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Apr 20, 2010 11:56 AM

Easy, quick Asian food for backyard party?

We're having a daytime party, adults and kids, and for some reason I am hung up on having summer rolls. What else can I serve—a combo of buying (lots of local restaurants around) and cooking that won't take too much time and can be served cold or at room temperature. I'll probably serve beer and some sort of cucumber lime cocktail.

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  1. I wonder if you'd like to do a giant version of this potsticker salad I've been doing lately. You could make it as a platter and serve the potstickers over the top. Think of it as an antipasto (you can make it really pretty if you place the cukes decoratively) Asian-style. Doowutchalike for the salad bed...I usually do spring mix or baby romaine, then whatever you like for fixin's--some of my faves are avocado, crumbled bacon, grape tomatoes, cukes, seaweed salad, chopped nuts...

    Here's the dressing I've been making A LOT lately!


    1/4 of an orange, squeezed
    2 tablespoons rice vinegar
    1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
    1/4 teaspoon sriracha (or hot sauce of your choice)

    Pics are here, too (Easy Potsticker Salad) can see how simple it would be to make a giant salad this way. It really is kind of pretty, though I'm not sure this pic does it justice:

    Please tell us about your cucumber lime cocktail!

    Oh, and also, how 'bout cold sesame noodles? There's a great thread on that here if you feel like making your own...though you can buy that easily, too.

    Will you make almond cookies for dessert? Yum!

    9 Replies
    1. re: kattyeyes

      Last time I wanted a cocktail for a party I blended cucumber, lime juice, simple syrup and mint and added gin and a bit of seltzer. Served in pitchers. It was a huge hit.

      1. re: sweetpotater

        Ooooooh, I'll bet it was--sounds very refreshing!

      2. re: kattyeyes

        I second Kattyeyes' recs for salad and cold noodles (you can get semi-decent potstickers frozen at Trader Joe's). You might also consider satays with peanut sauce, Chinese chicken salad, and mixed fruit salad (pineapple, star fruit, mangoes, papayas, with canned longans, litchees, mandarin oranges) - do not throw out the syrup that the canned fruit come in: freeze them in a metal pan and scrape to make granitas.

        1. re: Claudette

          Are potstickers any good served room temperature? I'll be chasing a toddler too and this time around don't feel like timing hot dishes for a many-hour party. Satays are good idea.

          1. re: sweetpotater

            That was my thought. Room temp potstickers sound like they'd be gummy. More info please.

            1. re: c oliver

              They're fine at room temp if the weather is hot, but if you cook them well ahead of time, just microwave a plateful at a time as you serve them - just a couple of minutes at high should do it. I know empirically that they will not be gummy if you are judicious in the amount of liquid you braise them with after browning. Hope this helps.

              1. re: Claudette

                Ah, well, the emperor/ess has spoken. Actually I've never braised potstickers so maybe that's my "sticking" point.

                1. re: c oliver


                  I don't mean to mislead you: by "braise" I meant a few drops of water after the browning so it steams the potstickers. Covering the pan for a few minutes lets them cook in their own juices, and then I uncover them so they won't overcook and get gummy. Sorry - I just assumed everyone knows about frozen potstickers.

        2. re: kattyeyes

          What a gorgeous salad, I like this idea, so pretty to. I love love potstickers and can make them. This is a wonderful way to display and eat them. thanks kattyeyes~

        3. One of my go-to dishes for outdoor parties is an Asian-ish slaw like this, which holds up better than tossed salad outdoors:
          I recently brought minced chicken in lettuce cups to a potluck and they were a hit, too, and pretty good at room temperature. I sort of ad-libbed it, but this recipe looks pretty good, or you can Google "minced squab lettuce cups" to get similar results:
          Second the chicken satay suggestion as well.

          1. If you have access to them, a green papaya salad is great with summer rolls. If not, you can sub in shredded cabbage and chicken. Essentially it's green papaya/shredded cabbage/chicken with shredded carrot, chopped scallions, peanuts, and mint/thai basil/cilantro tossed in a nuoc cham dressing. Nuoc cham dressing consists of 1 tablespoon lime juice, 1 tablespoon nuoc mam, 1 teaspoon sugar, one small chopped chile, one clove of garlic minced, and 2 tablespoons of water.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Dcfoodblog

              Your post reminds me that there is a salad of sorts in Vietnamese cuisine that is finely shredded cabbage, protein of choice (for convenience, home cooks will sometimes use the whole bird that has been poached in the water used to make jook), and Vietnamese corriander. This is all dressed with lime, fish sauce, and pepper - the fish sauce & pepper are to be used lightly since the lime should be the dominant dressing flavour. You can pretty much sub out ingredients at your convenience, but the Vietnamese coriander is the key flavour.

              The longer this salad sits, the tastier it is, so it's perfect for a party.

            2. steamed chilled asparagus spears sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds, served alongside a sauce of mayo, juice and zest of a couple oranges, sesame oil.

              1. Grilled Skewers........Yakatori, Satays and Kabobs. I recommend you serve hot, but they can easily be served at room temperature.

                You can use any of the following:


                Marinate and serve with different dipping sauces.