Boodle Fight

Boodle Fight is a term used to depict a style of dining mostly popularized in the Military, where a long table is setup and laid over with banana leaves. These leaves will serve as a clean blanket to put foods for the entire group. No chairs and utensils used while eating, one eats standing up and using only his bare hands. This style of eating symbolizes camaraderie, brotherhood and equality, and the word “fight” may signify the act of grabbing and securing your food on the table, because in a large group and where food maybe scarce and can run out easily, one needs to make sure he has sufficient eaten to keep his energy for combat.


In the Philippines, boodle fight style of eating is a very common practice in family and friend get together events as it’s more fun and easy to setup. Banana leaves are almost everywhere, and people are welcoming to the idea of eating together with bare hands, elbow to elbow, using the table as your plate while standing up. Although, one cannot argue that at some point it may be unhygienic,  but maybe the fellowship and the joy from the experience is worth it. Some local restaurants offers boodle fight packaged meals served in a “bilao”. Bilao is like a pizza pan but made of bamboo. And the foods can be a combination of grilled seafoods, meat and vegetables that all placed together on the bilao and arranged in a fancy way to be more appetizing.


If you’re hosting the next event for the family or some friends, and got interested on Boodle Fighting below are some pointers that can help you guarantee a success:

  • There is saying that “the more the merrier”, and a minimum of 6 people in the group is a good start.
  • If possible do it outdoors, eating with your bare hands can be messy and can leave some foods on the floor.
  • Before putting on the table the banana leaves put some click wrap first, so that cleaning the table later can be a breeze.
  • Serve foods that are easy to eat with your bare hands, like grilled fish, meat or vegetables, slices of fresh fruits.
  • If you after the authentic Boodle Fight experience,  Asian menu are always the best choice.

What do you think of this? Just share your thoughts below.


5 thoughts on “Boodle Fight

  • November 22, 2016 at 5:03 am

    I would love to try a Boodle Fight meal one day 🙂 I love everything about it except the eating as fast to make sure you don’t evnd up hunry lol. For us group meals is measured in hours lol.

  • November 21, 2016 at 8:04 pm

    That sounds fun. Perhaps we should try it in our family – although maybe on the outside table, and maybe I’ll make sure someone else can help clean up!

  • November 21, 2016 at 2:17 pm

    We ate this way during the TBEX conference in Manila last month! It was so cool, very family style. I actually really enjoyed it.

  • November 21, 2016 at 6:01 am

    LOL that does sound like great fun! I will look out for boodle fights!

  • November 19, 2016 at 6:38 pm

    I had my first “boodle fight” experience in the Philippines. It is quite a lot of fun to eat together and connect. I had no idea that it is a popular style of eating in the military. There is something about eating with your hands that brings people together! Great tips on how to enjoy it with friends. Especially love the tip about eating outdoors!!


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