As the weather starts to warm up and meals move outside again, there is nothing better than the spice and zing of some fresh and fabulous southeast Asian food.
This Dinner Party Inspiration post is inspired by warm evenings, tropical accents and perfect cocktail weather. Bright colours, lanterns, tropical fruit, limes and blooms will transform your table into a Southeast Asian space fit for a king with little effort and lots of enjoyment. Perfect for an outdoor dinner as the sun sets surrounded by your friends and family laughing into the night.
The fast, fresh and zingy asian dishes you create will have you dreaming of and hopefully planning a real trip to Thailand or Vietnam with your friends around the table in no time!
Typically we think of an Asian dinner party and link it to more of a Chinese or Japanese theme, so instead this weeks inspiration will have you thinking of soft pinks, greens and tropical additions lifted by lanterns, lights and floral elements of peonies, orchids and palms. I've taken inspiration from the asian food I love and holidays in Thailand to put together some tablescape images to get you thinking of putting together a fresher take on decorations for your Southeast Asian party. I'm sure you could even find a place for that brown paper roll too!
Peanut Dipping Sauce (recipe by Cookie + Kate) served with Asian inspired crudites. To keep with the Asian theme use fresh crispy snowpeas, capsicum, green beans, carrots and baby corn.
A simple fruit platter. Look for tropical and unusual Asian fruit including dragonfruit to put together an interesting and colourful fruit plate, in line with your theme, to keep your guests nibbling away.
Cocktails and Wine
All spicy Asian dishes work well with Riesling, but for something different why not try a good Gewurztraminer. These wines have a slightly off-dry nature which makes them a great match to Asian flavours. Wine Folly refers to the variety as being the 'grown up version of moscato', which I think is the perfect explanation, and goes on to explain the range in flavours of Gewurztraminer as covering the fresher, less aged bottles encompassing flavours of grapefruit through into lychee and lastly onto the more aged and ripened flavours of pineapple. Ask your local wine guru what they have available and give it a go with this dinner. It's a fresh and fantastic match you'll definitely enjoy.
Alongside the wine for this dinner party, I have found the perfect cocktail to kick off your evening. Days spent by the sea in Thailand always end with fruit cocktails and so it simply wouldn't be right to put together a Southeast Asian Soiree without a cocktail to sip away at. Here I've used lychee as the base for the cocktail inspiration, as this will also work with your palate for the glass of Gewurztraminer you're bound to be drinking sooner afterwards!
Start your preparation the day before by putting together the marinade and marinating the pork overnight.
The day of your dinner party, put together your tablescape and decorate your space early so you can focus on the food afterwards.
Put your cocktail base together and set aside in the fridge, with the skewer decorations on a plate ready to use.
Prepare and assemble your fruit platter together and cover in the fridge ready to serve at the end of your meal.
Cut and lay out the vegetables for the crudites, while also prepping the same vegetables for the salad and setting them aside separately. Prepare the rest of the vegetables and salad items for the Asian Vermicelli Noodle Salad and set aside ready to toss together before serving.
Make the peanut sauce and set in a serving bowl for the crudite platter.
Make the dressing for the salad and set aside in a jar to shake well and toss through the salad at the last minutes before serving.
CHEAT TIP: I make a simple cheats version of a Vietnamese Dressing for those of you with limited time. Simple combine the following ingredients in a jar and shake to combine: juice of 2 limes, 2-3 tablespoons of fish sauce, 2-3 tablespoons of sweet chilli sauce. You can also season if necessary.
Boil the jug just before guests arrive, so the water boils quickly before you need it to soften/cook the vermicelli before the main course.
Everything else can be prepared before each course!
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My Dinner Party Inspiration posts use some of my own recipes and photos, but also some recipes and images from blogs or sites I personally find inspirational. I in no way claim the work as my own and reference all recipes and photos by linking them all back to their original website.
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