As we say in the Philippines, “Ber months na!” And the Philippines is known for having the longest Christmas on the planet, so you know what happens as soon as the Ber months hit. You yourself might be putting up your Christmas tree already! And speaking of a Filipino Christmas, it is never truly a Pinoy Christmas without food. So if you’re already thinking of Pinoy Christmas party food ideas, don’t worry – that’s the purpose of this blog! Here are some food ideas for what to serve on Christmas, whether it’s Noche Buena or otherwise. Also, our food ideas are not limited to strictly Filipino food, so don’t worry about having soy sauce on hand.
Pinoy Christmas Party Food Ideas – Appetizers or Meryenda
Ahhh, macaroni. This very versatile pasta pops up a lot as salad form during Noche Buena, Christmas, and even New Year. You serve macaroni salad cold, with cooked macaroni, mayonnaise, sweet jelly, and vegetables as the ingredients. You can consider this as a Filipino recipe since the salad is served with a sweeter taste than other versions. Variations of the macaroni salad can involve adding shredded chicken or tuna to the dish.
Pancit is basically Filipino noodles. It is valued during special occasions because it symbolizes long life.If you can’t think of any Filipino Christmas party food ideas, just think of pancit. There are many pancit variants in the Philippines, such as Pancit Malabon, Lomi, Pancit Canton, and Sotanghon soup (sometimes, the noodles come with soup). If you’re lucky, the event you’ll go to will have pancit topped with crispy pork. Yummy!
Queso de Bola
Queso de Bola is known as such because it’s… well, it’s cheese in a ball form. The red is red wax or paraffin. It is actually Edam cheese, a Dutch semi-hard cheese designed to last on long trade route voyages. It ages well, and the more it ages, the harder it becomes. But not only that: the flavor becomes more intense! According to Vice, it is popular in the Philippines because round things symbolize money. Plus, the color red is a symbol of good luck. Serve this with hot pandesal and hot chocolate, and you’re sure to have happy eaters.
Lumpia is a popular snack in the Philippines. Pinoys even have a running joke where they’d be happy to be paid by unlimited lumpia access. We aren’t really sure where that joke originated. What we are confident of, though, is that lumpia are spring rolls made of thin paper-like “lumpia wrappers.” Inside are pork and other ingredients. You can present lumpia as either deep-fried or fresh, but the deep-fried version is more known in the Philippines.
Pinoy Christmas Party Food Ideas – Main Courses
Pinoy Christmas Party Food Ideas – Various Chicken Recipes
Chicken is a staple food in the world, and you’ll find that many Filipino dishes involve chicken. For Christmas, you might find chicken adobo, chicken empanada, or even a simple roasted chicken being served. If you can be sure of one thing, it’s that chicken is a popular Filipino ingredient!
Pinoy Christmas Party Food Ideas – Various Pork Recipes
Aside from chicken, pork is another constant in Filipino Christmas recipes – and even in non-Christmas ones. You have the delicious and crowd favorite crispy pata (pata is pork leg), pork belly, and the lechon kawali. Lechon kawali means pork belly slabs deep-fried in a pan, which is different from lechon, which we’ll get to later. There’s also hamonado, a sweet pork dish that uses pork shoulders, pineapple, sugar, and other seasonings. You’ll never run out of pork dish ideas or recipes!
If we’re talking about Christmas food in the Philippines, it has to be Christmas ham! We wouldn’t be surprised if this ham comes with a note: “Serve on Christmas ONLY.” After all, the ham is called Christmas ham for a reason. It’s a delicious mix of sweet and salty and is perfect with rice or bread.
The relyenong bangus is a fish recipe that’s usually seen only on special occasions. You call it stuffed milkfish in English. One makes relyenong bangus using milkfish meat, carrots, potatoes, and other vegetables, as well as raisins, pickles, and spices. It’s one of the favorite seafood recipes of Pinoys!
When you say “lechon” in the Philippines, it usually means roasted pig cooked over hot coals served on special occasions. But lechon is not limited to just pork. There’s also lechon manok (roasted chicken) and lechon baka (roasted beef or cow). All are equally delicious, but lechon baboy (roasted pig) is generally the most celebrated in the Philippines. If you taste the crispy skin, you’ll see why.
Notice the names of Filipino dishes? The names usually mean the way that the dish is cooked. Inihaw means to grill or to barbecue; therefore, inihaw na liempo simply means grilled pork. And when it comes to inihaw, you can grill many things, such as fish, chicken, and beef.
Pinoy Christmas Party Food Ideas – Snacks or Desserts
In English, you call buko salad as coconut salad. Its primary ingredients are coconut milk and delicious coconut meat. Add fruit cocktail, condensed milk, cream, and you’ll get a cool, sweet treat that’s distinctively Pinoy.
It’s the Filipino version of the French dish creme caramel. This custard dessert with caramel sauce is always a hit among Pinoys. It runs out without fail, to the sadness of slow eaters.
We can say that fruit salad is definitely Filipino Christmas food! It’s another sweet, delicious treat with condensed milk, cream, and canned fruit cocktail. Some even add peaches and sugar palm fruit (known as kaong) for added flavor and texture. A variant is the macaroni fruit salad. What’s the difference? It’s still basically the same fruit salad but with macaroni. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it!
Buko pandan is almost like buko salad; in fact, one can say they’re related recipes. You still make buko pandan buko with shredded coconut and cream, but there are a few differences. Some of those is that buko pandan is green, has fewer fruits involved, and has pandan flavoring, hence the name. Oh, and there’s jelly too. Some people also add tapioca pearls, probably for more texture while eating this cold treat.
We talked about kakanin in a previous blog post, so make sure to read it if you haven’t yet. Again, kakanin is an umbrella term for any traditional Filipino glutinous rice or sticky rice cake. Specific examples of kakanin are maja blanca, bibingka, suman, and puto bumbong. Did we mention Filipinos love rice so much that rice dishes even become dessert?
(If you want to enroll in our Kakanin course, click here!)
What are the Pinoy Christmas party food ideas that you like best?
These are some of the top Filipino Christmas meals we can think of, or at least, these are the party food we can remember usually served on Christmas. Did we miss out on anything? Do you have favorite Christmas recipes that we didn’t mention, like beef mechado, or fish recipes, or vegetable recipes? Let us know in the comments so we can be sure we have an updated list for next year.
If you want more Pinoy Christmas party food ideas, why not try our class with Chef Chona? We call this class Christmas Holiday Bestsellers. Check out the preview video below.
In this class, you’ll learn to make fruitcakes, fresh cream tarts, and two other yummy desserts! Enroll so you can make these certified delicious treats during your Christmas gatherings!