Luau-Themed Food for a Birthday Party

by Crystal Bonser
Create a tropical party ambiance with luau-inspired dishes.

Create a tropical party ambiance with luau-inspired dishes.

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A luau is a traditional Hawaiian feast consisting of food with Hawaiian, Polynesian and Asian-inspired flavors. Although luaus also include various forms of entertainment, the focal point is always the food. You don't need a whole roast pig as is common at many luaus, but if you plan on throwing a luau-themed birthday party, include some traditional luau dishes for an authentic dining experience. For dessert, a birthday cake in the shape of a pineapple, surfboard, palm tree or hula dancer makes a fitting finish.

Tropical Fruit

No luau-themed party is complete without tropical fruits. Fruits commonly served at luaus include pineapples, coconuts, melons, watermelons, papayas, cantaloupes, mangoes, lychees, bananas, strawberries, apples and grapes. If you want to get creative with the presentation of your fruit, cut off the top third of a watermelon, scrape out most of the fruit and fill the rind with slices, cubes or balls of tropical fruit.

Kalua Pua'a

Kalua pua'a, also known as roast pork, is a staple dish at all luaus. Traditionally, it is made out of a whole pig and cooked in a pit, which allows it to slowly roast throughout the day while developing a deep, smoky flavor. It is also commonly seasoned with sea salt and green onions. There are many ways to prepare kalua pua'a at home using your oven.


Mahi-mahi is a large, deep-sea game fish with a mild or sweet flavor. It is found in temperate and tropical waters throughout the world. Although it is commonly baked when served at luaus, it can also be steamed or sauteed. Baked mahi-mahi is covered with a seasoned mayonnaise mixture before being breaded and placed in the oven.

Hawaiian Pizza

Consider serving a Hawaiian pizza for the children at your party. Although it is not technically a luau dish, it does consist of ham and pineapples, which are both staples at any luau. To help entertain the children, consider giving each child his own personal-sized, pre-sauced pizza dough and letting him add his own cheese, ham and pineapple toppings before baking. Kids will enjoy the pizza much more because they made it themselves.

About the Author

Crystal Bonser has been working as a freelance writer and editor for an educational website since 2009. She is also the creator of a pet-loss website on which she facilitates weekly grief support groups. Bonser holds a Bachelor of Social Work and a minor in psychology from Ryerson University.

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