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Appetizer for an Asian-themed dinner

  • m

I am making an Asian-themed dinner which will consis of grilled shrimp and flank steak with ginger-garlic sauce, fried rice, and an Asian salad. Any ideas for an appetizer to go with? I don't want to make anything deep-fried. I want something to serve with cocktails before dinner. Thanks!

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  1. Rumaki....Yakatori.... or Satay

    Red Roast or Honey Barbecued Boneless Chinese Spare Ribs.......St Louis Ribs with the bones removed.

    Shumai or Potstickers......boring, but who doesn't love dumplings...(with apologies to <ipsedixit>)

    1. mmmm...I was going to suggest something with water chestnuts...bacon-wrapped maybe?
      Or, here's a BAKED crab rangoon recipe that looks very nice too:
      Or maybe spring rolls?

      1. This is ridiculously easy, but a hit nonetheless. Marinate a sushi-grade tuna steak in garlic, soy, ginger, etc. Coat the steak in black & white sesame seeds. Pan sear just briefly in a cast-iron skillet. Thinly slice the steak (1/4" thick slices) and serve on rice crackers with little dollops of wasabi & a splash of soy or whatever sauce you prefer.

        The tuna can be made in advance and chilled. Bring to room temp and then slice & serve.

        1 Reply
        1. re: lynnlato

          Sounds yummy. I can just picture how pretty that must be.

        2. Sounds like you've already got lots of meat- how about some sort of pancake, like Korean pajeon? There's a very complete recipe by hannaone here:


          (It's actually super-simple, just whisk up a batter, put in sliced up veggies and optionally seafood, and cook it like a pancake


          Also on the Korean theme, things to wrap in lettuce, in the style of Korean ssambap, always go well with cocktails in my book...

          1 Reply
          1. re: another_adam

            If you do want to do a Korean pancake, I like Bittman's simple version.

          2. Nobu's lobster carpaccio is a simpler recipe than you might expect. You might also want to consider summer rolls, lettuce cups or noodle bundles. If you want something simple, spicy garlic fried peanuts with anchovies and tamarind would go well with cocktails.

            1 Reply
            1. re: JungMann

              Yum, anchovies and tamarind? Talk about uber-Umami!!!

            2. how about chinese cong you bing aka scallion "pancakes?"

                1. re: Indirect Heat

                  Ramen is a good appetizer to serve with cocktails? How do you serve a ramen appetizer during cocktail hour?

                  1. re: KTinNYC

                    I thought the same thing. Also, when I eat lettuce wraps, I can make quite a mess after I've added the filling, fish sauce, chili garlic sauce. They drip all over (not complaining, just saying). I like the idea of small spring rolls and dumplings. or the spicy peanut idea.

                    1. re: southernitalian

                      I agree, lettuce wraps or anything that involves fish sauce, which is pretty pungent shouldn't be considered finger food during a cocktail hour.

                    2. re: KTinNYC

                      Small bowls. I would think it would be a perfect winter cocktail appetizer. Just me, though.

                      1. re: Indirect Heat

                        So you'd have a tiny bowl of hot soup and maybe one noodle in which the person eating would essentially do a "shot" of hot broth and then subsequently chew the noodle? Maybe I have a lack of imagination but I think there is a reason why this idea hasn't taken off.

                  2. Maybe a little summery, but I've served Wasabi Lime Crab salad in Cucumber cups before to huge raves. An old Gourmet recipe, will provide if you like.

                    1. I saw an edamame dip at Whole Foods the other day and I've been thinking about making one ever since. If you google edamame dip recipes, there are some really tasty sounding ones out there.

                      Otherwise - you could do little fresh veggie summer/fresh rolls with spicy (or not) peanut dipping sauce.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: akq

                        Thanks for all the great suggestions!

                      2. I like these Won Ton Wrapped Chicken With Apricot Dipping Sauce. It can also be made with canned salmon and can be baked (rather than deep-fried) 3 minutes per side at 450 F.

                        Baraba Tropp has a recipe for Scallion Pancakes (Chong Yu Bing or Tsong You Bing). Cut into wedges and serve plain, sprinkled with sesame seeds, or with a dipping sauce.

                        1. I do this now and again for potlucks and they're always a hit. Japanese cucumbers sliced into 1-1/2 inch slices, hollow out the seeds but leave a little bit so you have a cucumber cup. Stuff with crab, sweet red pepper, avocado, drizzle with a serrano chili and lime vinaigrette. You can also use a soy-ginger-sesame oil vinaigrette if you don't care for the chili/lime taste.

                          1. yellow fin tuna with sesame seed coating

                            1. Wasabi-spiked deviled eggs with scallions, topped with black sesame seeds; also soy-ginger-garlic candied nuts. GREAT with cocktails.