Sean’s cousins Ashlie and Danny invited me and a few other of our friends to their beautiful wedding this past weekend and it was so fun!
For those that are unfamiliar with Asian weddings, there’s always a plethora of food and alcohol. I’m pretty familiar to Cambodian weddings because I’ve been to so many as a kid. My parents are both Chinese, but they are both immigrants from Cambodia. Although they are Chinese by ethnicity, they are familiar with the Cambodian culture as well.
Instead of the usual salad appetizer, main course, and dessert that you see at a usual American wedding, Cambodian weddings have many appetizers and multiple main course dishes. Platters are placed on the Lazy Susan and are shared family style. All the photos below are screenshots from video clips I’ve taken, so I apologize for the poor quality and lighting!
Menu for the night
Crispy outside, not too oily, and had a creamy filling. I would have had more of these if I didn’t know that we had a huge dinner ahead of us!
Appetizer: Seafood Cold Plate
Under the bed of seafood was a pile of cold cabbage! This plate consisted of shrimp, seaweed salad, jellyfish, and other seafood I was unfamiliar with (but still ate). The shrimp pairs so great with the sweet mayo that comes in the center of the dish. Although I’m not a huge fan of seafood, jellyfish is one of my things to eat! It doesn’t taste fishy at all, and it has the texture of cartilage. I really recommend giving it a try at least once if you’re ever given the opportunity.
Main Course: Fresh Crabmeat, Albacore, and Scallop Soup (aka Imitation Shark Fin Soup)
If you didn’t know, shark fin was banned in the U.S. years ago due to the inhumane ways they obtain shark fin. It was considered to be an expensive delicacy among Asian countries, but since it’s illegal in America, people found other ways to make imitation shark fin soup. I love to add a little bit of red vinegar and white pepper (provided on the table) to the soup to add a little more dimension to the flavor.
Main Course: Honey Walnut Shrimp
Honey walnut shrimp is one of my favorite dishes! It’s definitely my favorite way to eat shrimp, and I wish you could have seen the size of these shrimp. I believe they deep fry the shrimp and cover it in some type of mayonnaise and top it off with sweet walnuts. Panda Express does not do this dish justice, you absolutely have to try the real deal at an authentic Asian restaurant.
Main Course: Peking Duck Steamed Buns
The platter came with steamed buns, a whole chopped duck, a side of hoisin sauce, and shredded scallions. You assemble the steamed buns yourself so you can decide how much meat and sauce to add to your own bun. Each person has their preference, but I personally don’t like to add too much sauce to my buns because it overpowers the taste of the crispy peking duck. I only added a lot of sauce for the picture.
Main Course: Abalone, Sea Cucumber, and Black Mushrooms
Now I’m pretty sure this is an unfamiliar dish for most people. Abalone is a type of shellfish, and it is veeeerrry expensive. This is also actually the only type of shellfish I eat (I’m not a fan of mussels, clams, etc). It’s thinly sliced because it’s so expensive so there’s more to go around for everyone. It’s cooked with sea cucumbers, black mushrooms, bok choy, and covered with a type of gravy. I’m also not a fan of sea cucumber, so I stuck to just the bok choy, mushrooms, and abalone. A few of my friends weren’t willing to try this dish just because it was too foreign to them.
Main Course: French Beef Tenderloin
This was more of an American style dish. The beef tenderloin was seasoned so well and was very peppery. It was sliced into cubes, cooked medium well, and served over a bed of lettuce and thinly sliced raw onions. Although it was a delicious bite with the onions, it was slightly tough to chew through. The tenderloin was so flavorful though, I couldn’t stop eating it!
Main Course: Lobster with House Special Sauce
If I’ve mentioned this wedding to you, you know that I was the most excited about this dish. Ever since I can remember, lobster cooked in this sauce has been my all time favorite dish (it’s better than the honey walnut shrimp!). It’s funny because I’m not a fan of crab, but when lobster is cooked like this, I’m pretty sure I could eat the entire platter to myself. It’s flavorful, spicy, and juicy! If you’ve never had this style of lobster, you better head to an Asian restaurant and order one as soon as you can.
Main Course: Thai Fried Rice
To end all of the main course dishes was the fried rice. I’m usually a fan of the rice because it’s fried with egg, Chinese sausage, and shrimp, but because this was a Thai style fried rice, it tasted a little different to me. It was kind of bland and I was a little disappointed in the taste, but nevertheless they were generous with the amount of shrimp and I still had a whole bowl. Why waste food?!
Dessert: Mashed Taro with Wine Nuts
I absolutely love this dessert because it’s not too heavy and it’s not too sweet. The taro comes out warm and it’s the perfect way to end such a decadent dinner. I’m not really sure how else to describe this, but just know it’s a delicious dessert (even though it looks like brains).
Remember if you’re ever invited to have a meal with a culture you’re not too familiar with, have an open mind and be willing to try everything at least once before you say you don’t like it! Check out my vlog on the wedding and food: