Help me plan a Chinese Banquet for 15+ ppl
Next weekend I will be going with the inlaws to a tiny town in the south of Spain to participate in the annual pig killing/sausage making event. While everyone is busy mixing spices and onion with pig blood and stuffing it into innards, I have been asked to cook the family meal.
I’m going to cook a modified Chinese banquet (I’d like to introduce some of my family traditions to the table as well). There will be about 15 people. All Spanish and avid meat eaters! The audience runs the gamut from the principle sausage maker (a 60 year old woman who is quiet fond of Chinese food since she worked in a Chinese restaurant for several years) to more conservative people who do not have any experience eating cuisine that is not Andalusian.
I would like also to keep things relatively simple because it will just be me cooking and I still need to do my share of sausage stuffing!
Ok, there is my tentative menú list.
Big pot of Chinese style oxtail soup with tomatoes, cabbage, potatoes, carrots and onions
Rice noodles with beef and leeks
Eggplant with pork and black bean sauce (or braised shittake mushrooms with Shanghai greens)
2 roasted chickens with five spice powder
An alternative to the chicken, which is not totally traditional, is Lion’s head.
Please let me know what you think. Any other suggestions or substitutions?
Sounds great! Here are my additional suggestions:
1)Steamed carp (or whatever whitefish they have in that town) with Ginger/Scallion/soy oil
2) Sticky rice with shittake/chinese sausage (all ingredients easily packable in suitcase)
3) beef meatballs with scallion/ginger/sesame oil (very quick)
My understanding, regretably, is that a minimum of 8 dishes are required (for luck) at a Chinese banquet. Perhaps soy sauce chicken or Hainanese chicken (can be made in advance), sijdou chao rousi (pork matchsticks and green beans), beef and broccoli stir fry, cold sesame noodles (mix in sauce just before serving)?
Menu looks fine. You don't want banquet foods really, but jia chang (homestyle) for times when a family is working together, and you don't need a lot of dishes but a few that are easy to prepare in quantity. You might look for a couple of make ahead cold dishes to start.