The Menu: Year of the Dragon Chinese Banquet

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When you see the menu for my Year of the Dragon dinner party, you’ll soon realise why I re-named it a banquet!

Whilst there are a LOT of dishes there, I didn’t make vast quantities of them – just small tasters for everyone! Whenever we get Chinese take-away, we always get several dishes and share them, so this was no different.

Some things I bought – the crispy seaweed came from the local take-away, and the prawn crackers in packets from the local supermarket. The rice cakes came from Chinatown. I am also rubbish at cooking rice, so bought some microwave packs of Uncle Ben’s rice to use. I know, for shame, but I really can’t cook rice!

Everything else was prepared and cooked by yours truly! On the day, however, owing to time and realising I gave myself a little too much to do, I didn’t cook the beef with ginger, sweet and sour pork or the broccoli hoisin. I also completely forgot to cook the rainbow beef and only remembered when my sisters asked which dish that was and I had a facepalm moment!

I did however, cook them the next day for us for dinner, so the ingredients didn’t go to waste and I can still share how I cooked everything.

The way I got myself ready for all this cooking was to prepare everything in advance – from slicing vegetables and meat to preparing sauces to pour over rather than messing about with a tablespoon of this and a teaspoon of that whilst cooking. I also printed off all my recipes and stuck them on the cupboards in my kitchen! As I prepped something, I highlighted it so that I knew it was done. I put all the prepped food into plastic lidded take away containers and wrote on top with a marker pen what each thing was for.

I will warn in advance that my photos are not as extensive as normal, since everything is cooked pretty quickly in Chinese cooking and I just didn’t get the chance. I also have photos from my iPhone as mid way my camera battery ran out and my phone was closest to hand!

The starters were…Char Siu Chicken Wings, Five-Spice Salted Prawns, Pork Pot sticker Dumplings, Rainbow Beef in Lettuce Cups and Chicken and Vegetable Spring Rolls, and of course the shop bought Crispy Seaweed and Prawn Crackers.

The main dishes were… Beef with Ginger, Kung Po Chicken, Chicken Chow Mein, Chicken with Cashews, Beijing Braised Lamb, Beef in Oyster Sauce, Sweet and Sour Pork, Broccoli Hoisin, Chinese Greens, Snowpeas & Chestnuts.

The desserts were… Toffee Banana and Toffee Apple, plus the shop bought Rice Cakes. I also made jugs of jasmine iced tea.

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