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Failsafe Indochinese Nibbles for Your Christmas Party

An atmospheric playlist, fun décor and a generous supply of highly sippable beverages are significant factors in throwing a great holiday party, but let’s be real – the most important part of any festive gathering is the food! Even if you aren’t looking to host a sit-down dinner party, it’s always a good idea to provide nibbles throughout the night to keep your guests satisfied (and to impress them with your hosting skills!). Fortunately, you can serve delicious Indochinese snacks without spending hours in the kitchen or dropping your entire party budget on catering from a Thai restaurant in Soho. Check out these ideas for simple apps and party snacks from Banana Tree, and host the Christmas party of the season!

We’re Nuts for This Snack Mix

One great Indochinese-inspired party snack is a well-seasoned cashew-peanut mix. Simply toss unsalted cashews and peanuts with sugar, minced garlic, fish sauce, sesame oil and Thai chilli flakes, then bake them at a low temperature until warm and crispy. Squeeze a little lime juice over the nut mix and serve it in bowls distributed around the room for your guests to nibble on as they please!

A Toast to Prawns

Another super-easy appetizer for your Christmas celebrations is prawn toast – but not the sad, soggy kind you find tucked in with a lacklustre takeaway. A good prawn toast is packed with flavour, perfectly crispy and undeniably moreish – just be sure to make enough for your guests to have seconds (and thirds!).

In a food processor, pulse raw prawns, garlic, ginger, spring onions, soya sauce, sesame oil and an egg until a paste forms. Spread the paste onto slices of bread, sprinkle with sesame seeds and fry each piece of bread in oil until the prawns are cooked and the toast is golden and crispy. Cut the prawn toasts into cute little triangles and serve to all your hungry friends. 

Satay, the King of Party Snacks

Of course, no discussion of Indochinese nibbles would be complete without an ode to satay, the ultimate portable snack. So much more than just meat on a stick, the secret to satay’s amazing flavour lies in its delicious marinade and sauce. Make this incredible recipe for chicken satay sticks, inspired by Banana Tree’s own Kajang Grilled Satay, and your Christmas party is sure to be a hit!

Party Snack Satay Sticks, inspired by Banana Tree

For the marinade

3 lemongrass stalks, chopped

2 shallots, chopped

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 knob of ginger, minced

1 red Thai chilli, minced

3 tbsp. fish sauce

3 tbsp. soya sauce

Scant ½ cup brown sugar

2 tbsp. vegetable oil

2 tbsp. ground coriander

1 tsp. ground cumin

½ tsp. ground turmeric 

For the meat

8 boneless chicken thighs, cut into thin strips

1 package of wooden skewers

For the sauce

1 can full-fat coconut milk

¾ cup natural creamy peanut butter

¾ cup brown sugar

¼ cup red curry paste

2 tbsp. white vinegar

1 tbsp. fish sauce

Water, to thin

Make the marinade

Combine the ingredients for the marinade in the food processor and pulse until a paste forms. Taste the marinade and adjust the seasoning to your liking.

Marinate the meat

Place the chicken in a shallow dish and pour the marinade over the meat. Toss so that each piece of chicken is covered in marinade. Cover, place in refrigerator and allow to marinate at least two hours – you can even let it marinate overnight.

Make the sauce

In a saucepan, heat the ingredients for the sauce, stirring until smooth and combined. Add water to thin to desired consistency.

Cook the satay

Thread the chicken onto skewers and grill each one until cooked through. Serve with the peanut sauce alongside for dipping.