ideas for food that requires no utensils

Joined Jan 8, 2010
There's a music festival in the area in about 2 weeks time.
It's on an island with no electricity and it will be hot.
We don't know how many people there will be. I suppose 150-200 (the organisers are thinking over 400, but I don't think so)
I've been asked to do some form of food and I am looking for some more ideas.
I don't want to hand out plates, knives and forks as they will get lost/stolen/broken and I don't want to use paper or plastic plates.

The easiest I came up with is hot dog roll, with pickles and sauces. I can heat up the sausages in a pot of water on a gas stove. Easy, but a bit boring

Kebabs would be nice, but the amount of work is a bit daunting and I don't want to use chicken in the heat we expect, neither pork and beef is far too expensive. If I would go that route, we'll need a bbq and charcoal (which isn't a problem).

I've been thinking of empanadas as well. I can make them in advance and serve them cold?
Heating up would be a bit tricky on the grill?
Or little calzone pizza's (basically same idea as empanadas)
Or foccacia?

There are a couple of other people doing food and they will be doing curries and burgers, boerewors rolls etc

So, I am asking for some ideas for simple food that doesn't need a plate/knife/fork etc. Preferably served cold, or easy to heat up on a grill.
And it got to be affordable and not too labour intensive (not asking for much, am I ;) )
Joined Apr 25, 2017
If it is going to be hot and others seem to have the "main dish" options covered, what about something cool / side dish-y. The first thing I thought of was watermelon, or whatever type of melon is popular over there. Pre-sliced and in a cooler - all you'd have to do is hand them out.

Or a wrap - chicken or just veg with lots of lettuce, pre-made and in a cooler. Kind of a salad in an eatable dish.

Or maybe dessert?
Joined Sep 17, 2018
How long is the event? Keeping things in just coolers may be hard if you are serving an end product out of them instead of cooking product. With what the other people are serving maybe try something like a bao bun? The are quite popular and can be filled with either a cold or hot filling. Easy to eat and no utensils required.
Joined Aug 21, 2004
got to run to work but a few ideas for serving vessels
zucchini boats
won ton cups
stuffed onions
stuffed peppers
tortilla cups
Japanese eggplant boats
stuffed tomatoes
sweet potato plates
jicama plates
daikon radish plate
cucumber cups or boats
Joined Jan 9, 2019
My first thought was calzones also, along with the empanadas.
Jamaican Roti/wraps would be good in the heat, but again storing/reheating a chicken curry might pose problems.
Perhaps Jamaican patties reheated? (served with Matouks on the side).
Pre-done deep fried crisp meat burritos?
The wraps are always easy, peanut butter & banana on a flour tortilla is always great, can be kept at room temp, might get a bit boring though, not exactly a meal.

Plain hard boiled eggs and cans of refried beans!?:rolleyes:

{edit} Perhaps sous vide chunks of beef or WHY in vac bags, brought to pasteurization temp. & tenderized = fast cook on the BBQ.
Should be fairly easy to keep in coolers, open bags as needed , skewer, add a few chunks of veggies & BBQ.
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Joined Jan 8, 2010
The festival runs from 12 to midnight.
I am planning to be there from about 12 to 18.00 or so, as I don't want to stay over (we can't drive our boats in the dark)

I like the idea of watermelon, but unfortunately they are out of season.

There are 3 lodges providing food. One is doing curries, so those are our out. The other one is (for here) standard braai food, so that's out as well.
People will pay per portion/serving/person and it got to be affordable and easy and I still need to make a profit.
I like Cheflayne's ideas, but a lot of the ingredients are either not available or too expensive.

Heating up meals is no problem. We got big pots that can go direct on some charcoal. If needs be, I have 2 gas bottles with cooker tops as well. Bringing our braai (bbq) accross is also not a problem

Sofar, it still looks like empanadas/calzones/mini quiche/hot dogs, maybe toasted cheese sandwiches...
A chicken salad or tuna salad in a roll or wrap seems like another good option.
Or maybe I relent and start making beef satays and satay sauce (eat as they are, or in a wrap)

Please continu with ideas!
They are very much appreciated
Joined Jan 8, 2010
planethoff planethoff : I had to google those. Not many Mexicans and Meican food around here
koukouvagia koukouvagia : good idea, but boerewors is a spicy sausages and is already done. I'll need to do something else

Bit of a bummer, the baker in the closest town can't though hot dog rolls as the steamer elements are broken. They don't do chapati's either. I may have to drive long distance to find the lot.
Hopefully they repair it all in time
Joined Jan 9, 2019
Butzy: you got my curiosity going - looked up "braai".
Now I'm going to have to make up some monkey gland sauce, chakalaka and pap the next time I fire up the charcoal "braai". :)
Joined Oct 1, 2006
Hi butzy,

For no utensils or plates, I'm thinking skewers. BBQ meatballs, strips of game meats, shrimp, cevapcici variation w/tzatziki, grilled veggies, or chilled fruit skewers w/spiced honey-yoghurt, etc.

Next thought was stuffed pita, if available, stuffed with hot or cold filling, like veg salad, meat mixtures, sautéed insects? etc.

Good luck!
Joined Oct 10, 2005
Meat pies
Sausages wrapped in puff pastry
H.b. Eggs
Fruit like apples, pears, bananas
Trail mix
Granola bars
Dessert squares like date squares, rice crispy, Nanaimo bars,
Skewered stuff

O.t.o.h bamboo chopsticks are cheap, bio-degradable AND burnable, and are pretty easy to keep clean for a day or two, this might open up some options.

Re:wraps. I never understood those things, hated making them, and when coerced to eat them I needed a knife and fork, I dunno, I’ve seen train wrecks that made less mess than someone trying to eat a wrap hands only....
Joined Nov 15, 2012
Whenever I'm in China town I have to have taro rolls, taro root paste formed around sweet savory pork filling and deep fried.


Staff member
Joined Oct 7, 2001
What about lettuce wraps? Finely minced chicken with chinese spices and a few vegetables, warmed in a pan, on the grill and stuffed into lettuce leaves.

Or maybe a nice cool Thai steak salad with noodles .
Joined Jan 8, 2010
Thanks all,
I got a couple more days to decide.
Right now I think I am going to keep it real simple and go for toasted cheese sandwiches and hot dogs with cucumber pickle and mustard.
The lettuce wraps etc are nice, but current price for a small lettuce is almost 3 U$....
Too hot here for lettuce. They look almost ready for harvesting and an hour later they have shot into flower.

Going to make a batch of empsnadas this weekend for testing and tasting purposes. I think they are nicer warm than cold, so maybe I can re-heat tgem on the braai
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