Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easy Recipes for an Asian Fusion Dinner Party

Now that we have a bigger kitchen and an amazing hand-me-down dining room table it's a lot more fun to have friends over for dinner. This weekend we had a few good friends over for a little dinner party with an easy Asian themed menu. I don't like to spend too much time cooking once a party starts so our menu was very simple and easy to prep ahead of time. We rounded out my mango chicken and cabbage salad with pre-made Trader Joe potstickers and lots of sticky white rice from our rice cooker. We served the meal with our favorite drink, the Dark and Stormy, and topped it all off with some partially homemade mini cupcakes. The food turned out great, the Dark and Stormies were happily consumed by all and we had a great time. Here is the menu, the recipes and time-saving tricks to make your own Asian themed dinner party!

-Mango Chicken (recipe posted here)
-Vietnamese style cabbage salad (recipe below)
-Trader Joe's chicken potstickers (cooking tips below)
-White rice (made in our rice cooker)
-Dark and Stormies (recipe below)
-Light white cupcakes with homemade cream cheese frosting (recipe below)

Vietnamese style cabbage salad - makes 6 big servings
-You can make the salad and dressing earlier in the day to save time and just toss them together before serving dinner.

Ingredients/Directions for salad (it's pretty easy)
-1 1/2 green cabbages - chop up into little strips and place in a large bowl
-8 scallions - chop up the green parts into little pieces and place in above bowl
-1 bunch mint leaves - chopped and thrown into above bowl
-1/2 cup crushed peanuts (optional) - Sprinkle them on top of the salad after adding the dressing below.

Ingredients/Directions for the dressing (adapted from recipe on the label of our bottle of fish sauce.)
-1/2 cup asian fish sauce (found in international aisle near soy sauce)
-1/2 cup sugar
-1 cup water
-2 cloves garlic (minced)
-4 tablespoons fresh lime juice

-Mix all the above ingredients well in a bowl until the sugar is dissolved. Toss with salad before serving.

Trader Joe's Potstickers
- Buy 2 bags chicken, veggie or pork frozen pot stickers from T Joes. About 15 minutes before you are serving dinner cook them in a large frying pan or wok per the directions.
-Serve with Trader Joe's gyoza sauce or just some soy sauce.

Dark and Stormy

Ginger Beer (we like Reed's brand)
Dark Rum - like mount gay, Sailor Jerry's or Captain Morgan's
Fresh lime

-Fill a large class with about 1 shot of Rum.
-Add a cup of ginger beer and squeeze in a little fresh lime
-Add an ice cube if necessary and enjoy!
WARNING -- these are really tasty so make sure you buy enough ingredients to make a few rounds!

Lighter Boxed Cupcakes

- 1 box white cake mix
- Egg and water as determined by the cake mix directions
- unsweetened apple sauce

-Follow directions for cake mix but instead of using oil or butter use the apple sauce. i.e. 1/2 cup of oil = 1/2 cup of apple sauce.
-The mix I bought also called for an egg and a cup of water so I put those in and then just subbed the oil for the apple sauce.
-Fill your cupcake tins only half way to make mini cupcakes and just keep an eye on them so you don't burn them.
-The baked cupcakes ended up light and sweet.

Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting - I think I first got this recipe from but I use it for everything! You can freeze leftovers and it lasts for quite a while to use for your next batch!

-1 container Tofutti Cream cheese
-1/2 cup margarine
-2 cups powdered sugar
-1 1/2 tsp lemon juice
-1 tsp vanilla extract

- Combine the cream cheese and margarine.
-Slowly add the powdered sugar, then vanilla and lemon juice.

When the cupcakes are baked through and have cooled off, top with a little bit of frosting.


  1. I've thought a lot about Dark 'n Stormies. Perhaps no drink actually means more to me, except for porchcrawlers. However, I am an absolutist on the type of rum used and while those are all fine rums, I believe that only Captain Morgan's is the type of truly dark rum that makes the drink so good. I reccomend using the Goslings dark rum. I also advocate for flipping the ingredient order and pouring the soda first and then the rum; this way the gingery taste and sweetness of the soda slips in after the rum. --BMAR

  2. Mmmmm porchcrawlers. I feel tipsy just thinking about those. I appreciate your absolutist views on proper dark and stormy construction Bmar. I'm personally a big fan of Mount Gay but I do love Sailor Jerry's packaging sooooo basically I have no loyalty. I'll try the reverse order of pouring next time!

  3. An Asian Fusion Dinner setting? Sounds amazing and delectable. I love this theme and genre oriented meal plans.