What is a Boodle Fight?

Boodle Fight 2

So what is a Boodle Fight? Recently this culinary experience is gaining popularity not just in Philippines but as well as overseas like in New York, UAE and even here in New Zealand. This Filipino tradition of eating originated from the Philippine military where a big pile of food are served in the middle of a really long table in a mess hall where every hungry soldier eats with their hands symbolizing of camaraderie, brotherhood and equality in the military. The “fight” in the name refers to the act of grabbing and eating as much as the soldier can before others grab them or runs out, remember this is served to very hungry men so if you’re slow you will definitely run out of food.


Boodle Fight 1

Usually food are served on top of a table lined with banana leaves, rice is placed in the middle and viands are either served on top or on the sides of the rice. Water jugs are also placed on the side used for washing your hands just before the “fight” happens. No utensils are used when eating and you will use your bear hands to eat so this is definitely not a fine dining experience but trust me it’s way much more exciting to do this rather than those ones that have multiple sets of cutleries and glassware in front of you.

Boodle Fight 3

As for the dishes there are no set rules in what to add but the most popular ones are the dry items like fried dried fish like tuyo, danggit, and pusit. Breakfast meats are also popular like tocino, longaniza and tapa but the favourite ones are the charcoal grilled meats like fish, chicken and pork. With all of these meats fruits are served to serve as a balancer to the salty and oily viands so it’s very usual to see pineapples and mangoes, there are also some vegetable salads like itlog na maaalat, talong, okra, atchara to name some. That does not stop there some also add deep fried items like lumpia, fried fish, fried chicken then to top it all up rice and noodles will the carbohydrate source.

Boodle Fight 4

Looks a lot, yes because there is a lot of food items in one table so I suggest if you are doing this make sure everyone is hungry (serve it right after swimming, tramping, etc.) to experience the real “fight”, you will notice everyone will be very busy eating they don’t bother talking to each other and if you are a slow eater then good luck to you.

Will you ever try this? What are your thoughts on this Filipino tradition?


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14 Responses

  1. What a fun meal! I’d love to do this.

  2. Kristy says:

    I feel like our breakfast counter looks similar in the mornings! What a wild tradition! I’ve never seen anything like it. I can imagine with a group of hungry people, how fast this would go.

  3. This is a smiliar experience to when I set platters food out in front of my teenage boys for the whole family for dinner. They must think it is an army maneuver as they just pile it all in as fast and they can… LOL Thanks for introducing us to this tradition.

  4. I want in on this! Looks wonderful!

  5. mjskit says:

    Well this sounds like fun!

  6. Norbert says:

    What a stupid way of eating. Totally loss of cultivated eating. Its primitive, teaching children and young people to eat till they are fuller than full. At Philippines many people are overweight and sick.

    • Raymund says:

      Its not stupid but its more of a tradition, I guess people who call it stupid are those who does not have any respect with customs and tradition.

      Plus its fun to eat like this 🙂

  7. Ely says:

    I wish to correct Norbert. Fine dining in first class hotel aint the best culinary satisfaction; even the drug lords do that. In fact, it could even be personal for you might be eating next to a murderer. To say that you are using gold spoon also do not add a bit to the recipe.

    Boodle Fight which originated from the jungle among soldier has a great culture per se since they are the people that save you and me from those who might be eating in your banquet.
    We did boodle fight in my school in Marikina and the parents that ate with the teachers and their students really enjoyed it. Very personal, it’s not pleasurable, it’s happiness and we are a bunch of educated people. You are doing it not everyday but only once in a while.

  8. Norbert says:

    Sorry, I never told that eating in a 5 star restaurant is better. It’s same stupid. I have been at boodle fight at Philippines. Many overweight children and parents had fun. All what I can say is, that not all traditions are healthy and reasonable. I think its a big difference if there are hungry soldiers or people who every day have much to many calories. The next point is hygiene: 50 hands going from the mouth to the food and back. A good way to spread germs and viruses. I have seen people with running nose eating at that boodle fight. I respect traditions, but I also am thinking if some traditions are reasonable.

  1. August 27, 2015

    […] A typical boodle fight layout. Photo from http://www.angsarap.net  […]

  2. August 28, 2015

    […] A typical boodle fight layout. Photo from http://www.angsarap.net  […]

  3. October 22, 2016

    […] This Filipino tradition of eating originated from the Philippine military where a big pile of food are served in the middle of a really long table in a mess hall where every hungry soldier eats with their hands symbolizing of camaraderie, brotherhood and equality in the military. The “fight” in the name refers to the act of grabbing and eating as much as the soldier can before others grab them or runs out, remember this is served to very hungry men so if you’re slow you will definitely run out of food. (http://www.angsarap.net/2015/05/21/what-is-a-boodle-fight/) […]

  4. October 27, 2016

    […] AngSarap.net 2015 , What is a Boodle Fight, AngSarap.net, viewed October 20 2016, < http://www.angsarap.net/2015/05/21/what-is-a-boodle-fight/&gt; […]

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