Slaphakskeentjies (South African Onion Salad)

READY IN: 33mins
Recipe by Zurie

This is a very old traditional South African salad recipe. The instructions therefore ask that you adjust the dressing to your taste, as in days of old every cook made it to her own taste and without a recipe. Delicious with all meats, and well suited to winter meals as well. Preparation time includes the rather finicky task of peeling the little onions!! Sit outside, and you won't cry ...!

Top Review by French Tart

OH man, Zurie - this was a BLAST from the past!! We all LOVED these little limp heels......served with appetisers last night - I made this on Saturday so the flavours would merge and mingle - kept it in the fridge as suggested - and then brought them to room temperature about one hour before serving......they ALL went! The dressing does take confidence to make, but I was VERY pleased with the result - I feel there is VERY little room for adjustment here. I used cider apple vinegar and a little white wine vinegar that was left in a bottle. The measurements as listed worked for me - and the seasoning was to our liking. Photos to follow.......I still have them on the camera! Merci ma leetle onion!! FT:-)

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Boil the onions in salted water until just done. They should on no account be too soft or fall apart! Drain and put in a bowl.
  2. Beat the eggs very well, until foamy. Add the mustard powder to the sugar.
  3. Slowly add the sugar to the eggs, and keep beating well until sugar is incorporated.
  4. Add the salt and white pepper.
  5. Add vinegar little by little to the egg-sugar mixture, beat in, and keep tasting until you have a sweet-sour taste.
  6. You can use a double boiler for the last step, but it will take longer to get the dressing to boiling point. Most of us use a small, heavy-bottomed pot.
  7. Put on low heat, enough to bring the mixture to an almost-simmer, but you MUST stir all the time. A whisk for the stirring works well. The dressing might become foamy while being heated, which is normal.
  8. Do not use high heat, but stir until the mixture thickens, then remove from heat and keep stirring until it cools a little: if it cooks, the egg will separate.
  9. The dressing should be approximately the consistency of mayonnaise -- pourable but thick.
  10. *If you are at all worried about the eggs separating, add 1/2 teaspoon cornflour to the sugar/mustard mixture. This might make the dressing slightly thicker, but might prevent the eggs separating. It's still best just to keep an eagle eye on the heat of the pot and the dressing. Normally nothing goes wrong.
  11. Pour the hot dressing over the boiled onions, and let cool. Serve at room temperature, not refrigerated. (Refrigerate the leftovers: it lasts a long time in the fridge).
  12. ** The Afrikaans name, Slaphakskeentjies, literally means "little limp heels". No-one at all has any idea how it originated!

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