Start the banquet with home made Squid Ink Prawn Crackers. In Britain we know them from the greasy brown paper bag bulging on top of a Chinese takeaway, yet in China they are more of a special snack, often served at Cantonese weddings.
For the main course we suggest Chairman Mao Red Braised Pork. This is a red braised dish which needs to simmer in the juices for forty minutes, but the longer it has to absorb the tasty juices, the better. The result is a wonderfully sticky sauce, with a jelly-like layer of savoury, succulent fat. Serve alongside steamed rice and Sichuan Style Greens With Minced Pork.
Finish the banquet by presenting your guests with homemade mooncakes following our tips for perfect mooncakes and using our wooden moulds. For an extra touch of exuberance you may like to add a few Chinese jujube dates to the azuki bean paste.
Begin the feast with Som Tum Thai Papaya Salad. To a dressing of fish sauce, palm sugar, fresh chilli and lime juice add sliced papaya, tomatoes, string beans, shredded carrot, shrimp paste and roasted peanuts. The bold yet balanced flavours of spicy, sour, sweet, salty and bitter makes for a great introduction to a Thai meal.
For an impressive yet easy dinner party main course try our recipe for Sea Bass With Tamarind And Chilli - the citrus spice of the tamarind and chilli sauce is a brilliant accompaniment to fish. Serve the seabass with Steamed Glutinous Rice In A Lotus Leaf, a dramatic parcel to unwrap at the table in front of guests. And for dessert, make your own mooncakes using a mooncake mould (we used kueh moulds but they still work well). Traditional fillings in Thailand include durian and salted egg yolk.
In the spirit of sharing dishes, a Japanese feast might include Okonomiyaki - a crispy pancake exterior, moist doughy vegetable-filled interior, sweet-sour sauce topping, and savoury umami-rich garnish. For a refreshing side dish try a simple Cucumber & Wakame Salad.
Then to refresh the palate and give a real touch of luxury to the banquet, Yuzu Sorbet is ideal. Serve in cocktail glasses for an extra touch of glamour.
Mooncakes in Japan are popular, especially filled with azuki bean paste. For an authentic Japanese twist introduce some matcha green tea into the pastry dough - its earthy, grassy notes work beautifully with the sweet, nuttiness of the azuki beans. Or try matcha green tea ice cream.