Filipinos are warm and hospitable by nature, and one of the ways we express it is through food. We celebrate our love of food and community by gathering together in a kamayan feast or boodle fight.
What is kamayan?
Kamayan feast, also known as a boodle fight, is a Filipino tradition that involves a communal meal where food is served on a long table without utensils. Participants use their hands to eat a colorful arrangement of food piled in the center of a long table over banana leaves.
Eating kamayan-style means eating with bare hands without utensils, a practice Filipinos followed before utensils were introduced by the Spaniards.
Why is it called a boodle fight?
Boodle fights are believed to have originated as a military practice, with soldiers gathering around a table and engaging in a "food fight" by consuming as much as they can before the persons next to them. Today, boodle fights are about a community sharing a delicious feast and fostering camaraderie.
How do you prepare a kamayan feast at home?
There are no hard and fast rules when hosting a kamayan feast at home. You can start by choosing your menu and setting up a table. Banana leaves will immediately set the mood for a boodle fight.
A selection of your favorite Filipino foods will be served buffet-style, piled in the middle of a table that can accommodate everyone. Rice is an essential component, and sawsawan or condiments are equally important.
Whether you do it indoors or outdoors is up to you. If you are not comfortable eating with bare hands, that is okay. Plates and utensils are completely acceptable, with coronavirus a concern, as well as food safety, allergies, or personal preferences.
Kamayan is more than just a way of eating; the most remarkable thing is the experience shared with a community over Filipino food and culture.
Kamayan food ideas
A kamayan feast does not have a fixed menu or set amount of food. Rice is an essential component, such as white rice, Java Rice, or Sinangag (Garlic Rice).
Foods that are dry and easier to eat with bare hands, such as grilled or fried foods, are more common. However, that shouldn't stop you from serving your favorite Filipino classics.
Here are some ideas for what to include in your next boodle fight. An adobo dish like Chicken or Pork Adobo is the first thing that comes to mind.
Fried foods like Escabeche (Fish with Sweet and Sour Sauce), Lechon Kawali (Fried Pork Belly), and Okoy or Ukoy (Shrimp and Vegetable Fritters).
Inihaw or grilled foods like Tuna Belly, Barbecue Pork Skewers, Inihaw na Liempo (Grilled Pork Bellly), and grilled vegetables.
A stew like Bicol Express, Kare-Kare and Caldereta are Filipino favorites you don't want to miss.
Chili Garlic Shrimp, Salt and Pepper Shrimp, and Fried Calamari are seafood items you can include.
A regional dish like Laing (Taro Leaves in Coconut Milk) or Sisig is always a good choice.
Everyone enjoys noodles like Pancit Canton (Stir-Fried Noodles) or Pancit Bihon (Stir-Fried Rice Noodles).
Dessert options are Pichi-Pichi (Steamed Cassava Cake), Turon (Banana Spring Rolls), Bilo Bilo (Sticky Rice Balls in Coconut Milk), or fresh fruits. Calamansi juice or buko juice (coconut juice) are refreshing drinks you can serve.
Sides, such as Achara (Pickled Green Papaya) and Ensaladang Talong (Eggplant Salad) with salted egg, sauces, and extras, like Chicharon (Fried Pork Rinds), all play a part in a kamayan feast.
Feel free to customize your menu however you like. It's a fun and interactive way of sharing a meal.
Kamayan feast is a celebration of Filipino culture and community to promote a sense of unity and camaraderie. It's a way for people to connect and bond over a shared experience. It is about enjoying good food and company, regardless of ethnicity or cultural background.
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Am browsing all your recipes, but did not find any recipes for pandesal, siopao, dim sum, ensaymada etc.
Hopefully, you can make the time to cook and publish the recipes.
Espie Hartshorne from New Zealand
Hello Espie, I'm sorry for the super late response. Thank you for taking the time to browse my recipes. I will definitely work on adding more recipes, especially those you mentioned. =) Thank you!!!