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my daughter tells me NOW that's it's mulitcultural day tomorrow!

Hi all,

I'm new to posting but have been lurking here for ages!

hoping for some help if anyone can...

my daughter just told me that it's 'multicultural day' at her school tomorrow! (thanks for the advance notice darling!)

she has to dress in a costume of another country and bring a dish of food to share - well, the costume's easy, we have a lovely cheong san (Chinese dress) that was just bought for her, but any ideas on something I can run to the shops for ingredients and easily whip up before tomorrow?

looking for - Chinese food, cold/room temp (can't heat anything at school) and might appeal to 9-10 yr olds? oh and easy.. I don't really fancy staying up all night! :)

thanks in advance!

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  1. Frozen char siu bao, available at most major grocery stores, keep well through lunch if kept refrigerated overnight after steaming/microwaving. I remember taking these for lunch during grade school, and they held up really well--must be the insulation of the bread, or the low meat to bun ratio.

    Also, vegetarian egg rolls (also available frozen at the grocery store) won't go bad, though they may get a little soggy.

    Good luck!

    2 Replies
    1. re: riceflour

      I second this, my kids eat these for breakfast practically every day-if you microwave, check the instructions, you usually have to wrap them in plastic and/or a wet paper towel, to simulate steaming, I guess.

      1. re: riceflour

        Cold eggrolls are rarely good. They get soggy and aren't as appealing. Char siu bao, however, is a capital choice. I saw a charming book in a Japanese bookstore about an Asian-American boy who comes to terms with his heritage after being teased by all the American children for eating bao at lunch. Once they eat bao, however, they become hooked and everyone lives happily multicultural lives forever and ever. The end.

      2. peanut butter ramen noodles - there's a recipe on this site that's really good, cheap and easy. serve in little 'bathroom' water cups - those little 3 oz cups.

        2 Replies
        1. re: jeanmarieok

          Most schools ban anything with peanuts due to the fact that so many kids have peanut allergies, so be really careful about this. In fact, many schools now ban this entire kind of thing because they don't want to deal with the potential medical emergencies and potential lawsuits, not to mention the inevitable complaints (we don't let our kids eat that junk at home and we don't want the school giving it to them). Just be really careful to read labels and avoid anything with peanuts or ingredients made from peanuts, such as peanut oil.

          1. re: Just Visiting

            Cold sesame noodles to avoid the peanut problem. You can expand the multicultiral theme by mixing dark and light noodles.

        2. Cheat on this one: Fortune cookies! (yeah, yeah...I know the story about how they were supposedly invented by a Japanese man in the US....) If your daughter is embarrassed by the easy out you took, tell her you did the best you could on short notice!

          1. not to sure where you live but if you have a chinatown in your city....get thee to a chinese bbq restaurant for bbq pork. just have to slice it and you're done. i'd suggest making it yourself but it really needs to marinate for at least a day. chinese bbq pork tastes good with everything..........so nothing else needed and it's great served cold.

            1 Reply
            1. re: jessi20

              Pork would be great and you won't have to worry about the kosher kids, they will all be in temple Thursday and Friday celebrating Rosh Hashanna.

            2. I think you can do Chinese dumplings! You can just buy the frozen ones in your local Asian grocery store, boil them and then have your daughter bring them to school. They will be fine even if lukewarm. (and bring some dipping sauce)

              Your daughter can even tell the class that dumplings have spread around the world and in other cultures in different forms: raviolis in Italy, gyoza in Japan, etc. A true multicultural food!

              1 Reply
              1. re: kobetobiko

                I had a roommate in college from Hong Kong, who made dim sum style stuffed buns using frozen bread dough. She would steam some of the buns and bake others in the oven--the baked ones were very good at room temp, not soggy.

                Where are you located, jag? Are you in the UK? Just a guess based on your phrasing...

              2. Tea eggs are really easy and kids love how they look like marbled when peeled:


                1. Steamed dumplings with that candy red sauce for egg rolls. DH and I used to get an extra serving of dumplings when we had Chinese for lunch. Three of our granddaughters came to the office after school (we owned the company) and that would be their afternoon snack. Always their favorite. I have seen the frozen dumplings in pork, chicken and vegetarian. Good luck mom.

                  1. Boil a large pot of water, and add a couple tablespoons of salt.

                    Take one whole chicken, and put one green onion (scallion) and one piece of peeled ginger (about an inch around) into the cavity. CAREFULLY lower the chicken into the water.

                    After about 5 minutes, cover the pot and turn the heat off. Let the chicken steep for about an hour to an hour and a half. Chop the chicken into pieces, and serve at room temperature with soy sauce and sesame oil on the side.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: sidwich

                      Nothing wrong with bok jum gai, but for a roomful of 9- and 10-year olds for whom, I assume, it'll be something new...well, I think it'd be a little messy. But thanks for the inspiration...I think I'll make it tonight!

                      1. re: sidwich

                        sidwich, I think shredding is better than chopping.

                        1. I would bake frozen eggrolls in the morning and put them in a portable cooler. The cooler will keep them hot and kids will love them. Serve with sweet & sour sauce.

                          1. This has happened to me before. With no time to cook, I hit the snack foods aisle of the Japanese supermarket. Lots of wrapped cookies, crackers, and sweets can be found at most ethnic markets. Chinese and Japanese stores have tons of stuff in cute packaging that is popular with the kids. Another time I made only slightly more effort (hey, I'm a working mom and the kids were preschoolers) and pan-fried some frozen dumplings. Kids usually don't mind if they're not piping hot.

                            1. you guys rock! I knew I could count on you all!

                              I ended up doing the cheat frozen thing and found some dumplings, also did cold soba noodles (yeah yeah, japanese, told my kid it was cold CHINESE noodles) with a kinda soy/ginger/sesame dressing, and threw in a pack of prawn crackers for good measure

                              next year she's going to be Australia! (where we live btw) and dress in normal clothes and take meat pies and vegemite sandwiches! haha