Once you have tried several Chinese recipes, you should be confident inviting your family and friends over to testify what you have been up to in the past few weeks. The best way to go around this is to invite them to your home, and prepare Chinese party food. Nonetheless, a quick guide on a complete Chinese party food won’t be the worst idea in the world. But first, you should understand the following:
- The meal plan is sufficient for a group of 4-8 people
- You can prepare the foods ahead of time, such that by the time they arrive, your focus will be on warming the food.
- The party recipe is relatively easy, and is themed, Chinese takeout at home.
The meal plan for the Chinese party foods will consist mostly of foods you have prepared in the past. The main meal is the infamous orange chicken. It will be served with fried rice, with a side dish of egg soup. Additionally, there will be a serving of vegetable dish with the main meal. For the appetizer, spring rolls are an excellent choice. The meal will be finished with almond cookies prepared with butter, and shaped into fortune cookies.
Planning for The Party
4 persons serving: The meal plan will suffice with the potential for leftovers
6 persons serving: For the meal to be sufficient, double the portion of orange chicken and egg drop soup.
8 persons recipes: Use the meal plan for 6 people, though double the fried rice for it to be sufficient.
However, if you feel that including the cookies is much of a hustle, you can substitute it with an assortment of fresh fruit as a desert course.
Appetizer: Crispy Shrimp Spring Rolls
The Cheesy shrimp rolls are much easier to prepare as compared to the original recipe since they do not require pre-cooking of the fillings or deep frying, like in the conventional spring rolls. You can prepare the wrappings and stuff the fillings a day prior to the D-day, without baking. On the actual party day, all you will need to do is to reheat the rolls by placing them in the oven, and they will retain their crispy feel even when they will finally be served.
Main Dish: Orange Chicken
Ideally, the main dish should be prepared on the day of the party, while hot, crispy and fresh. Nonetheless, those who still opt to prepare the meal ahead of time can still do so.
It is noteworthy that the best way to go about preparing the main dish is to prepare everything in advance, and then stir fry the food right before you serve to your guests. These preparations may include:
- Chopping the aromatics and keeping them in a small container
- Marinating the chicken. Do not add the cornstarch yet
- Preparing the sauce and storing it in small jars
- Then right before the meal tine, you will have an easy time getting it ready.
Alternatively, if you don’t want the stress that comes with the last-minute rush of preparing the meal while at the same time entertaining the guests, you can choose to cook in advance. That can be done by preparing the sauce, and cooking the chicken separately, ahead of time. When it finally gets to the serving time, you can then reheat the chicken in an oven for 10-15 minutes, at temperatures of about 176 degrees, while simultaneously reheating the sauce in the microwave. You can then serve by tossing them in a bowl.
Side Dish 1: Beef Fried Rice
The dish should be cooked a day before the guests arrive. Prepare the dish, pack it in a container and store it in the fridge. When serving the other meals, you will then reheat the meal in a microwave. If you had any leftovers from the recipe you followed while cooking the main meal, you can add to the dish, especially deli roast beef. Also, you can try out with the rotisserie chicken to give it a hint of chicken flavor.
What you should expect: Beef fried rice has an assortment of flavors that you cannot find in the usual Chinese fried rice takeout.
Side Dish 2: Roast Asparagus
Just like the beef fried rice, Asparagus can be roasted a day before, and once it cools, you can store it in a container in the fridge. On the D-day, you can reheat the meal, preferably in an oven, though a microwave can do just perfectly fine.
Soup: Egg Drop Soup
For the soup, there is no trick of preparing it a day before the guests arrive. That is because the corn starch used in thickening the soup loses its potency when refrigerated. As a result, the soup may become watery during re heating.
Nonetheless, that should not be a cause of alarm, since preparation of soup requires at most 10 minutes.
However, if you still have a nagging feeling that you may be pressed for time, you can prepare the soup a day before. Note that, reheating should be done on a stovetop. Also, you should expect that it will thin out while you are heating, therefore, you can prepare another cornstarch slurry and add to the soup again.
Dessert: Almond Crescent Cookies
Almond cookies are one of the best desserts there is. Part of the reason is the ease in preparing it, without forgetting to mention how delicious the cookies are. The downside is that you may have been worn out from all the meal preparation and cooking. If that it the case, you can choose to go with an assortment of chopped fruits for your dessert. Alternatively, you can also purchase a ready-made dessert of your preference.
Cook’s Final Words
Preparing decent Chinese party foods, as a multi-course meal for your friends is not an easy task. However, with proper planning, you can pull it off. The upside is that all your guests will be satisfied to their fill and leave in delight.
Also, it is important to note that the meal plan is not rigid, you can tweak the ingredients to suit your preference.