Monday, 7 January 2008

Chinese dinner for friends

We had some friends over for dinner over the weekend, one of whom was vegetarian. I decided to do a traditional style Chinese dinner since that would allow more flexibility in offering a variety of dishes to suit dietary needs. I also did a chicken pie for one of them the last time so it would be a bit of a change.

A traditional Chinese meal is communal in terms of serving and dining. Instead of everyone having his or her own separate main course in front of him or her, a variety of dishes are laid out in the centre of the table. Everyone has a bowl or plate of rice in front of them and they would help themselves to the dishes in the middle. This sharing of food encapulates the embracing and welcoming nature of Chinese hospitality.

For starter, we had vegetable gyoza (potstickers) with black vinegar and thai sweet chilli dipping sauces.
Vegetable gyoza

The main dishes were green bean omelette;
Green bean omelette

Broccoli and peppers stir fry with garlic and soy sauce;
Broccoli and peppers stir fry with garlic and soy sauce

Silken tofu with shitake mushrooms and spring onion topping;
Silken tofu with shitake mushrooms and spring onion topping

And teriyaki chicken.
Teriyaki chicken thighs

Dessert was distinctively un-Chinese but very chocolatey and delicious - chocolate tart with raspberries:
Chocolate tart with raspberries

All washed downed with a bottle of rosé (white grenache) and lively conversation. Good times.


Greg said...

FABULOUS! I love the gyoza and especially the tofu. Great photos.

Nilmandra said...

Thanks, greg. The tofu is one of my favourite dishes. I love to have it cold in the summer - just have the tofu straight out of the fridge, fry some spring onions with soy sauce and drizzle that all over. Really refreshing and tasty.

Little Corner of Mine said...

Yummy dinner!

Kevin said...

Great looking meal! The tofu dish looks particularly interesting.

Nilmandra said...

little corner of mine: I tend to cook one-dish meals or similar when we have friends over, so it's less work for me! ;) It was worth it though.

Thanks, Kevin. Maybe I should blog about the tofu. It's just such a common dish from childhood that I guess I didn't give it much thought.

Pixie said...

How I wish I could have been a guest! Yum!

Nilmandra said...

pixie: I'll bring out my charity-shop-teaset if you're here! ;)

I have not decided whether it would be fabulous to cook for another foodie who would appreciate the efforts and flavours more, or whether it would just be more stressful to cook for someone who would be more critical!

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