Dining out with family is customary for a lot of people, particularly when celebrating a special occasion. With Father’s Day just around the corner, most already have restaurant reservations in place. But planning for this holiday need not involve pricey dinners. Surprise your beloved papa by putting together a fun picnic that’s perfect for a low-key weekend get together.And what better food to take with you than Filipino snacks.
It doesn't even have to be Father's Day, spending the day outdoors with family and friends is the perfect bonding activity.It’sInexpensive, a great change of scenery, and the perfect way to just savor the moment. So why ruin it by spending so much time putting together food that takes hours to cook? Don’t worry we’ve got you covered with these easy Filipino merienda ideas that are picnic ready.
We don’t know about you, but most of the time when we are tasked to prepare food for an excursion it often involves cooking adobo or grilling liempo. But because picnics at the park, backyard spot or beach is meant to be more relaxed, food should be just as laidback. And what is more nonchalant than Filipino street food. Here’s some top picks that need to be a part of your next al fresco experience.
One of the best native snacks to have been invented, the Turon is a sweet spring roll containing saba banana and some langka strips. Like the much-loved lumpia, this banana version is rolled in some brown sugar and then deep fried. The result is a caramelised handheld Filipino-style pie. Affordable, easy to make, and nutritious, no merienda should be without this banana lumpia.
Another filling option, sweet corn on the cob is an absolute no brainer snack to take to a Father’s Day outdoor party. To prepare it, simply boil the corn until the color becomes more vibrant. You can also shred the kernels and serve them in cups along with some butter and a generous heaping of powdered cheese. This afternoon fave is sold by street food vendors so if you are too lazy to prep some, you can always buy them ready made.
Bite-sized sandwiches for afternoon snacking isn’t something we Pinoy’s commonly eat. If anything, we love our sando filled with meat and overflowing with spreads. But maybe it’s time we take cues from the British and their cucumber tea sandwiches. Refreshing and perfect for our tropical weather, start by taking the crust out of white bread. Lightly spread some butter, top with a layer of mayo and finish with some slices of cucumber.
You can take the humble cucumber sandwich up another level by swapping out ordinary mayonnaise with Lady’s Choice Chicken Spread for that extraordinary flavor. Prefer something with more bite? We suggest toasting the bread and then storing in an airtight container to prevent the sandwich from going soggy.
Skewered meats like BBQ pork, offal from the pig and chicken also known as ihaw-ihaw can be grilled prior to the party or if the venue permits, bring a small ihawan with you. Electric pans designed for grilling are also convenient to have if getting coals going isn’t in your skillset. Ensure that the meat is tender by marinating in barbecue solutions designed to infuse flavor while tenderising pork and chicken parts.
Other than grilling marinated meats, hotdogs with marshmallows also make for a quick and easy inihaw option. When taking raw sausages to a picnic, make sure it is properly chilled to avoid spoilage. Keep a close eye when grilling, since these tender juicy skewers are quick to cook.
Rice cakes are traditional Filipino snacks made with coconut milk, glutinous rice, and a variety of root crops. Puto, Maja Blanca, Sapin-Sapin, and suman are just some notable examples of our local delicacies, opt for kakanin that travels well and has a good shelf life. Keep in mind that some of these snacks contain grated coconut which have been known to go bad pretty fast.
Filipino street food like fish balls, kikiam, squid balls, kwek-kwek, are examples of cheap snack foods that no person can resist. Make it extra special by cooking up your own sweet or spicy dipping sauce. If you’re pressed for time, a simple mixture of vinegar with chopped onions, cucumber, red chili, and garlic will taste just as great.
It pays to have back-up snacks that are ready to eat. Filipino cookies like Lengua de gato, Broas, Araro, Puto seko, Pacencia, and Rosquillos are just some of the many baked products that we Filipinos proudly call our own. Found in many groceries, and sari-sari stores, these biscuits can tide hungry bellies until all the food is ready for chowing down on.
Other than the standard tusok-tusok, fried siomai, tofu, fries, cheese sticks, and calamari can also be spotted in many roadside stalls. Replicate these snacks and bring your own twist to it by preparing a tasty dip with Lady’s Choice Chicken Spread.
Basic Tips to Follow for an Enjoyable Picnic Trip
It’s easy to go overboard when preparing for a family picnic. Even if it’s just going to be at the nearby park.
These tips should keep you on the right track:
- Plan your picnic menu - refrain from taking food with you that's difficult to eat or is messy. Select food items that come with buiIt-in handles like chicken drumsticks, corn on a cob or fruit.
- Use good quality coolers- having a superior quality cooler goes a long way. Keep drinks, fruits, simple salads and cold sandwiches nice and chilled by packing them in a cooler filled with ice.
- Practice CLAYGO- clean as you go should be a standard practice especially when you are out and about in nature. Make sure to pack garbage bags, paper napkins, and wet wipes. You can never have enough to help you tidy up any mess that the picnic has generated.
- Keep it simple - it's tempting to take along folding chairs, tents, and wares that would look extremely aesthetic in photographs. Unless you’ve got an army of servants at your beck and call, it’s best to travel light.
- Prepare for bugs - even in the most urban areas, bugs are still going to make an appearance. Aside from having bug spray on hand, make it a point to pack drinks and food items in containers with lids.
- Bring something fun - coloring books, balls, badminton sets, frisbees, or even a deck of cards will prove to be useful once things become monotonous. Bring things that are easy to pack and put away, so you and your brood get to enjoy a fun afternoon that’s hassle free.
Honoring a parent need not be a grand celebration. Simple get-togethers are just as important and appreciated. Turn any ordinary activity into something extraordinary by including Filipino snacks and activities that loved ones will enjoy thoroughly.