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Going to the great outdoors for a nice day under the sun is always a good idea. But it can be made even better with great food, and what else but great food? Hopping into your car for a fun trip with family or friends can be made even more hassle-free if you pack your tasty meals beforehand. But you could also go with the option of packing ingredients, and cooking when you get there. After all, food establishments at tourist spots can get pretty pricey. And this way, you can live out any fantasies to dine on a picnic mat by the beach or in the park! And luckily, I have the list of essential picnic food for you to try out.
Of course, snacks often come to mind when we think of picnic food. But when it comes to true Filipino picnic food, grilled recipes are often best! After all, the process of making grilled food can be a terrific bonding experience for everyone. And if you’re stumped as to what recipes would be good for this, you came to the right place. Here’s my list of perfect Pinoy picnic food for you from 1 to 11!
Picnic Food recipes:
I know you might be thinking— how can I make some Liempo Inihaw with a simple process? Is there even such an easy recipe for this kind of food? Well, let me tell you that there is a procedure you can utilize to achieve that perfectly crisp, brown, savory Liempo with less time and effort. This recipe I whipped up takes less than an hour to recreate. And it’s able to achieve that unmistakably rich flavor of marinated pork belly. The key really is in the marinade, and in the three cycles for you to cook your pork on the grill.
Of course, you also can’t forget about a couple of side dishes to make this even tastier. This Easy Liempo Inihaw dish goes perfectly with some of that semi-sweet papaya atchara, as well as flavorful spicy vinegar.
Now what about a dish that’s sure to please just about everyone at the picnic? There’s a reason why there are so many restaurants listing this beloved meal as its specialty. Inasal is a proven crowd favorite with its tender, juicy interior, and its perfectly seasoned and subtly crunchy exterior. Just as with a lot of grilled recipes, we will largely count on a good marinade to make this dish come to life. We use some ginger, garlic and lemon or lime soda as some essentials in marinating the chicken.
This takes quite some time in terms of preparation so I would definitely suggest you prepare the chicken prior to your grilling session or picnic. You can already marinate this in advance, as well as create your basting sauce. This way, all there’s left to do on the day itself is grill the most delicious Chicken Inasal dish!
Speaking of classics, you really can’t do a picnic without some Pork Barbecue. This savory glazed dish is perfect for most any occasion, but especially on a picnic. With the meat conveniently on a stick, it is easy to carry around, and eat at the same time. And conveniently enough, we will be using ingredients that are pretty standard to the Filipino kitchen. For the marinate, you will need components along the lines of banana ketchup, brown sugar and garlic.
And of course, you also have to remember to get pork shoulder that’s cut for barbecue, or is sliced into thin pieces. You can also cut this up at home. And because we’re particularly using smaller pieces of meat, this takes a much shorter time to cook compared to other grilled dishes.
Because of the previous recipe, you might be thinking that this one is just a variation using poultry. But the reality is, if we would compare this dish to any of the other recipes, it would probably be most similar to Inasal. However, Chicken Barbecue is comparably easier to make with less ingredients, and a shooter preparation time. This should be a nice go-to picnic food recipe for when you want to create something delicious with hints of zest and sweetness, but is also relatively simpler to cook.
Also make sure to prepare the night before so that you can marinate the chicken leg quarters as much as needed. This serves a party of 4 well, but if you’re making it for a larger audience, feel free to up the ingredients according to the ratio.
Now what if we want to make use of some gloriously savory pork chops for our picnic? Another recipe I would surely recommend is Marinated Grilled Pork Chop. This dish utilizes a similar process as the aforementioned recipes, but it carries the very unique, appealing texture of meaty pork chops. It is definitely perfect for when you’re willing to indulge, and have a taste of rich, delicious pork.
Now depending on where you’re traveling or setting up your picnic, it might be more convenient to cook with seafood. Going on a fishing trip perhaps? Let me show you what you can make from any fish or seafood you happen to catch! Also, there can be restrictions for some people’s diets that make this a good option to have. That being said, let me list some food of the seafood variety!
Seafood picnic recipes
A really great recipe to have in your repertoire is Inihaw na Tilapia. Not only is it a perfect example of just how rich and delicious seafood dishes can be when cooked right, but it encapsulates how a simple process can result in the most enticing food! From some tilapia fish, sea salt, ground black pepper and cooking oil spray, we get a tender, well-seasoned dish with a most irresistible crisp and aroma reminding us of sitting seaside.
While this works great on its own, Inihaw ng Tilapia also works beautifully with the enriching sourness or lime or lemon wedges. And if you have some rice as well, the universally-loved side dish would also be a complementary component.
And what about using some equally delicious and popular milkfish instead of tilapia? Inihaw n Bangus, however, has the distinct factor of the most flavorful and vibrant stuffing to give it even more richness! For this, we use tomatoes, onions, ginger, lemon juice and ground black pepper. And then that mixture gets integrated into the mild, satisfying taste of bangus. This definitely upgrades the taste of your seafood dish altogether, and makes for a more exciting mix of flavors.
But like many fish dishes, we must also be reminded to clean the fish well before we start our cooking process. Also, since we are grilling, it is best to keep the scales of the fish on. This would keep the bangus from sticking to the grates of the grill when we begin cooking. But you also have the option of wrapping the fish in some aluminum foil to keep that from happening if the scales are already removed.
When it comes to Filipino cuisine, there’s no shortage of recipes that make use of seafood because of how abundant these ingredients are to us. I would really encourage going out of your way to try our tasty recipes that don’t make use of fish as well. That’s why you definitely shouldn’t skip out on Inihaw na Pusit or Grilled Stuffed Squid either. It blends the one of a kind taste of squid with yellow onions, ginger, mirin, soy sauce and more to create a uniquely salty, refreshing dish.
But always remember an essential part of cooking squid, which is avoiding the mistake of overcooking it. Letting the squid stay on the grill for too long can make it very rubbery and unappealing to the taste. Make sure to keep your eye on this as you grill it.
Let’s head onto another satisfyingly savory recipe— the Grilled Tuna Belly. This has the classic, delightful flavors of soy sauce, calamansi, sugar and ground black pepper. And we get to integrate it with the ever tender and irresistible tuna belly. These seasonings help to further enrich the ingredient’s taste. But also remember to baste the tuna belly thoroughly so that we can prevent it from drying up on the grill. This is another easy picnic dish, and so I would recommend it for when you have less time for preparation beforehand.
A great way to have your grouper is by cooking it into a fish steak. After all, the largely mild taste of this type of fish can become more succulent and tasty with the right ingredients. And in the case of Grilled Grouper Steak in Foil Packet, only a few simple ingredients would do the trick. All you will need is the grouper steak, some butter, garlic, sea salt and lemon. And even better? It takes less than 30 minutes to make.
There really isn’t much that should stop you from making this dish! And if you’re wondering about the taste, you can expect a light, savory seafood dish infused with garlic and a touch of zest. This is also perfect for a small picnic with the recipe indicated being good for 3 servings.
Have you ever tried tuna jaw? It may sound peculiar in the beginning, but trust me when I say it’s surely worth the try. Panga ng tuna or tuna jaw is particularly flavorful because it’s close to the bone. But you can turn the appeal up a notch by integrating some spicy Ponzu dip. I will introduce you to both this tasty sauce and grilling the tuna jaw in this Inihaw na Panga ng Tuna recipe!
I use a tart Teriyaki sauce for this dish to give it a rich, satisfying taste. But the key truly is in letting this marinate overnight. Then you are able to achieve that smoky, delicious seafood dish that’s sure to please you and your guests.
But what if you decide to cook right from home? This might be the easier process for many in terms of preparing their picnic food. You will just whip out your dish all ready to go! But let me show you how to store this properly so that you can keep it as fresh as possible on the way to your picnic.
How to store ready-made meals for your picnic:
These tips should apply for most of our grilled picnic dishes. But to start off, you should keep in mind that you should not immediately store or put away in a container that is still warm. Make sure to get the food down to room temperature. Now if your picnic is more than two hours away, it might be best to refrigerate it first to keep it fresh. Otherwise, you can put this inside an airtight container, or wrap it in foil.
Now if it will take some time before you head out to your picnic, you can transfer the grilled dish to a shallow airtight container. This way, it can get cold more quickly, and be at less risk of becoming spoiled. How long this will last in your fridge may depend on the type of dish, but for most meat recipes, the food may be good for 3 to 4 days. For a longer period of storage, you could also opt to freeze the food.
Simply use some freezer bags for your dish, and place it in the freezer. This may be good for up to 3 months. You can also ensure the quality of your food more by using a vacuum sealer. Now what if you’re ready to go, and would like to have your picnic dishes hot and fresh again? Here are a couple of pointers on reheating them!
How to reheat picnic food:
An important thing to keep in mind if your food is coming from the refrigerator or freezer is that you have to let it thaw. For dishes coming from the freezer, you can actually use the fridge to let it thaw, but it will probably take a day. But this is one of the best ways because it is able to keep all your flavors intact. You could also place your frozen food in a container or sealed bag into cold water, and replace this every half hour. This is a quicker way to get the food to thaw. Another quick and easy way to get it done is through the microwave. Don’t forget to use the thaw setting for this, and keep watch of your food so that it doesn’t get dry from its time inside.
You can utilize different methods for reheating your barbecue or other grilled food. But the most standard way you have probably heard of is through the oven. Now for this first method, you just need to preheat your oven to 350 °F. Then wrap the picnic food in some aluminum foil, and place this inside the oven. Now you can heat it to an internal temperature of at least 165 °F. This is why a meat thermometer would come in handy for reheating your food.
You can also use your microwave oven. But be warned that it can dry out your grilled food too much, and heat it unevenly. To avoid this, just make sure to flip the food constantly. This will ensure that the dish is able to absorb heat on all sides. Another way is by using a covered skillet. Simply place your dish in the skillet, place the cover on top, and turn your stove to the low heat setting. Make sure to stir this constantly. After that, you’re done!
But if your grilled food was kept in a vacuum-sealed bag, you can actually try reheating it even with the bag. If you let this simmer in water at about 190 °F for 15 minutes, that should do the trick of getting your dish nice and warm all over again.
How did you like these 11 Picnic Food Ideas? Has it inspired you to make some of your own? Share your own experiences cooking these recipes in the comments below! And if you’ve got any queries, just leave them there as well so I could address them.