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Nov 11, 2010 05:40 AM

Putting together a Thai menu for dinner party

hi there! I'd like to create a thai menu (buffet) for a dinner party, and could use your advice and suggestions on must have dishes, recipe sources, etc. Here are a few things you prob need to know:

-1/2 the guests are vegetarian
-No beef, but chicken and shrimp are just fine
-we all have high tolerance for spice and heat so no worries there
-i would love to include a fresh, cooling thai salad
-no need for dessert recipes as i already plan to buy a dessert

Thanks so much in advance!

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  1. Take a few minutes and head over to: A complete listing of Thai recipes complete with street vendor videos showing how simple it is to create true Thai recipes.... A couple of suggestions ... start off with fresh spring rolls with a hot/sour/sweet dipping sauce... move on to chicken/green curry soup ... and finish with a shrimp/Thai chile stir fry with sweet rice on the side.

    1. For a big dinner, Thai people are very careful about balancing the flavors. Hot, sweet, sour, bitter/salty, so keep that in mind. Som Tam is the obvious salad to make. Assuming you can get the ingredients, it's relatively easy to make, although every som tam lady on the streets of Bangkok has her own little variations. If you did want to make dessert, mango and sticky rice is easy and delicious!

      2 Replies
      1. re: arashall

        Thanks for the terrific suggestions! Here's a question for you - many salad dressings include fish sauce, which the vegetarians are not fans of : ( any substitutions or simply omit that part of the recipe?

        1. re: Lotus7

          I don't think there's any real substitute for the flavor of fish sauce. You could use soy, and you'll get the salty, but not the nuanced flavor of the fish sauce.

      2. For an appetizer, my local Thai place makes shrimp bikinis, which are shrimp with a slice of pickled ginger laid along it, rolled up in a very thin egg roll wrapper and fried. I've been thinking I may experiment with this at home, in the oven, for a healthier version. You may want to play around with it. Seems like something you could assemble ahead of time and pop in the oven when people arrive.

        1 Reply
        1. re: katecm

          I do a similar thing, but just wrap the shrimp (tail on) in a wonton skin and fry, then serve with sweet chili sauce for dipping. Simple and delicious! Very popular appetizer.

        2. I make this Thai crunch salad that is a copycat of the California Pizza Kitchen one:

          It is amazingly good! I call it my "candy salad."

          It takes a while to put together the two dressings, because there are so many ingredients, but it is soooooo good. I have sub'd crunchy chow mein noodles when I couldn't find wontons to fry, and I leave off the little white rice sticks because I can't get them to fry right (plus, I don't need all that fry on my waistline).

          2 Replies
          1. re: starbucksbrew

            Your link took me to the "Little Fockers" movie info page at IMDB. Please re-post?

            1. re: twj

              Oops, and it won't let me edit. This should be the right one for the salad:

          2. If you don't make pad thai, some of your guests may be a bit disappointed. Here's the site I used to learn how to make it:


            It's very easy to make, but some things can go wrong (e.g., overcooked or undercooked noodles), so it's worth a test run.

            I would also consider serving this -- a very traditional Thai condiment -- for people who want to add fish sauce and/or heat: