Party in Five: DIY Dim Sum Party

We here at Cooking Channel love a good party. But throwing a memorable event requires more than just gathering some food and drinks. We show you how, with just five main “ingredients” (including recipes, big-impact decorating ideas and easy DIY elements), you can throw a party that feels like it has a cohesive theme — minimal work required.

Dinner parties can be a lot of work, but when you invite guests to get involved with the preparation of the meal, you can significantly reduce your party prep time (and stress). I recently hosted a Dim Sum party and welcomed a few friends into the kitchen to learn how to make Chinese dumplings. The interactive entree was the perfect focal point of a festive dinner full of modern, eye-catching Asian-inspired details. And since guests spent the evening socializing in the kitchen, I didn’t have to miss out on a single moment.

To host your own Dim Sum party, you’ll need five essential ingredients:

• floating hot-pink flowers (peonies or another seasonal variety)
• chopsticks
• wonton wrappers
• printable tapioca pearl recipe favors ( download the template here)
• Asian cocktails and drinks

Click here to see the Dim Sum party in action and get tips for planning your own dumpling-making party.

Spotlight On: The Decor + Menu 

Hang Chinese paper lanterns from the ceiling and float hot-pink peonies in water-filled glass bowls for a beautiful centerpiece that requires zero floral skills. A grass-green and hot-pink color palette pops against a clean white and bamboo backdrop.

Set out small bowls filled with Asian snacks like wasabi peas and dried mangoes for guests to nibble on as they begin to prepare the main course. In the weeks leading up to the party, it's a good idea to do a dumpling test round or two to make sure your skills are up to par. Provide your guests with two types of filling — Green Curry Shrimp and Shiitake and Napa Cabbage (as a vegetarian option) — and then show them how to fill the wonton wrappers, seal them and steam the dumplings. Round out the meal with fresh, crisp side dishes like a Radish and Sesame Soy Noodle Salad and Green Papaya Salad in Lettuce Wraps. Lychee Mojitos are fresh and flavorful cocktails that carry on the Asian flavor profile, while Ginger and Cucumber Juice is a tasty (and healthy!) nonalcoholic option. For a bright finish, serve miniature Egg Custard Tarts with Banana and Caramel — they are delicious and, best of all, can be prepared and refrigerated in advance. After the plates are cleared, send guests home with small glass vials of tapioca pearls, along with fan-folded instructions for making coconut tapioca pudding, for sweet memories of this Asian-inspired party.

Learn how to make the dumplings and set up the decor to throw your own dim sum party.

(See more parties and events from the Party in Five series here.)

Camille Styles is the founder and editor of the lifestyle blog camillestyles.com, where she shares creative enterta ining ideas for parties and everyday life. She also owns Camille Styles Events, a design and planning firm that transforms ordinary events into extraordinary experiences.

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