Filipino Party Food Ideas

What's in a Filipino party food menu?

Throwing a Filipino party is no small feat in my family, with my mom having 6 siblings, and with each one with 5 to 6 kids  -- that's countless cousins with most having kids of their own, too!  (just my mother's side of the family...)

Precisely why we plan not just to go for a varied menu, we consider other factors like:

  • We anticipate them to go by Filipino time, or being 1, 2 or more hours late (sadly), so we play it safe by setting-up a buffet table rather than sit down dinners or plates with several courses - and no long table will ever be enough ;)
  • While white rice or steamed rice is the staple, a noodle or pancit dish is, sort of, required, especially if it's a birthday celebration to signify the wish for a long life for the birthday celebrant.  They are also 'dish extenders', won't cost much and everyone loves them!
  • We try not run out of fried finger foods,  they are usually the first ones to go quickly.  (We try to keep them on a 200 deg. F oven to keep them hot in time for serving.)  
  • We noticed chicken, on the spread,  unless fried, is not as popular as a beef or pork dish -- so we try to allot more varieties of beef and pork dishes than chicken.  (you ever wonder why there's just chicken and vegetables at a Filipino party when you're 2 hours late?)
  • If there are other guests coming, we consider their religious affiliations, and try not to put pork as sahog or meat ingredient in vegetable, pancit (noodle) or lumpia (eggroll)dish. Chicken is still always a safe bet as a sahog or protein ingredient.
  • Though not a party favorite, we incorporate vegetable dishes to add variety to our buffet spread, we try to have at least one for every 4 - 5 meat dish.
  • When we serve a seafood or fish dish, we opt for those where guests don't need to sit in a corner picking the shells and fish bones. We try to serve fish fillets and shelled shrimps (leaving the tails in is ok - they serve as handles).  Clams in shells are fine, too. 
  • As for desserts, our kids would rather have cakes, ice cream or any chocolate sweets, but the 'not so young' tend to favor native delicacies or kakanin over any cake confection, so we make it a point to have both.
  • If we have a whole roasted pig set at the center of the buffet table, it definitely gives the notion of a grand (engrande) occasion or a huge celebration. 
  • Lastly,  we always have take-out containers available. Some relatives even come prepared bringing their own plastic ziplock bags (which is much better!). All -- I mean -- all of our Filipino parties have take-outs of leftover so our dear hosts don't end up eating the same food each day of the following week.

These pointers may or may not apply to your particular party needs, so just pick which ones you think could work for you.

Now, let's help you plan for your next party,  see the index of recipes I put together with Filipino party food favorites :


Lechon Kawali, Fried Calamari, Chicharon Liempo, Vegetable or Shrimp Tempura, Ham and Cheese Roll, Chicken Lollipop, Cheese Lumpia, Crispy Baguio Beans, Hot Potato Salad, Pinsec Frito, Hot Prawn Salad, Dynamite Sticks, Cucumber Pineapple Salad


Sweet Ham, Goat Kaldereta, Barbecue on Stick, Paella, Beef or Chicken CalderetaMorcon, Oxtail Kare-kare, Lumpiang Sariwa, Lumpiang Ubod, Embutido, Sisig, Binagoongan Baboy, Asado, Chopsuey, Barbecued Spareribs, Pork Sweet and Sour with Cucumber, Beef Menudo, Spicy Pork Liempo in Peanut Butter Sauce, Steamed Fish with Mayonnaise, Asadong Bagnet, Steamed Fish in Ginger Sauce, Ginger Soy Shrimp, Oriental Chicken, Hongkong Chicken, Stir-Fried Beans, Pininyahang Manok, Gising-gisingDinakdakan, Orange Chicken, Humba, Pork Hardinera, Cordon Bleu, Patatim, Pork Guizo, Steamed Meatloaf, Seafoods Galore, Lechon Manok Sisig, Cucumber Chopsuey, Chinese Pork Asado, Rellenong Bangus, Bangus Embutido, Garlic Butter Shrimp, Chicken Barbecue


Pancit Bihon, Pancit Canton, Baked Macaroni, Spaghetti, Lasagna, Pancit Palabok, Fruity Pasta, Pancit Canton Chinese Style


Leche Flan, Buko Pandan, Fruit Salad, Cassava Cake, Halayang Ube, Maja Blanca, Sapin-sapin, Turon, Chocolate Cupcake, Macaroons, Mango Turon, Chocolate Crinkle, Food for the Gods, Chiffon Cake, Mango Graham Cake, Mango Sago and Lychee Gelatin, Coffee Jelly, Silvanas, Carrot Cupcake, Graham Balls, Coconut Macaroons, Brazo de Mercedes, Orange Glazed Yams

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