghost, so to speak.  So please don't judge these photos too harshly - they where taken with my iPhone camera - not the best quality!

Rooi Slaphakskeentjies or Cooked Onion Salad
About 10 servings


  • 1.5kg pickling onions (or the smallest ones you can find)
  • 1 cup dried sultanas (or seedless raisins)
  • 1 cup white vinegar *
  • 1 cup water
  • 150ml sugar
  • 120g tomato paste (more or less)
  • 50ml oil
  • 2.5ml salt
  • pinch of pepper


  1. Peel the onions and place them in a stainless steel pot.
  2. Add all the other ingredients and give it a good stir.
  3. Put the pot on a low heat and cover it with a lid.
  4. Cook covered for about 1 hour.  Have a little peek under the lid halfway through to make sure that nothing is burning.  Our stoves in Taiwan are HOT, even on the lowest setting!
  5. After the hour, uncover the pot and cook a little longer until the sauce is thick enough to cover the back of a spoon.
  6. Spoon the hot salad into sterilized glass jars and seal immediately.  It should last in a cool, dark place or in your refrigerator for up to 3 months, but you'll probably eat it before then!

Slaphakskeentjies can be eaten hot or cold as accompaniment to braaivleis, the Sunday roast or anything else you can think of.  

*  I was lucky enough to find white wine vinegar, which isn't always readily available in Taiwan.         I'm sure rice vinegar or cider vinegar would also do the trick.


  1. I loooooove this!!! Your pics are perfect!!!

  2. Hi Dotty! Thank you SO much! I'm so happy you said that because iPhone photos are probably not the best way to photograph food. Tastes good though! :)

  3. Ek het 'slaphakskeentjies' geborg in die WAT hierdie jaar. Die woord behoort aan my vir 'n jaar!

    1. What a great word to sponsor! Congratulations Marion! :))

  4. Kan jy glo, ek het dit nog nooit gehad nie ?

    1. Really? Dis vreeslik lekker saam met 'n gebraaide tjoppie. Probeer dit gerus, want dis so maklik pm te maak! :)

  5. My oorlede skoonma het bottels daarvan altyd gemaak en dis heerlik.

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