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Asian heavy hors d'oeuvres buffet

So, I am planning a menu for a baby shower with around 40 adults + kids. I was thinking that we would do Asian-style heavy hors d'oeuvres since momma-to-be wants to mix it up a bit foodwise. This would need to be a buffet since we're not hiring a caterer for the occasion, and I can only fit a finite amount of people into my kitchen. And, I'm not necessarily sticking to one region, so Chinese, Indonesian, Vietnamese, Indian, and such are all fine.

I've already got a few dishes that I know we'll be doing:

- Peanut noodles with black sesame seed and red pepper
- Grilled "Asian BBQ" over white rice (devising a recipe for this right now)
- Pickled Veggies (carrots, cukes, radishes and such) and/or an Asian slaw

I've been thinking about buying some potstickers from the Asian store (kids around here eat these all the time, so I figure these are both adult and kid friendly) and serving them with a variety of sauces (thai yellow curry, ponzu, and a ginger-sesame-garlic mingonette), but I am wondering if this is a good idea because I need to be able to store some of the food in a warm oven ahead of time and don't want the dumplings to dry out.

I am wondering if I can store the potstickers in a warm oven in their serving dishes with a moist towel over them (for up to two hours) without any great degradation of quality.... In my experience, potstickers don't do well in chafing dishes, so I'm asking my fellow hounds for advice.

Also, any other ideas for tasty dishes?

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  1. Yum, that menu looks great! I can't help much about keeping the potstickers warm, but one appetizer people seem to love is chicken skewers with Thai peanut sauce (I cheat and just use peanut butter, a bit of honey, hot water, and a couple splashes of vinegar and fish sauce). Or you could do a ginger-soy marinade, and alternate small pieces of chicken w/ pineapple chunks on the skewer, sticking all of the skewers into a pineapple for presentation. (Does Hawaiian count as Asian?) ;)

    1. Potstickers taste better when they're crispy. I'd suggest going for steamed dumplings instead, and then using your trick with a moist towel.

      1. Ahi poke and lomi lomi salmon served in Belgian endive leaves?
        I think that fried things (egg rolls, crab Rangoon, et cetera) would hold up better in a warmer than potstickers would.

        For the Asian BBQ you could do teriyaki chicken musubi; a block of steamed rice topped with chicken, and wrapped in a piece of nori.

        1. Steamed potstickers would hold up pretty well with your method, fried not so well.

          Some more suggestions:

          1. I can imagine your Asian bbq served nigiri sushi-style. Some of the other appetizers I have made to good reviews:
            Mini banh mi with ham and headcheese (a good use for your pickled veggies)
            Pork spring rolls
            Red curry grilled steak skewers
            Korean lettuce wraps
            Chicken or pork larb in a lettuce leaf
            Crab rangoon
            Lumpia (both fried and fresh)
            Shrimp and beansprout fritters

            1. Yum, I want to come. Favorite foods are asian although I don't cook it often but what about:
              summer rolls (easy make ahead and won't need the stove or oven).
              edamame (big bowl for nibblin)
              asian wings (fine at room temp once cooked)

              I love the satay skewers, have fun

              1. These are all such great recommendations! I was thinking about adding the summer rolls (just because they are great make ahead and I can make them vegetarian). I totally forgot about the edamame (there's even a recipe in this month's Gourmet for a spiced up version). And I love the idea of the red curry (penang maybe?) beef skewers....

                Maybe there is no need to even worry about potstickers....

                6 Replies
                1. re: jazzy77

                  I haven't tried using panang on the beef skewers. Typically I use red curry paste as it has a bigger flavor profile to me and then amp the tastes by diluting it with light soy sauce, brown sugar, grated ginger, a crushed clove of garlic and a splash of lime juice, which I use as a marinade over night. The next day when you grill these up, you have one of the tastiest steaks you can imagine.

                  If you want to do summer rolls, try breaking the Vietnam-Thailand monopoly on these light treats by making lumpiang sariwa, wrapped in delicate crepes and served topped with peanuts and a garlicky paalat sauce. For a low carb version, you could try lumpiang hubad.

                  1. re: JungMann

                    I love red curry paste but bought it for one recipe and not sure what else to do with, been collecting a few - this one with beef skewers sounds great - thanks jungmann

                    1. re: JungMann

                      Again, great idea - I'm going to try the curried beef. Besides, it's a good excuse to go get some red curry paste.

                      1. re: JungMann

                        What cut of beef do you use, flank? sliced thin, marinate then skewer and grill.broil? Or something llike a sirloin/rib eye sliced thin?

                        1. re: lexpatti

                          I think the marinade needs fat, so I use ribeye. I haven't tried it as a skewer before, but it sounds like you've got the process down.

                          1. re: JungMann

                            thanks, LOVE the ribeye so can't wait to try this.

                    2. Buy a barbecue duck (don't let them chop it up) and slice the meat off. Serve with green onion crepes, green onion fans and hoisin sauce. Yummy.