Saturday, June 18, 2011

Asian-Inspired Menu for 10

I used this menu for a book club I hosted for 10. There was plenty of food! If anything - I noticed that i'd make a bit less rice and a bit more of the Szechuan Chicken - it went fast! So these changes are included below. Also, I had made the egg rolls the night before and thought I could just bake them the day of. WRONG. They weren't bad, but they weren't as good as they are when you same day make and bake. So this change is included, too. :)

Appetizers: Shrimp Eggrolls and Edamame

Sides: Bowl of White rice, Bowl of Brown Rice and Asian Vegetable Stirfry

Main Dishes: Szechuan Chicken and Rice and Spicy Sesame Noodles with Chicken



Makes 10 egg rolls

10 egg roll wrappers
1 bag of cole slaw mix
1 can of mushrooms
1 tbsp garlic, minced
1/4 tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp fresh ginger
1 tablespoon of soy sauce, more to serve
salt and pepper
cooking spray
small bowl of water
1 cup of alfalfa sprouts
1 can of tiny shrimp
Dipping sauce: Soy sauce mixed with rice vinegar

Preheat oven to 375. Put cole slaw in a large microwave-safe bowl, cover, and microwave 3-6 minutes. Chop mushrooms and add to mixing bowl. Add optional fillings. Splash in 1 tbsp soy sauce. Add garlic and fresh ginger, and sprinkle in dried ginger. Now, cole slaw mix should be cooked. Drain it to get out any excess liquid, then combine cole slaw mix with the rest of the ingredients. Place a row of filling in the center of each wrapper. Fold in two of the corners. Put a bit of water on the top edges with your finger. Fold up the bottom, and roll as tightly as you can to the edge. Repeat for the rest of the wrappers, and place the egg rolls on a baking sheet sprayed with non-stick spray or olive oil. Spray the tops of the egg rolls with the oil, too. Bake 15 minutes, then flip the egg rolls over and bake an additional 10-15 minutes. Let cool slightly before serving (this will let the wrappers get a little more crisp too). Serve with soy sauce mixed with rice vinegar. (do NOT make the night before! :))

1 pound edamame
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add edamame and continue boiling until the beans are crisp-tender, about 10 minutes. Start checking for doneness after 7 minutes. When done, run cold water over. Drain well and pat excess moisture off. Sprinkle with kosher salt to taste (start with ½ tsp).

Szechuan Chicken and Rice

22 ounces chicken
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup ketchup
2 1/2 tbsp light soy sauce
4 1/2 tsp cornstarch
2 1/2 tsp honey
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
3/4 teaspoon minced ginger, jarred
1.5 tbsp canola oil
4 1/2 tsp minced garlic, jarred

In a small bowl mix together water, ketchup, soy sauce, cornstarch, honey, crushed red pepper flakes and ginger. Heat oil in a wok over medium heat. Add garlic and stir fry for 30 seconds. Add chicken and toss to coat with oil. Heat for 3-4 minutes. While it’s still a bit pink, pour in sauce. Heat until sauce is thick and bubbly, 3-4 minutes, then reduce heat to simmer and cook until chicken is no longer pink. Serve over white rice.

Spicy Sesame Noodles with Chicken

3 tbsp seasoned rice vinegar
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp canola oil
1 tbsp sesame oil
½ tbsp of Sriracha chili sauce
½ tsp minced garlic
1 tsp minced ginger
8 oz. of spaghetti, cooked per instructions
16 oz. chicken, diced and cooked on nonstick spray with ½ tbsp soy sauce and ½ tsp minced garlic
1 cup red bell pepper, sliced
3-4 green onions, sliced
1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
sesame seeds, for garnish

Combine vinegar, soy sauce, canola oil, sesame oil, Sriracha sauce, garlic and ginger. Mix well and set aside for 30 minutes to allow flavors to mingle. Cook spaghetti per instructions. Cook chicken per instructions above until no longer pink. Drain noodles and return to pan along with now-cooked chicken, bell peppers, green onions and the sauce; toss until noodles, chicken and vegetables are evenly coated with sauce. Remove from stove then add the basil and cilantro and toss to combine. Serve immediately with sesame seeds for garnish.

Easy Asian Vegetable Stirfry

1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp water
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp fresh ginger, minced
3 tbsp nonfat chicken broth
3 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
1 tbsp cornstarch
2 bags frozen Asian vegetables

In a large skillet or wok, combine oil, water garlic and ginger. Cook on medium heat for 1 minute. Add stir fry and cook for 4-5 minutes until vegetables are cooked. Whisk together broth, soy sauce and cornstarch; add to vegetable mixture and stir fry for two minutes.

White Rice and Brown Rice

2-3 cups of each, microwavable
2-3 cups of water

Cook per package instructions.


Weekend Before
  1. Make grocery list and buy all ingredients you need.
  2. Make sure you have plenty of plates, napkins, silverware, etc. - especially if you're using paper products
Day Before
  1. Mix sauce for spicy sesame noodles with chicken
  2. Make sauce for Szechuan chicken and rice
  3. Slice green onions, red bell pepper and cilantro
  4. Measure out microwavable white rice and brown rice (2-3 cups of each); get bowls ready
  5. Defrost chicken and Asian vegetables.
  6. Make eggroll mixture and store in container (do not roll egg rolls)
  7. Get out all serving dishes you plan to use, and place on counter how you want them displayed
  8. Make sure dishwasher is empty (especially if you're not using paper products)
Day Of
  1. Remove egg roll mixture from refrigerator. Preheat oven to 375; roll egg rolls and coat them in canola oil; cook eggrolls for 15 minutes; then flip for another 10 – 15 minutes. Mix dipping sauce (soy sauce + rice vinegar)
  2. Dice chicken.
  3. Set pot of water to boil and boil edamame for 10 minutes (15 minutes total). Run cold water over them and then sprinkle with kosher salt.
  4. Cook white rice in microwave for 8 minutes and 30 seconds. Leave wrap on.
  5. Cook brown rice in microwave for 8 minutes and 30 seconds. Leave wrap on.
  6. Cook chicken for spicy sesame noodles. Remove from heat.
  7. Cook noodles on stove. Drain.
  8. Make Szechuan chicken; add to server; cover with foil
  9. Make Spicy sesame noodles; add to server; cover with foil
  10. Make vegetables; add to server; cover with foil
  11. Add egg rolls to server; cover with foil
  12. Once everyone starts arriving, remove foil and serve.

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