Kate's Global Kitchen
 

Entertaining Asian-Style
Five Tips for Overcoming Dinner-Partyphobia

by Martin Yan

 

Duck Soup There are all kinds of books that will tell you how to have a novel kind of dinner party by creating a classic Chinese banquet-style meal. They'll give you tips on how to plan one dish per person plus rice. How to balance meat, poultry, vegetables, and seafood. How to balance hot and cold, sweet and savory. Even how to make your own fortune cookies. Now, as a Chinese chef, I love these books. I've even written some of them! But that's not what we're talking about here.

Reality check: When was the last time you planned a formal banquet-Chinese or otherwise-at your house? If your answer is "last Saturday," congratulations. You are a devoted culinary artist and a master entertainer. But if you re like most people I know, even the thought of planning a potluck with one other family makes your heart start beating irregularly.

There's the shopping, the cleaning, the cooking. And what if the food turns out badly? Or people just sit here staring at their plates, with only the occasional clink of a knife and fork to break the awkward silence?

Well, as far as the cleaning part is concerned, you're going to need to get over that one yourself. But I can offer a few suggestions about how to make entertaining a little easier and a lot more fun-especially if you're planning an Asian meal.

 
 

Entertaining can be a lot of work, it's true. But it's also an act of true generosity that makes you and the people you care about feel good. Just remember: Stay loose, keep things casual, and do what all great entertainers do-keep smiling.

from: Martin Yan's Feast:
The Best of Yan Can Cook

By Martin Yan
Bay Books, San Francisco
Hardback, $34.95
400 pages, 75 color photos
Publication date: October 1998
ISBN 0-912333-31-6
Recipe reprinted by permission.

 

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This page created February 1999
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