Hosting a cocktail party with a luau theme. Suggestions on the food?

Looking for suggestions anywhere from main course to side dishes... Need something a little heavier than finger food.

Tony S
  • Posted by: Tony S
  • March 25, 2015


CookOnTheFly March 30, 2015
If you want to serve "local kine" food, as in what type of "heavy pupu" may be served at a local Hawaiian style party, might I suggest kalbi ribs, limu poke, kalua pork, miso butterfish, any kine laulau, haupia, chicken adobo, pancit, Spam musubi, sushi, manapua, and huli huli chicken. I lived in Hawaii for 15 years and that is what I had at every party in had in my garage/lanai. Along with plenty of beer (add ice to keep it cold!). Shave ice never hurts either. Serve with azuki bean paste and add matcha to the water for green tea flavor. No ka oi!
Pandi66 March 30, 2015
this is the most mildly racist thread i've ever read. the irony being that all "luau food" is post-colonial and not actually Hawaiian.
miznic March 30, 2015
oops, just saw the response from lastnightsdinner... my apologies!
miznic March 30, 2015
Try kalua pork... that's usually an all-around hit. Might be easier for you if you do it in the crock pot, depending on how many people you're doing this for. Put it on slider buns, or (better yet) Hawaiian bread cut to make slider-type buns.
lloreen March 28, 2015
Are your friends the type to enjoy seaweed salad (japanese style) and poke (marinated raw fish or octopus)? Because that is pretty much all I eat when I am in Hawaii. The poke from from grocery stores is so good! You could serve a teaspoon of poke in a wanton crisp as an appetizer. There are many great favors - I like kimchi ahi poke. Of course, this requires being careful of food prep and temp before serving.
sexyLAMBCHOPx March 25, 2015
Maybe this past hotline question about a tiki party can give you some inspiration:
Healthline March 25, 2015
Grilled Orange Ham Steak makes for an appealing (an easy) main course:

If you want something a little more Hawaiian, Chicken Curry with Coconut Milk will definitely be a crowd pleaser:

And because it's mayo-free, Cabbage, Carrot, and Radish Slaw is a great side option:
lastnightsdinner March 25, 2015
Also, maybe a coconut rice or Spam fried rice? I think a colorful slaw could be good, too.
lastnightsdinner March 25, 2015
Something like pulled pork or Bo Ssam or porchetta could be fun? Sort of evocative of the whole roast pig but scaled down. Maybe serve with those little Hawaiian bread rolls so guests can make sandwiches? I'm a big fan of little cocktail meatballs, too - they're pretty much always a hit, and so easy to make ahead, in bulk, and keep warm in a crock pot.
Nancy March 25, 2015
If you search "cooking for a crowd" In "q&a" you''ll get lots of good rips. Bot necessarily meant for a luau, but adaptable.
Nancy March 25, 2015
Should be "lots of good tips"
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