Monday, January 28, 2013

Birthday Celebrations with Chinese Dinner

Every year around Mrs. Pattis Magic's (formerly Mrs. Executive Chef) and Ms. Pastry Chef's birthday, I offer to cook them a celebratory meal. It's usually a Chinese dinner and they always happily oblige. For some reason the invitation lists always grows more than what was originally planned. But it's all good. The more the merrier. Besides, how can I say no to family like Mrs. Green M&M and Mr. HP Sauce. Anyway, back to good. I tried a few different recipes this time so that I can take advantage of the grill and not slave over the stove all day.
Here's a picture of the spread before people attacked. I'm explaining what everything is to people so there's no mystery. Though, everything seems straight forward.

Dumplings are always a good crowd pleaser. These are pork and chives in wonton skins. I pan fried them. They bottom wasn't as crispy as I wanted but they tasted good. I really need to write a recipe for these. On my to-do list!
Grilled shrimp marinated in a chili garlic sauce. A slight kick, tang, and pungency on each bite. These turned out great. The recipe will be at the end of the post.
Choy sum/yu choy with oyster sauce is popular with this group. This dish gets people to eat their vegetables.
Some easy lo mein tossed with ginger scallion sauce. It has a spicy bite but it's addicting. Salty too.
And a first for me, grilled black bean garlic chicken. This turned out really good though a bit too salty. I'll decrease the soy sauce/salt next time. But the grilling really caramelizes the sauce and added a nice unexpected change in flavor. Recipe to come in another post.
Although not Chinese at all, people can't resist the Korean galbi short ribs. I buy the marinade, I buy the pre-cut steaks. Mix together and grill. Takes only 10 minutes to cook for medium rare. Real easy.
And my special fried rice. Why is it special? I take use good quality ingredients (not scraps like you'd find in take out places). Whole large shrimp, Chinese sausage, shiitake mushrooms, eggs, etc.  Recipe to come in another post.
And for dessert, I baked for Ms. Pastry Chef! She shouldn't have to make her own birthday cake. That's blasphemy! So told me she wanted something with Oreos. And so I made her an Oreo cake (recipe to come in another post). Turned out pretty good. It needs some work on the looks but taste was fine. Very fine.
This turned out to be one of my more successful dinners. I wasn't slaving over the stove and the food turned out great. I'm pretty proud of myself. Though, like I said, there are some things that need to be tweaked. Otherwise, good food all around.

Spicy Garlic Shrimp
Makes 15-20 servings
2 lbs medium shrimp (21-25 count), peeled and deveined
1 jar of chili garlic sauce
skewers, optional

1. Marinate shrimp with chili garlic sauce for about 1 hour in the refrigerator.
2. Skewer shrimp to about 6 per skewer. Discard any leftover sauce.
3. If using a grill, place burners on medium direct heat. Brush with oil and grill each skewer for about 7-8 minutes while flipping once. If cooking indoors, do not skewer. Heat a large pan on medium high heat. Add 1 tbsp oil and cook until pink and opaque. About 7-8 minutes. Serve immediately.


  1. I'm pretty sure anyone would be totally blown away with that dinner. Looks great Hungry!

  2. Wow, great job by Hungry. I'm sure everything was appreciated by Mr. M&P's family.

  3. Next time, invite please, will bring booze for everyone. Read every post, this looks better than the restaurants..

    1. Thanks Allan! I try really hard to make the food as I remember as a child.


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