Changing tastes

Leigh Beisch
This small-plate feast begins with sesame noodles, hoisin pork, and coconut shrimp. Serve with a carafe of chilled, milky white nigori sake.
Savor an array of vibrant dishes at an Asian small-plates party

Sharing many delicious dishes at a communal table has long been a daily ritual in Asian families. Now restaurants around the West are encouraging this way of dining, letting food lovers sample more dishes by sharing little tastes. This small-plates trend is a great way to entertain at home too. The dishes on the following pages are an easy start. Our party-size portions of such delectable fare as spicy Sichuan green beans and drunken chicken may be larger than those at restaurants, but once they're dished up into bite-size plates, the result is the same. For the easiest party plan, divvy up the cooking. You make the addictive coconut shrimp and the exotic mandarin-berry-almond floats for dessert, then ask guests to bring one of the easily transportable dishes, such as savory hoisin-glazed pork or aromatic sesame noodle salad. Alternatively, our options for cooking in advance make it easy to do it all yourself.

Recipes:

Thai-Style Cabbage Slaw

Drunken Chicken

Mandarin-Berry-Almond Floats

Hot Sichuan-Style Green Beans

Sweet-Hot Coconut Shrimp

Hoisin Pork with Hot Mustard

Soy-Braised Mushrooms

Sesame Noodle Salad

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