Planning the Perfect Chinese Food Party Tray

Chinese Food

Throwing a party? Want an easy appetizer option your guests will love? A Chinese food party tray is the perfect solution. loaded with all the best bites from egg rolls to potstickers, it makes entertaining simple while providing a variety of flavors and textures sure to satisfy any crowd.

This comprehensive guide will walk you through everything you need to know to plan, prepare and present show-stopping Chinese food party trays. You’ll learn insider tips on choosing dishes, calculating portions, easy recipes, timeline planning and flawless presentation. Let’s get started!

What to Include on a Chinese Food Party Tray

A good Chinese party tray is a mix of steaming dumplings, crisp spring rolls, savory chicken and beef bites in flavorful sauce and fresh, colorful vegetables and fruits.

Here are some of the most popular Chinese appetizers and finger foods to include:


  • Potstickers: Pan-fried on one side, soft and chewy on the other. Pork, chicken, veggie or shrimp fillings.
  • Soup dumplings: Fluffy, juicy dumplings filled with meat and piping hot soup. Carefully eat in one bite.
  • Siu mai: Open-topped dumplings, usually filled with pork and shrimp.
  • Wontons: Small dumplings that can be fried, boiled or served in soup. Versatile meat or veggie fillings.

Crispy Bites

  • Egg rolls: Thin, crunchy wheat wrappers filled with pork, shrimp and veggies.
  • Spring rolls: Crunchy veggie rolls with crispy wrappers and dipping sauce.
  • Crab rangoon: Crispy, creamy pockets stuffed with crab and cream cheese.

Small Plates

  • Chicken lettuce wraps: Sweet chicken stir fry served over cups of crisp lettuce.
  • Chinese chicken meatballs: Bite-sized chicken meatballs coated in a sticky glaze.
  • Sesame noodles: Cold noodles tossed with peanut sauce and chopped scallions.
  • Bamboo skewers: Spicy beef or chicken skewers. Easy to pick up.

Veggies and More

  • Edamame: Boiled and lightly salted soybeans, crunchy and nutty.
  • Eggplant: Chinese eggplant stir fried or roasted with garlic.
  • Cucumber salad: Cool, crisp cucumbers tossed in a light rice wine dressing.
  • Fresh fruit platter: Watermelon, oranges, pineapple. Sweet way to end the meal.

When selecting dishes for your party tray, aim for variety in flavors, textures, colors and ingredients to please all palates:

  • Flavors: Mix of sweet, salty, sour, spicy and umami
  • Textures: Crispy, soft, chewy, crunchy
  • Colors: Vibrant reds, greens and yellows
  • Ingredients: Meat, seafood, tofu and veggie options

Also make sure to choose items that travel well and will hold up sitting out throughout the party. Dumplings steamer baskets and slow cookers work great for keeping food warm and fresh.

Calculating How Much Food You Need

It’s always better to have too much than not enough food at a party. But how much Chinese food should you order for party trays? Here is a simple formula:

Appetizer portions per person

  • 8-10 potstickers
  • 3 spring rolls
  • 2-3 crab rangoons
  • 2-3 chicken lettuce wraps
  • 4-5 pieces veggies/fruit

So for a party of 25 people, estimate approximately:

  • 200-250 potstickers
  • 75 spring rolls
  • 50-75 crab rangoons
  • 50-75 lettuce wraps
  • 100-125 vegetable/fruit pieces

When ordering main dishes like orange chicken and fried rice, plan for a little less food than a sit down meal since appetizer trays will be filling:

  • Main dishes: 6 oz protein + 3 oz rice/noodles + 2 oz vegetables per person
  • Fried items: 2 pieces per person (egg rolls, etc)

Make sure to order extra veggie dishes and lighter appetizer options. And have a couple backup frozen entrees or pizzas ready just in case!

Perfect Presentation Tips

The way you display your Chinese party tray can be almost as important as the food itself. Follow these presentation ideas to impress your guests:

Multi-Tiered Platters

Stack all items elegantly on large round platters, with the biggest pieces on bottom and dips and garnishes topping the tower.

Small Plates and Utensils

Provide small plates, forks, spoons, and napkins so guests can easily grab food. Chopsticks for more authentic feel.

Food Labels

Identify vegetarian, meat and gluten free dishes with cute labels. Great for dietary needs or just satisfying curiosity over unfamiliar items!

Heating Elements

Use slow cookers, sterno buffet warmers and steamer baskets to keep hot food piping hot all night.

Fresh Garnishes

Garnish platters with sliced oranges, lemons, limes, sprinkling of sesame seeds or scallions. Brightens up the presentation.

Table Decor

Incorporate Chinese parasols, lanterns and decorations. Or go modern with fresh flowers in simple vases.

However you present your Chinese party tray, make it bountiful and beautiful so it’s as fun to look at as it is to eat!



Chinese Food



3 Easy Chinese Appetizer Recipes

Preparing an entire Chinese banquet may seem intimidating. But these 3 easy appetizer recipes can be made in advance, refrigerated or frozen, then cooked just before the party. Perfect for Chinese food party trays!

1. Vegetable Spring Rolls with Dipping Sauce

Crisp veggies wrapped in wheat wrappers, great make ahead appetizer.


  • 1 package spring roll wrappers (20-25 wrappers)
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 cup chopped cabbage
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • 1 bunch scallions, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil
  • Egg wash (1 beaten egg + 1 Tbsp water)
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 rice vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 Tbsp honey


  1. Prepare filling: Mix together shredded carrots, cabbage, bean sprouts, scallions and sesame oil.
  2. Assemble spring rolls: Place 2-3 Tbsp filling on lower third of wrapper. Fold sides over filling, then tightly roll up.
  3. Fry rolls: Heat 1-2 inches oil to 350°F. Fry rolls 2-3 minutes until crispy and golden brown.
  4. Make dipping sauce: Mix all sauce ingredients and serve alongside fried rolls.

Makes 20-25 spring rolls.

2. Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Sweet chicken stir fry served over cool, fresh lettuce cups.


  • 1 lb ground chicken
  • 1 cup chopped water chestnuts
  • 1/2 cup bean sprouts
  • 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp corn starch + 2 Tbsp water (mixed)
  • 2 heads butter lettuce


  1. In large pan or wok, cook ground chicken over high heat breaking it into crumbles.
  2. Add water chestnuts, bean sprouts, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, sesame oil and vinegar. Cook 2-3 minutes.
  3. Mix corn starch with water, add to pan to thicken. Cook 1 minute until sauce coats chicken and veggie mix.
  4. Serve chicken mixture over lettuce cups. Top with extra hoisin and sprinkle of sesame seeds.

3. Pork Potstickers

Pan fried on one side, soft and chewy on the other. Easy to make ahead.

Ingredients – Filling

  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp grated fresh ginger
  • 3 scallions, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil

Ingredients – Wrappers & Cooking

  • 1 package round dumpling wrappers (about 50)
  • Vegetable oil
  • 1 cup water
  • Soy sauce for dipping


  1. Mix all filling ingredients in a bowl until thoroughly combined. Place heaping teaspoon of filling in center of each dumpling wrapper.
  2. Wet the edges with water, fold over to form a half moon and pinch edges closed. Smooth out any air pockets.
  3. Coat large non-stick pan with oil and place over medium high heat. Add potstickers flat side down forming a circle. Fry 2 minutes until golden.
  4. Carefully add 1 cup water to pan and cover. Steam potstickers until water is absorbed, about 5 minutes.
  5. Remove potstickers to a serving platter and serve with soy sauce.

Repeat with remaining filling and wrappers. Freeze extras for up to 3 months. Simply steam until heated through.

Timeline for Preparing Party Trays

Planning a detailed cooking schedule ensures hot, fresh food is ready exactly when guests arrive. Here is a sample 2-day timeline:

2 Days Before Party

  • Prepare fillings for potstickers, spring rolls, etc. Refrigerate in airtight containers
  • Make dipping sauces and marinades. Refrigerate.
  • Chop veggies that will be added day-of cooking

Day Before Party

  • Assemble all dumplings, spring rolls and other hand-wrapped goodies
  • Arrange on baking sheets, cover loosely and refrigerate

Day of Party:

  • 11 AM: Fully cook frozen dumplings and spring rolls until crispy and golden brown. Keep warm in 200 degree oven.
  • 1 PM: Stir fry chicken, beef and veggie dishes. Cook noodles and rice.
  • 3 PM: Plate appetizers on tiered platters with garnish. Warm main dishes in slow cookers and steamers.
  • 5 PM: Party time!

This schedule ensures maximum freshness and that you get to actually enjoy your party!

Start Planning Your Chinese Food Party Tray

With so many tasty appetizer options, calculated portions and easy make-ahead recipes, creating a crowd-pleasing Chinese food party tray is simple. Impress your guests with an artfully presented array of flavors, colors and textures worthy of a Beijing banquet hall. Just be prepared for everyone to request your recipe secrets after they taste how incredible these dishes turned out!

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