spicy and light asian crispy pork in lettuce, vietnamese chicken salad, honey soy salmon, broccolini, coconut rice, key lime pie
An ideal menu for lunch or a summer feast, lots of dishes, full of flavors and seasonings that bring you right to the doorstep of Laos. The most important part of this menu is that everything can be made ahead of time allowing you to enjoy every moment with friends.
As with all my menu suggestions, you can make the recipes yourself or substitute dishes from your favorite local Asian restaurant or grocer…maybe just making the key lime pie.
You can create an interesting table with a bit of thought, some creativity and not too much time. Here I set a table for a friend’s birthday lunch and used elements that I thought worked well with the meal, which was southeast Asian. There is no need to be overwhelmed, maybe take just one idea…
A recipe with lots of flavor and one that can be made well in advance- the flavors of the pork actually get better if made the day before. Served as an appetizer or a main course along with some other dishes, the “ying-yang” of flavors make it super delicious.
I don’t remember when I first started making this dish and it has been changed and adapted over the years. Salmon is such a hearty, flavorful fish making it ideal for an elegant Saturday night dinner as well as a simple Sunday lunch.
Now this is a really good salad with its crunchy, salty, sweet and tart melange of flavors. The first time I made it was in a class with a cookbook author. Of course, I tried it (and adapted some ingredients) shortly after in my own kitchen – and it is easy. You just have to…
The coconut milk in this recipe adds just a hint of sweetness- not too overwhelming but nicely perfumed. This recipe adds just a light hint of coconut to the taste.
The broccoli can be boiled the day before and stored in the refrigerator. Remove from the refrigerator a least an hour before and then prepare with the sesame oil, garlic and soy when you are ready to serve.
The day before
Write down your menu, make list of what you need to prepare, and when you will prepare it. Get organized (in your head) with any serving plates or things you need for serving.
Prepare the key lime pie
Whip the cream and cut the lime wheels for garnish. Refrigerate both separately.
Make the pork and dressing but do not put dressing on the pork. Refrigerate both in air tight containers.
Clean lettuce “cups” and put in sealed bag or container.
Make the chicken and mix with the dressing. Refrigerate.
Prepare the honey soy marinade, put over the salmon in air tight container and refrigerate.
Three hours before
Set table and determine any seating arrangement
Organize serving bowls, dishes of everything you are serving including serving utensils in kitchen
Two hours before
Clean the broccoli and prepare the garlic and ginger but do not add together
Put water in a pitcher with lemon or cucumber or nothing and refrigerate
Take out dessert bowls, plates and spoons
Remove all items from refrigerate to bring to room temperature
One hour before
Put on music, open wine, set out glasses for drinks before dinner, and any nibbles/appetizers
Make the broccoli without the seasoning
Make the rice- keep heated in a crock pot, Instapot or place pan with rice (covered) over a pan of gentle simmering water until ready to serve
Season and plate the chicken and pork on separate platters
20 minutes before guests at table
Put salmon in oven-cook
Toss broccoli with seasoning and plate
Light candles and put out water
Put out all the dishes except rice and salmon
Guests at table
Plate salmon on serving dish and rice in bowl (s) and serve