Do you ever get overwhelmed by the thought of cooking for a crowd? With these tips, tricks and easy yet delicious recipes you will cook and Indonesian Style buffet for a crowd without getting flustered and frustrated! Cooking and entertaining like a BOSS!
Oops I invited too many people!
Inviting people is fun! My only problem is inviting too many people sometimes and of course you can’t just un- invite some of them now can you! The first time this happened to me I tried to do too many fancy recipes and let me tell you: That doesn’t work! Unless of course you have a professional kitchen. I don’t so that evening everything went terribly wrong. I was cooking Lamb chops with different side dishes but didn’t realize while planning the menu I needed the oven for more than one of my dishes. And what is worse, the oven had to be at different temperatures all at the same time. Needless to say that this was a fiasco!
Afterwards I started to ask myself some questions ( yes I am a sucker for evaluating my own dinner parties hahaha).
- Q: What exactly went wrong? A: Well….. Everything but mainly my choice of recipes.
- Q: What do you really want? A: I want to be able to throw a dinner party without being completely stressed out about it. I also want to be able to spend time with my guests AND I want my guests to love my food.
- Q: How can you make that happen? A: Choose recipes I can cook in advance to reduce stress and increase quality time with my guests. And stick with 1 theme instead of going all over the place!
That is literally what I started off with. So my no. 1 rule is to choose recipes you can make in advance. And this rule really works. Since that first time I’ve cooked Italian for 70 people ( check my post on Spaghetti and Meatballs for that). I’ve cooked a Thai buffet for 20 people, Surinamese food for 10 people and so on. And it never went wrong again!
Indonesian Style buffet
One of the easiest foods to cook for a crowd is Indonesian food. Making an Indonesian Style buffet is all about planning in advance and cooking the day before or the morning of the big night. Now for the tricky part: how do you know how much to cook? Well this is quite basic, the normal amounts for adults are:
- 125 grams of noodles or 75 grams of rice per person
- 150 grams of meat per person
- 100 ml sauce per person
- 100 grams of salad per person
For children under the age of 12 you take half the amounts. These amounts however work best if you serve a menu that consist out of a main dish with veggies and potatoes/noodles/rice. For a buffet it makes more sense to add the amounts up so you will have to make sure you have about 500 grams of food for each person. I always make more though because I would hate it if people would leave my dinner table still feeling hungry. And of course some people eat more than others but you want everyone to be able to have a taste of every dish. The trick to not waste food because you made way too much is simple. What you do is heat up generous amounts just before serving but you don’t heat up everything. Keep it refrigerated and if you don’t use it anymore freeze it or eat it the next day.
My planning for an Indonesian Style buffet feast:
Two days before the dinner party:
- do all the grocery shopping, including wine and beer so you can make sure it’s nice and cool.
- Make the Indonesian cucumber salad.
- Marinade the chicken for the Chicken Satay. Optional but believe me it tastes great if you do. If you want to do it later just do it the evening before your dinner party because it does taste a lot better if the meat has time to marinade.
One day before the dinner party:
Now this is always my favorite day. I head to the kitchen and start cooking YAY!
- The first thing you want to do is make the Beef Rendang ( especially if you use the slowcooker). Or start by making Spicy Beef instead.
- When grilling the Chicken Satay you can put the meat you marinated yesterday on skewers. If you pan fry it you can fry it now. If grilling the meat is what you want you can either grill it just before you will serve or you can grill it now and reheat them standing up in the satay sauce just before serving.
- Prepare Satay Sauce ( set aside if you are using the grill) poor over cooked meat and cover.
- Make the Eggs in Soy sauce. Make sauce and boil eggs but do not combine until tomorrow.
- Quickly throw together the Indonesian Noodles. And/or Indonesian Fried Rice.
- Make the Indonesian chicken in Sambal sauce.
- Let everything cool down and refrigerate.
The day of the dinner party:
- Have a nice long sleep.
- Take a nice long bath.
- Enjoy a nice big breakfast with your family.
- Watch Netflix
Ok all jokes aside, there is not much you have to do on this day because most of your Indonesian Style Buffet is patiently waiting in the fridge. Which by the way only enhanced the flavors! Just greet your guests, have a nice glass of wine with them, catch up and than go to the kitchen and start warming everything. I usually use the oven, microwave and pots and pans. If you want some white rice boil that while you start to get ready. At this time you can peel the eggs. For the Eggs in Soy Sauce, heat sauce and put in bowl. Cut the eggs in half lengthwise and put in sauce sunny side up. Spoon over a bit of the sauce and serve immediately. If you left grilling the Chicken Satay till the last minute now is the time to do so!
When your guests finish eating, freeze leftovers.
That’s it! So there you have it : with a bit of planning it is really easy to throw together an Indonesian Buffet.