For K’s birthday, she wanted to throw an “Asian fusion” dinner party. I’ve lost track of what that actually means, but for this party it meant a Chinese and Japanese potluck. K was looking for a good rib recipe. I told her she had to make my uncle’s amazing Chinese-style ribs and I offered to help cook.

The night before the party I helped her marinate the ribs and make Scallop Dumplings with Garlic Chives and Pork Dumplings. I haven’t made dumplings before so it took me a while to catch on, but by the end of the night, my dumplings were almost pretty. (I found this handy guide after the fact.)

Everyone was asked to bring something that went with the Chinese / Japanese theme and we ended up with a wonderful feast:

  • Smoked salmon and veggie sushi – The rolls were gorgeous and I couldn’t believe that N had made them. They were light and delicious.
  • Vegetarian gyoza and veal gyoza – A had made these the night before and pan-fried them at the party. They were served with a spicy oil sauce. The vegetarian gyoza were good, but the veal ones were amazing.
  • Scallop dumplings with garlic chives – We heated these in a bamboo steamer and they were fantastic—the garlic chives added so much flavor. We served them with soy sauce mixed with a few drops of hot chili oil, minced ginger and chopped scallions.
  • Steamed pork dumplings – These were good, but paled in comparison to the veal gyoza.
  • Pickled baby octopus (from Uwajimaya) – Bright red and too cute to eat, but I tried one anyway. Uh, ick.
  • Pickled shiso (from Uwajimaya) – This rocked my world and normally I don’t even like shiso. I need to figure out how to make it.
  • Quick pickled daikon – Zach made the pickled daikon in my new pickle press. It was very good, although I missed the crunch that comes from pickling a long time.
  • Pickled baby cucumbers with a sesame seed paste – Zach made this as well and it’s SO good. I need the recipe to so I can post it.
  • Fried soft-shell crab salad – The salad was good, but the crabs seemed a little watery.
  • Chinese long beans – I made these after having way too many drinks, but they were surprisingly good. I pan fried them in peanut oil and then threw in some sake and let them steam. Then I topped them with a little soy, hot chili oil and sesame seed oil.
  • Steamed rice – I totally forgot to serve the rice.
  • Ribs – By the time I served these we were all stuffed, but they were so good that everyone managed to eat at least two or three.

B made his signature drink, called a Sneaky Steve. The crowning touch was a single Kasugai Muscat Gummy that was deposited in each drink. By the time you were done with the drink the gummy was extra soft and had soaked up the vodka. Delicious!

For dessert K had requested a fresh fruit and whipped cream cake from Sweet & Fresh Bakery. This is one of my all-time favorite cakes.