Cooking for Twenty People

During Chinese New Year, we would usually invite some friends over for lunch. That’s the only time I cook for a group of people so I try to keep it simple by keeping the number small between twenty to twenty five people. This year we had twenty guests. Ten of them were children so that made things even easier. I usually stick to this menu while varying it a little so that it won’t be overwhelming.

Menu for Twenty People

  1. One Rice Dish (any variety for example fried rice or flavoured rice)
  2. One Noodle Dish (any variety for example fried mee or meehoon including spaghetti too)
  3. Vegetable Dish (stir fried mixed vegetable or coleslaw or salad)
  4. Finger Food for kids (nuggets, hot dog, fried drummets or chicken wings, prawn fritters etc)
  5. Fresh cut fruits for dessert (or cool jellies)
  6. A curry for some gravy to go with the rice and noodle (can be chicken curry or kurma etc)
  7. Not forgetting drinks. Packet and canned ones make things easier

That’s it. It’s very simple. I don’t bake, so if I want cakes, I may buy some cupcakes from the bakery. Jellies would be nice too. They can be prepared overnight so you don’t sweat yourself out too much on the day as you still have to entertain your guests.

I sometimes have a vegetarian or two among the guests, in which case my vegetables will be kept meatless and I may fry my noodles plain.

My Menu for twenty people for this year 2012

This year we had fried meehoon, nasi lemak with curry chicken and sambal ikan bilis, mixed vegetables, nuggets, hot dog, watermelon, pineapple etc. My rice, curry and fruits are missing from the picture so it looks rather little for a group of twenty but it turned out just nice.

My curry chicken boiling in the pot.

Nasi Lemak is easy to prepare for a big group. Looks great too.

Chinese New Year Cookies and snacks for the guests while waiting for lunch to be ready. I like to serve fortune cookies. They make a great ice breaker and something to talk about as everyone peers into their “fortune”. Usually the sayings are good ones so everyone is happy…

A little appetizer or snack, bak kwa or dried barbequeued meat for before after or during the meal cut up into bite sized pieces

Less I forget and to make things easier for next year, here’s what I had to do in the morning…

  1. Boil 6 eggs
  2. Soak the mihun (1 packet)
  3. Defrost the hot dog, chicken meat and prawns
  4. Prepare shallots, ginger, garlic and big onions
  5. Cut vegetables, brocolli, cauliflower, carrot, baby corn, cabbage, cucumber and potatoes
  6. Cut the fruits watermelon and pineapple
  7. Wash the curry leaves and pandan leaves, lemon grass and cinnamon sticks
  8. Cut the chicken and devein prawns
  9. Blend the garlic, shallots for the curry
  10. Cook the curry with 1 packet santan, 4-5 whole thighs and 2-3 potatoes
  11. Cook the rice with 1 packet santan and using 4-5 cups of rice
  12. Boil the hot dog
  13. Cook the sambal
  14. Fry the nuggets
  15. Fry the vegetables
  16. Fry the meehoon with chicken, prawns and cabbage
  17. Have a bath, change, smile and greet the guests

Good thing I have a helper to help me out but even without one, I think it’s not too hard. I will look more disheveled, that is all.


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8 thoughts on “Cooking for Twenty People

  1. *Like* will be a good reference for me too!

    I’m glad you like it. I put it here because each year I forget and have to crack my head again on what to cook and how much to buy etc…

  2. I rather cater or outsource it. I have never cooked for so many people. 1 dish maybe..but not varierty.

    I only entertain once a year and I rather enjoy it, but only for once a year, more than that would be tiring rather than enjoyable. Haha.

  3. although it sounds easy, but cutting up the onions, garlic, washing the vege and getting everything ready is a lot of job hor…good that these can be passed over to the maid to help out so we got more time to cook 🙂

    The washing part is the worse I think. With a helper, its so nice to see the dishes magically disappear. 😛

  4. Hi mumsgather,

    This is great reference, I also need to come with ideas for every CNY. You gave some good ideas! Btw, how do cook the sambal for the nasi lemak?

    Hi Jess. I cheated. I used readymade sauce. Hehe. I used some fried ikan bilis for it instead of plain. Cut up some big onions, fry the onions, throw in the fried ikan bilis, then put in Brahim’s sambal sauce. Haha. So easy peasy.

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