Traditional 10 Course Chinese Wedding Banquet
A few months ago, we attended a family member's wedding banquet at Mayflower Seafood Restaurant in Milpitas, CA. Upon arrival, you'll always be greeted by the bride and groom for photos. You will then proceed to sign your name in the guest book. Generally, right next to the guest book should be a box for guests to drop off red envelopes to the bride and groom.
In Chinese culture, each dish chosen has a symbolic meaning of good luck and prosperity. Most dishes represent a dragon (male) and phoenix (women) theme.
What We Had For Dinner:
Course 1. BBQ Combination Platter - The massive appetizer platter with crispy skin pork belly, roasted pork, 5 spice beef shank, jelly fish and seaweed. All served cold.
Course 2. Deep Fried Stuffed Hokkaido Crab Legs - A mixture of shrimp meat is formed around a crab claw and deep fried. Personally, I love dipping this in red vinegar.
Course 3. Sauteed Prawns & Conch with Greens - A stir fry of prawns and conch with snow peas.
Course 4. Braised Deluxe Swallow Nest with Crab Meat Soup - This soup is good with a bit of red vinegar.
Course 5. Peking Duck - The duck's skin is separated from the meat and served with fluffy hot steamed buns, scallions and hoisin sauce. You open the bun, spread a thin layer of hoisin sauce, layer on a piece of crispy skin, top with scallions and devour.
Course 6. Braised Whole Abalone & Sea Cucumber with Greens - Whole abalone served over bok choy braised in oyster sauce.
Course 7. Steamed Fresh Whole Fish - Steamed fish topped with scallions and ginger and flavored with soy sauce.
Course 8. Baked Lobsters with Ginger & Green Onion - Chunks of lobster sauteed with scallions, ginger and garlic.
Course 9. Fried Sticky Rice with Diced Chinese Sausage - Stir-fried sticky rice cooked with Chinese sausage and bacon. Typically, this is the last dish of the night so most folks are already too full.
Course 10. Dessert (Double Happiness Cookies, Red Bean Soup and Wedding Cake) - The red bean soup is thick, sweet and filled with tapioca pearls.
Note: Some banquets have squab, noodles, crab or something different but it really depends on the bride and groom's budget and style. You'll see that most of the time it will be 10 course meal. You will be so full by the end of the night that you'll probably need to be rolled to the car.