After learning the basics of plating and presentation, let’s look at the 3 traditional plating styles that are popular in Asian culinary culture.
1. Communal plating
Sharing is a vital aspect of the Asian dining culture, which makes communal dishes very common. Generous portion sizes and communal dishes can be challenging to plate. Here are some ways you can style communal dishes elegantly:
Use aesthetically pleasing garnishes.
Experiment with interesting plates and serving dishes like steamboats, woks, double-boil soup terrines, dim sum baskets, and even banana leaves when creating local dishes with a twist.
Pick a color scheme that can tie all the dishes together.
Cut larger pieces of protein and vegetables into individual serving sizes to help guests take portions quicker.
2. Individual servings
As more Asian restaurants adopt a modern outlook, individual servings are becoming a more common sight. It not only involves scaling down the portions of a communal dish but also paying attention to the finer details like garnishing. Here are tips to make individual servings more palatable:
Use serving wares that are proportional to the size of the dish.
Separate sauces and other elements in smaller bowls or saucers.
Avoid garnishes that take up too much space.
3. One-dish meals
Single-serving dishes like fish congee, nasi lemak, and nasi biryani are popular in Asian dining culture, and it is necessary to pay attention to how they are plated. Here are a few common ways of plating one-dish meals:
Plate the starch element in the center of the plate or bowl.
Arrange proteins on top of the starch.
Place vegetables and other elements around the center.
Ensure there is a variety of colors and textures on the plate.
Asian food plating is not an insurmountable challenge, especially if you stay true to customs. Make sure to highlight what makes a dish unique, whether it’s the ingredients, the colors, or the techniques. Coupled with a dose of creativity, traditional plating can elevate Asian dishes to a new level.
Congratulations, you’ve completed the 3 Traditional Asian Plating Styles topic!
Continue on to the next topic, pick a related topic from the Plating & Presentation module, or go back to the Chefmanship Academy modules page.
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