Sunday, 25 November 2012

How To Host A Japanese Dinner Party With The Wow Factor

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This is an indulgent dinner party that ticks all the right boxes for health.  What it demonstrates is that you can have fun, pig out and still feel satisfied knowing that your dinner party wins between the wow factor, delicious food and treats that incorporate healthy foods.

With only a few years of cooking experience under my belt, it's no wonder that I often get green with envy at the expertise that my girlfriends display when they host their dinner parties.  In this post, you will feast your eyes at a wonderful choice of delicious Japanese foods that will tease and tantalize your taste buds.

To begin with, we had gorgeous crunchy vegetables (see pictured above).  They were coated in a potato and wheat flour batter that was mixed into a paste using water, then fried.  Yes fried. For the heart healthy version, what you could do is pan fry or spray lightly in oil then bake in the oven until crispy.

Next to be served were Takoyaki balls, which are essentially balls made from a wheat flour based batter then cooked in a special takoyaki pan. These were filled with octopus and topped with thin shavings of dried fish.  They are served with takoyaki sauce and Japanese mayonnaise. Gorgeous.

A Japanese dinner party should draw on its heritage, the lovely sushi.  Absolutely ideal for the health foodie amongst your guests.  The lovely couple who prepared these hand rolled sushi rolls had recently attended a sushi culinary course and were thrilled to be able to show off their newly acquired skills.  They did a beautiful job too.  Each roll was lovingly filled with avocado, salmon, pickled ginger, omelette, crab or cucumber.  Packed full of flavour, each bite definitely did not fail to please.

Remember that when preparing sushi at home, you will need to purchase sushi grade salmon and go fresh to retain flavour and colour.  The rice for sushi also needs to be prepped with vinegar, sugar and salt or mirin.  

One of the reasons why I love Japanese cuisine is also because of the amazing china and serving dishes that you get to use.  The little soup bowls or side bowls for sauces are often intricately painted with lovely floral designs that you will need very little to decorate your table.  The food and serving plates will do the advertising for you.

This course was swiftly followed by the main.  The vegetarian option was Agedashi tofu. If you are wondering what that means, don't worry, so did I!  All I can tell you is that it was a beautiful silky tofu dish in a savoury sauce.  It is apparently a dashi sauce.  Although the tofu is traditionally deep fried, in this instance, it was not.  The delicate salty flavours of the sauce was perfect for the tofu.  Yummy.

The leading dish was chicken katsudon served on a bed of egg fried rice.  I would recommend trying this dish as it really was just so tasty!  You will enjoy the combination of dashi stock, soy sauce, mirin, sugar and eggs in this recipe.

Once you are almost full stop eating immediately as you will definitely want to indulge over dessert after a short break.  Dessert is a course not to be missed, especially when it is presented in a watermelon glistening with sugared watermelon sorbet and peeping green tea ice cream.

If that's not quite enough cuddle up with a loved one or a friend as you may want to share a green tea flavoured pannacotta.  It's perfect, creamy, delicious and light.  So beautifully presented in individual tea cups - this is a dessert not to be missed.

I was delighted when my girlfriend shared her recipe for these little green beauties with me.  Her recipe was inspired by this lovely blog that created Fusion Green Tea Panna Cotta.  You will need Japanese green tea powder or Matcha, cream, sugar, gelatine powder, milk and vanilla extract.  A wonderful idea for a Japanese themed dinner party.

What do you recommend preparing for a Japanese themed dinner party?  Do comment below lovely readers, I do love hearing from you!

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