These Hawaiian inspired recipes will give the guests the opportunity to mingle while enjoying delicious Luau finger foods. From traditional savory Hawaiian appetizers, such as Spam musubi and pork hash to sweet treats made with fresh fruit and flavors inspired by the tropical islands.
Spam musubi is a sushi-like appetizer that combines Japanese and Hawaiian cuisines. It's a thick slice of sticky rice topped with fried spam and wrapped with a strip of nori seaweed. If you don't have a musubi mold press, you can use the Spam can lined with plastic wrap or mold it with your own hands. Yield: 10
- 2 tablespoon low- sodium soy sauce
- 2 tablespoon brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
- 1 can Spam, cut into 10 slices
- 5 nori sheets, cut lengthwise into two
- 2 teaspoons furikake
- 4-5 cups cooked sushi rice
- Combine soy sauce and sugar in a bowl. Set aside.
- Add oil to a frying pan and warm it up over medium heat.
- Fry the Spam slices, both sides until brown and crispy. Remover from the heat.
- Coat Spam slices with soy mixture and transfer to a platter.
- Lay nori on a flat surface.
- Use a nigiri mold or your own hands to create the rice cakes.
- Place a cooked Spam slice on top of each nigiri. Wrap with nori. Serve immediately.
Grilled pineapple is great on its own, or you can make extra and use it to top a burger. You can cut them in smaller pieces, wrap them in bacon, and pop them in the oven or air fryer. The possibilities are endless when it comes to grilled pineapples. Yield: 12 servings
- 2 large ripe pineapples
- 6 tablespoons raw honey
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Pepper to taste
- Cut tops, bottoms and skin off of the pineapples.
- Cut the pineapple into quarters.
- Make a glaze by mixing together the raw honey, lemon juice, and pepper to taste if desired.
- Brush the pineapple slices with the glaze.
- Spray your grill with an oil spray. Preheat it to high heat.
- Grill the pineapple pieces for 3-4 minutes each side or until you see the grill marks.
Satay is not a native dish of Hawaii but is now found on just about every menu in Honolulu. In fact, many of the dishes that you are likely to find in Hawaii are strongly influenced by Asian cuisine. This recipe is good on its own or with some dipping sauce. Yield: 24 skewers
- 24 bamboo skewers soaked for at least one hour in water
- 1 pound of beef (tri-tip, brisket, or any steak that you like to use)
- 1½ inch thick piece of peeled ginger root, chopped fine or grated
- 4 cloves of garlic pressed
- ¼ cup of teriyaki sauce
- 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons of fresh coriander
- 2 tablespoons of rice wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons of lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 tablespoon of hoisin sauce
- Slice the beef, against the grain, into ¼ inch thick slices.
- Weave the beef strips onto the skewers.
- Mix together the ginger root, garlic, teriyaki sauce, vegetable oil, coriander, rice wine vinegar, lemon zest, lemon juice, crushed red pepper flakes, and hoisin sauce.
- Place the beef skewers into a 9x13 pan and pour the marinade over the beef skewers.
- Toss the beef skewers in the marinade to coat. Cover, and let rest for at least an hour in your refrigerator.
- Grill on a hot grill for 2-4 minutes on each side. They cook fast so watch them.
This sauce is perfect for the satay skewers.
- 1 cup sugar
- ½ cup sake
- ½ cup soy sauce
- 1 ½ thinly sliced green onions
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- ¾ teaspoon grated ginger
- Mix all the ingredients in a small saucepan.
- Place the saucepan over a medium high heat.
- Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce to a simmer.
- Simmer the mixture until it has reduced to one cup.
- Let the dipping sauce cool before serving.
Pork hash is Hawaii's take on the classic Chinese steamed dumplings. These steamed, open-face dumplings filled with pork and shrimp will be a big hit at your event. Have soy sauce ready for dipping.
Teriyaki meatballs are wonderful over rice, noodles or simply served as appetizers. Be sure to have toothpicks and napkins available when serving these delicious meatballs. Serves 6.
For the meatballs:
- 1 pound ground beef, 85% fat
- ¼ cup Panko
- 3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons garlic, minced
- Egg whites from 2 large eggs
For the teriyaki sauce:
- 1 (15-ounce) can crushed pineapple, undrained
- ½ cup low-sodium soy sauce
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- ½ cup cold water
For the meatballs:
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with foil.
- Combine ground beef, Panko, soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, and egg whites.
- Roll mixture into balls, then place them on the baking sheet.
- Bake meatballs for 25 minutes.
For the teriyaki sauce:
- In a large pot, cook the can of crushed pineapple, low-sodium soy sauce, brown sugar, salt and pepper to taste over medium heat. When it starts to boil, reduce to a simmer.
- In a small bowl mix cornstarch with water. Mix well until there are no lumps. Add cornstarch to the pot, stir well and allow to simmer for 2-3 minutes or until it starts to get thick. Cook meatballs in sauce for another 5 minutes or until they are hot.
Coconut shrimp is a crowd-favorite appetizer. Pair them with your favorite dipping sauce for the ultimate Luau finger food. If you are hosting a party for a large group, be sure to double the recipe as most guests can't resist these sweet and crispy appetizers.
These coconut balls are a wonderful option if you are looking for something delicious and guilt-free to serve at your luau party. All ingredients are placed in a food processor then rolled into small balls. You can place them in the fridge before you serve. Yields about 24 balls.
- 1 cup roasted cashews
- 1 cup almonds
- ⅓ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1 cup Medjool dates, pitted
- 1 cup dried diced pineapple
- 1-2 tablespoons water
- ⅓ cup fine unsweetened shredded coconut for rolling
- Add cashews and almonds to the food processor or blender. Process nuts until it reaches a flour-like texture.
- Add Medjool dates, diced dried pineapple, and shredded coconut. Process ingredients until well combined.
- Add 1-2 tablespoons of water and process again. The mixture should be thick and sticky.
- Roll mixture into balls. Coat them with fine shredded coconut.
Mini Passion Fruit Tarts
For these passion fruit tarts, use mini ready-to-use graham cracker pie crusts or pastry shells for quick and delicious semi homemade desserts. If you prefer using pie dough, bake them in mini muffin tins.
Hawaiian pizza is a must at any luau party. To minimize time in the kitchen, use store bought pizza crust. Yield: 8 slices
- Large pizza crust
- 1 cup pizza sauce
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- 6 ounces ham, diced
- ⅓ cup bacon crumbles
- 1 cup fresh pineapple, diced
- Preheat oven to temperature recommended on the pizza crust packaging.
- Place pizza crust on baking sheet.
- Spread pizza sauce over crust. Top with cheese, then add diced ham and diced pineapple.
- Bake pizza until cheese is melted.
- Remove pizza from the over. Allow to sit for a few minutes before serving.
Ham & Cheese Sliders
Ham and cheese sliders are simply delicious and quick to make. They make the perfect finger food for any age, including picky eaters. If you are planning on hosting a kid-friendly Luau party, these ham and cheese sliders are a must-have.