Organize your food serving style to suit different tastebuds

I have high respect for any cook in a family- because the cook would need to take into consideration the individual taste and preference of each person when it comes to cooking the dishes.

It is impossible to please everyone especially when you live in a big family. And it would be overwhelming and not practical to cook like 5 or 8 dishes in order to try to please everyone. And even in a single dish, there would be some that prefer the food to be more spicy, sweet, sour, more onions, no onions, etc.

One way that you can cook fewer dishes and still please most of the person in your family is to allow them to self service- that is to pick and choose the condiments, flavoring and sometimes the ingredients to add into the dish.

Some examples below to illustrate my point:

Serving salad- organizing your serving options

Serving salad

Above: Serving salad. All you need to do is to cut everything up and arrange them nicely on the serving plates. Have the salad dressing and other condiments ready by the side. When each family member come, let them just take what they want- for sure each one will have different preference to certain vegetables, dressing and also food volume.

Serving tomyam

When it comes to tomyam, different people have different tastebuds. Some like it sour, some like it  spicy, some cannot take spicy and some do not like to have coriander in the soup. You can solve this problem by putting the additional condiments separately. For example I don’t really like fish so I will take at most one piece but I like my tomyam sour and spicy without any coriander on top. I would add more lime juice and small cut chilies on my soup. Whereas I know for others who could not take anything spicy so they can still enjoy their bowl of tomyam minus the chilies.

Serving rice porridge:

Serving food- porridge

First, cook a big pot of plain rice porridge as per above. Sometimes rice porridge is also cooked using fish, chicken or pork bone soup.

Serving food- porridge

Then place the additional ingredients separately for each person to choose what is their preference. Above is actually fish porridge (the porridge is cooked with pork ribs soup). The fish, fried garlic, cut spring onions and coriander are placed separately. Each person can choose the volume of porridge they wish to have, how much of fish and condiments to put on the porridge.

Serving noodles soup:

Serving noodle soup

Noodle soups must be eaten immediately. Or else when it cools down and the noodles absorb the soup, it no longer taste nice. What you can do is prepare 2 pots- one to cook the soup, and one with plain water to rinse the noodles.
Serving food- noodles soup
Each person can choose the noodles that they wish to have. For example koay teaw, vermicelli or mee. Then using a strainer to strain for a short while in the hot water (just like how you see the normal noodle stalls do).

Serving food- noodles soup

After straining, place the noodles on a bowl and then carefully scoop the soup on the bowl like above. Some people like it dry, some with little and some with a lot of soup.
Serving food- noodles soup

Let them also choose their own ingredients because some people would prefer certain type of fishballs more than others. Some do not take fishballs and prefer minced meat instead.

Hopefully above would give you some ideas when it comes to organizing food serving to suit different taste buds of your family members or friends when you are throwing a party. It is also easier to prepare servings like above than to prepare individual servings. I find that after this is adopted, everyone is happy with the self service option. Through this, you would be able to cook something that pleases the majority amount of people.

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