Asian-themed vegetarian appetizers
For only two people, although leftovers are welcome.
I'd like to keep it fairly simple (i.e., not too much prep for each thing), but fun, and at least kind of healthy--i.e., no fried foods. I'm thinking the following:
1. rice paper spring rolls (to be clear, the fresh, not fried, kind) with a good dipping sauce--any suggestions on a great dipping sauce for these? I want something not too thick, but more vinegary/spicy/sweet. I usually just make something up
2. tofu satay with peaunt dipping sauces
sesame noodle salad
i also need a dessert.
A really basic dessert would be to make use of canned Asian fruits. Lychee, rambutan, and longan are pretty useful. One traditional dessert is lychee and almond gelatin in syrup. You could also just add some of the fruits I mentioned to more familiar fruits such as strawberries, mango, and cantaloupe in a fruit salad.
1 or 2 Pureed Japanese (ume) or Korean (maesil) plums (Substitutes - apricot, pluot, aprium, plum)
Dash or two soy sauce
Dash or two rice or rice wine vinegar
1 tsp Ground dried red peppers
1 tsp honey
Combine and mix well, adjust to taste
I know you said no fried, but this is the equivalent of cooking pancakes.
Korean Vegetable Pancake
1/2 cup flour
2/3 cup water
1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt
1 egg (substitute: egg beaters or similar product)
1 small to medium carrot, shredded or slivered about 1 inch in length
5 slender green onions, cut into 1 inch long pieces
1 ounce Asian chives, cut into 1 inch long pieces
1 ounce enoki mushrooms, separated
2 green chili peppers, slivered lengthwise
2 red chili peppers, slivered lengthwise
4 cloves garlic, slivered
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar (Substitute rice vinegar, white vinegar, or any wine vinegar)
1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon coarse ground red chili pepper (chili flakes)
1 teaspoon sugar
Mix the batter then add the prepared vegetables and mix well.
Mix the dip ingredients in a bowl and set aside to let flavors meld.
In a medium sized fry pan (nonstick or very lightly oiled) spread enough of the batter mix to thinly cover the bottom of the pan. Cook over medium heat until a light golden brown, flip and repeat.
Cut the pancake into 1 inch by 1 inch squares (a pizza cutter works well).
Serve warm with dipping sauce.
For a similarly themed party a few years ago I made lime macaroons and vietnamese coffee cupcakes. The macaroons were just a basic recipe supplemented with a lot of lime zest and a bit of the juice. I think lemongrass/ginger would be good here as well. The cupcakes were chiffon cake. I topped them with cream cheese blended with sweetened condensed milk (I played with the proportions) dust generously with instant espresso powder. Not authentic, but both were well received.