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Bring Asian cuisine to the office with Chinese catering options

If you're looking for a deliciously inclusive catering solution for your next big office event, Chinese cuisine is a great option. Many Chinese food caterers offer buffet-style service where attendees serve themselves, which makes it easy to order classic dishes in bulk amounts. Plus, Asian cuisine is highly versatile to suit a variety of special dietary needs and preferences. 

Bold flavors, fresh ingredients, and authentic recipes are all part of the menu when you order Chinese catering. From classic dishes, such as beef chow mein and Kung Pao chicken, to vegan and vegetarian-friendly options made with crisp veggies and savory seasonings, Chinese catering has something tasty and satisfying for everyone in the office. 

What are classic Chinese food options for multiple people?

Family-style, shared meals are commonplace in Chinese culture, and many recipes are designed for multiple people. Side dishes such as spring rolls, rice, potstickers, fried wontons, and wonton soup are also often included with family-style meals. Some classic Chinese food options for sharing with large parties include:

- Kung Pao chicken with soup and rice. This classic dish features cubed chicken stir fried with spicy chili peppers, peanuts, and vegetables.

- Chicken, beef, or vegetable chow mein with soup and rice. Chow mein has many variations, with the basic recipe consisting of stir-fried noodles and veggies, meat, or chicken served over white rice.

- Sweet and sour chicken with soup and rice. Batter-fried chicken tossed in tangy sweet and sour sauce makes up this popular Chinese dish. For the vegetarians or vegans in your group, you can also request vegetables or tofu as an alternative to chicken. 

How much Chinese food should I order?

While exact numbers can vary depending on the specific Chinese dishes you plan to order, a basic rule of thumb is to order one main dish per guest plus soup and rice. 

For example, for dishes like chow mein, Kung Pao chicken, and Peking duck, the number of main dish servings should match the number of guests. For 10 guests, have 10 main dish servings available, for example.

For side dishes like egg rolls and spring rolls, think about serving 2 rolls per person. Double the number of guests to figure out how many rolls you need, and maybe add on a few extra just in case some people spring for a third roll.

A serving of soup is about 1 cup, so for a crowd of 10 people, 10 cups would be enough, assuming everyone is eating soup. 

As a side dish, a half cup of cooked rice is considered one serving. Use this amount to determine how many cups of rice you might need for everyone. If rice is considered a main dish, such as if it has meat or vegetables in it, then 1 cup of cooked rice is considered one serving.

Is there anything I should know about Chinese food catering?

Because many Chinese dishes are eaten with chopsticks, it's always a good idea to ask your catering manager to include forks, knives, and other utensils with your order for people who might not be comfortable using chopsticks. It's also important to order a variety of main dishes, sides, and desserts to meet the dietary needs and preferences of everyone in your party. 

What are some of the cultural meanings to food in China?

Symbolism in Chinese foods originated thousands of years ago, with shapes, colors, and pronunciations pertaining to legends and superstitions. Some foods are associated with power and strength, with special recipes designated to specific holidays and served at various events and festivals. Chinese people also believe that sharing meals and enjoying delicious food together helps create a sense of togetherness and harmony between family members and loved ones. 

- Sweet round sticky rice balls (Tang Yuan): Made with glutinous rice flour, regular rice flour, and water, this traditional Chinese sweet is often served at the Chinese Lantern Festival. The festival takes place on the evening of the first full moon in the Chinese calendar year, and Tang Yuan translates to "togetherness and reunion." 

- Five-color rice: On the 15th day of the third month in the Chinese calendar year, Miao, ethnic people in Guizhou Province enjoy five-color sticky rice at the Sister's Meal Festival. The stickiness of the rice symbolizes solidarity among the people, while the colors indicate a good harvest for the year to come. The rice is dyed with berries, leaves, and flowers in colors that include purple, yellow, red, white, and black. 

- Dumplings: While dumplings are enjoyed year-round in China and throughout the world, this traditional Chinese food is closely associated with the Chinese New Year. Dumplings originated during the Han Dynasty (206 BC - 220 AD). A traveling physician named Zhang Zhongjing created the recipe for dumplings as a way to cure frostbitten ears in villagers. The dumpling dough was formed in the shape of an ear, filled with warming foods and medicinal herbs, and boiled in broth to create dumpling soup. In Chinese culture, Chinese people enjoy dumplings on the Chinese New Year to honor Dr. Zhongjing.