• Contact Claims: 1-800-937-1937
  • Get a Free Quote: 1-800-283-2883
  • 1-800-245-2628
  • 9AM - 5PM EST
  • 1-800-365-5636

Challenge 2 - Luau Themed Cocktail Party - 2 Videos

By Lori Ross - From BoatUS What's Cooking?

Lori Ross took challenges from BoatUS Magazine readers to create 5 recipes around a theme or their favorite ingredients.

Dear Lori,
Please suggest a menu for a luau themed cocktail party on board.

Best regards,
Gale and Evelyn Alls
Springfield, VA

Luau Themed Cocktail Party

Dear Gale and Evelyn Alls,

One of the first fancy restaurants I ever went to with my parents was Trader Vic's in New York City.  It was my first taste of Polynesian food – rumaki, sweet and sour shrimp and teriyaki chicken. Since then, I've been hooked on luau and tiki food! I've made some of these dishes at home with great success and want to share an easy menu of recipes for a Hawaiian Luau cocktail party!

First, you may want to pick out signature drinks… Mai Tais are classic or make a fruity punch with papaya, mango or pineapple juice (or all three!).  If you are really ambitious, go to party store and find some leis, hula skirts, cocktail umbrellas and fancy skewers and toothpicks in addition to funky drink glasses and cocktail plates and napkins!  Also look for some appropriate Hawaiian music to load on your boat music player…slack-key guitar or Polynesian chanting or some easy listening style Hawaiian fusion from Don Ho are fun choices.

While we have a microwave, stove top, oven and grill on our boat, we know that not everyone has all those tools, so I offer several ways to cook each dish so that anyone can make these.  I have also chosen to offer three cold and two hot dishes so that you don't spend all your time cooking.  Each dish should make 20 or so hors d'oeuvres servings. Estimate about 4-5 items per person for a cocktail party. They are:

1) Poke (cubed raw fish salad)

2) Trader Vic's Chicken Salad in Lettuce Cups or Tostitos Scoops Tortilla Chips

3) Teriyaki Beef or Pork Skewers

4) Rumaki

5) Tropical Fruit Boat or Skewers with Spicy Sugar, Salt and Lime Dip




To enhance the variety of items at your party, consider some of these "instant" luau hors d'oeuvres:

  • Macadamia nuts and chunks of fresh coconut in a pretty bowl
  • Mini skewers of cubed Spam (or ham), cubed pineapple and maraschino cherries
  • Bake frozen eggrolls or spring rolls and serve with duck sauce
  • Reheat cooked breaded chicken tenders and or cooked chicken wings (not buffalo wings) serve with dip of plum sauce or Thai chili sauce
  • Grill already cooked baby back ribs and season with soy sauce and lime juice.
  • Heat already cooked cocktail meatballs in a jar of Chinese sweet and sour sauce in a microwave. Serve in a covered pot to keep warm and ask guests to spear meatballs with small skewers or toothpicks.
  • Make Hawaiian pizza with prepared Boboli or flatbread topped with tomato sauce, mozzarella, ham and pineapple chunks, green or jalapeno peppers. Pop into the oven or on the grill for 5-8 minutes and cut into cocktail sized pieces. 

For a print version of this set of recipes, visit BoatUS What's Cooking where you can also find them individually.