Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Jul 15, 2012 11:13 AM

Any suggestions for easy recipes for a hawaiian-themed luau party at home?

My best friend is planning a Graduation/Going Away party for her daughter who will be attending the University of Hawaii in the fall. It's going to be an open house and she figures there will be around 100-125 people coming and going throughout the day so she's looking for easy, delicious dishes that she can make ahead and freeze, or easily make the day ahead or morning of. I told her that I would "do some research" for her, knowing that I could call on the expertise of the Chowhounders. :) Obviously, this will be more of a stereotyped sort of Hawaiian luau, not necessarily really authentic, plate lunch types of things. No Spam musubi! :) Even typical party foods dressed up with pineapple, and flowers, etc. would be okay. She's thinking of skewers of some sort (her husband can man the grill), macaroni salad, fresh fruit... but we're sort of at a loss how to continue. She's trying to keep to a budget and do a lot of it herself but is stumped because of the huge amounts of food that she'll need to prepare. Any ideas out there? She's willing and able to make the time to work ahead. Thanks so much!!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Well. you may not be interested because of the Spam..but I have some King's Hawaiian rolls that I plan on eating with fried/.grilled spam and maybe some grilled pinapple rings to make Spam sliders. I haven't had it yet..but sounds tasty in my mind. I

    1 Reply
    1. re: rochfood

      Actually the grilled Spam on King's Hawaiian rolls sounds really good. I have nothing against Spam, and I love sushi, but its the Spam musubi itself that is sort of an acquired taste. ;) I like the idea of those little sliders though. Super easy to make and would taste good and with the addition of the grilled pineapple rings would be "hawaiian." Thanks for the suggestion!

      1. kahlua pork in a slow cooker. Super easy

        1 Reply
        1. re: Eat.Choui

          Yep, that's my suggestion. Very easy, and one can use a large roaster as well if making it for a crowd. It could serve as your main meat, and offer some chicken skewers, fruit, and yes, something with Spam. Cubed spam and pineapple chunks on skewers, brushed with a "Hawaiian" marinade/glaze (Lowry's has one) would be pretty good.

        2. An enormous pan of fried rice (w/ meat and egg and vegies) as well as a pan of chow mein have been staples at the luau parties I've attended. Affordable, filling and oh yum. Teriyaki anything, on a skewer, is always welcome. So is satay with nuoc mam and peanut sauce. Eggrolls are alwys popular, especilly beautifully-made ones. A lot depends on how much help you have because your choices are so interperative.

          Re: Skewers? DO NOT do mixed-bag alternative skewers with chunks of different stuff in different places. I know, it's pretty, but...disaster. Instead, do all the prawns and chicken chunks and sirloin chunks on the different skewers. That way, they'll cook evenly. Do all the veg the same way.

          1 Reply
          1. re: mamachef

            Throw a bag of frozen chicken wings on the Grill - do not thaw - grill over medium heat, brush with teriyaki sauce - wings will be nicely charred but still juicy and moist.
            oven roast Kalua Pig
            chicken long rice
            Grill fresh pineapple, not canned.
            Fruit Salad: mango, papaya, banana, pineapple, kiwi, guava
            Go to Costco for the macadamia nuts.
            Order a Coconut cake, see "haupia" recipe.
            - have a shave ice or snow cone bar with flavored syrups -

            decorate with brightly colored fresh tropical flowers and blast with slack key guitar and Jake Shimabukuro's ukulele,




          2. Shoyu Chicken is SO easy and very good. I've always just used bone in, skinless chicken thighs. My best friend used to live in Navy housing and her neighbor was Hawaiian and shared this recipe with us. If she's working on a budget - I definitely recommend this recipe!

            Equal parts of soy sauce, water, brown sugar. Basically 1 cup of each for 8-12 thighs, depending on size. Sometimes I find it's 1 cup per 6 thighs - I like lots of sauce, it's great on rice.

            Then you add as much fresh ginger, garlic and red pepper flakes as you would like. Perhaps 3-5 cloves of garlic and a tbls or so of ginger per cup. Red pepper optional, I've been known to toss in sliced fresh chiles on occassion too. You put everything in a large pot on the stove and bring to boil then simmer for at least 2 hours, but no more than say 4. I guess this is a very typical Hawaiian dish!

            Also, macaroni salad, rice, brown gravy and hamburger patties seemed to be something we ate quite often when invited to her house - sounds strange, but very delicious! Sometimes served with an egg! I believe it's called a plate lunch.

            2 Replies
              1. re: Cynsa

                Perhaps! She always just called it a plate lunch! Unfortunately I've never been to Hawaii, she was my only source for anything Hawaiian!