Asian desserts for Asian-themed party
I am planning an Asian-themed dinner party. For dessert, I want a duo of teas with a duo of dessert. At first I was thinking that for one pairing, I will do thai iced tea with thai mango sticky rice. For the other pair I could do iced green tea for the tea, but couldn't figure out what to make for the dessert. Maybe a hot spiced green tea with a cold dessert would be better. In any case, any ideas are welcome.
Also, if anyone has ideas for the rest of the dinner, anything, I would love to hear them. So far, in no specific order, and not having given much thought, I have planned:
Meiji's Kinoko No Yama (chocolate mushroom crackers)
Botan Rice Candy (the ones with the edible wrappers)
Panko-coated chicken tenders
Egg Drop Soup
Bulgogi w/ Jasmine Rice
Korean Potato Salad
Duo of teas and dessert
Any alternate ideas, specific recipes, comments on decor or party favors, I could use it. This is my first dinner party in a long time (years), so I want it to be good. Thanks.
This is a nice Korean desert:
Baesook (Korean Peppercorn Pear)
3 Nashi (Asian) pears
3 tablespoons sugar
5 cups water
Wash the pears in cold water, peel, and cut into quarters.
Remove and discard core sections, then trim all sharp edges.
Push 3 or four peppercorns into the surface or each pear section just far enough that they do not fall out.
Put sugar and water into a pan and bring to a full boil over high heat.
Reduce heat to medium low and add the pear sections.
Cook for 10 minutes.
Remove from heat and let cool.
Transfer liquid and pear sections to a bowl or jar and refrigerate.
Serve cold (2 or 3 pear sections covered with juice) in small bowls.
It's going to depend on your guests. If these are people who are familiar with Asian food and/or are adventurous eaters, go for authenticity. But for some reason, despite the seeming universal appeal of sweetness, desserts seem to translate less well across cultures than some other dished. My background is pretty traditional European/American baking, so when I serve Asian food, I usually pick Asian flavors, but use Western techniques. For example, frozen ginger parfait, ginger ice cream, or ginger "wontons" (filled with candied ginger and frangipan). Green tea mousse. Lime/coconut pairings (Consider adding a hint of chili - for example, to a lime and coconut ice cream). Lychees in a star anise syrup, with some langue du chat on the side. Depending on how "serious" you want to be with the Asian theme, you can also mess around with the way things look. I've seen "sushi" made with sweetened rice, wrapped in chocolate fondant and filled with chopped kiwi and strawberries, and of course there are all sorts of desserts you could make that would look like dumplings. You could make a trio of little creme brulees in appropriate flavors (again, ginger, anise, maybe orange or mango), and serve them up in tea cups. If you want to go with a kitschy sort of Asian thing, you could buy some Chinese take out containers from your local take out place (I've done this, they charged me 10 cents apiece), and serve some items that way.
This is a savoury dessert I picked up here
More Indian/Southeast Asian than Pacific Rim.
Semolina Kesari (makes 4 servings)
55g coarse ground semolina (rava)*
1/4 cup melted ghee
5/8 cup boiling water
a pinch of kesari colour powder or orange coloring+
3 cardamons, pounded
a pinch of ground nutmeg
a handful of cashews, halved
a handful of golden raisins
1 tbsp of ghee, extra
(I used saffron powder for the kesari colour)
1. Heat a tablespoonful of ghee in a small saucepan and fry cashews and raisins till golden brown. Set aside.
2. Heat the 1/4 cup of ghee in a wok over medium-low heat and fry semolina until fragrant and it darkens slightly... this would take about 3-5 minutes.
3. Pour in water and stir vigorously. When it is cooked and thick, add sugar, coloring, cardamom, nutmeg, fried cashews and raisins. Cook, stirring all the while over gentle heat till it thickens.
4. Pour into a tray and cut into squares, or press into small bowls and unmould on a plate to serve.
How about "don tot," Chinese egg custard tarts? They're so delicious, and easy to make if you buy tart shells instead of trying to make the crust yourself! You could serve them with some hot Jasmine or Chrysanthemum tea. Also, get some Pocky at a Chinese market -- little dessert biscuit sticks that come in a variety of flavors (my favorite are "Men's Pocky" -- coated with dark chocolate).
Almond cookies are also a safe make-ahead dessert.
I think almond dofu (almond gelatin) would work well with your menu. Very easy to make (they even sell packages like Jello in Chinese stores). If not, you can make it with sugar, milk, water and almond extract. Generally served with canned fruit (eg. lycees). It's personally not my cup of tea, but I find that most people love this refreshing dessert.
re: Miss Needle
I was going to suggest the almond dofu with an array of Asian fruits, too. I agree, it's extremely refreshing particularly if the fruit is very cold.
You might also consider making a lychee sorbet if you have an ice cream maker. You could serve it in tuiles or with flavored lange du chat or even with Pocky. It all depends how much work you want to make for yourself.