This collection of Memorial Day weekend recipes includes plenty of nibbles and snacks, such as homemade dips and chips, spring rolls and fritters, along with salads – from classics such as potato salads and coleslaw to Southeast Asian salads – plus picnic and barbecue favourites, from fried chicken and burgers to homemade fries and barbecued ribs.
I’ve been busy today putting together a compilation of recipes for Memorial Day weekend for our American readers. I’ve got plenty of recipes for picnic favourites, from dips and crackers to summer salads and potato salads.
I’ve also shared recipes for spring rolls, both fresh and fried (egg rolls to our American friends), fried chicken, burgers, and tacos, plus a few barbecue classics, including skewers and ribs.
Lastly, I’ve also added some home-cooked comfort dishes that are made for sharing, just in case the weather is not on your side and you decide to stay in, such as a big pot of chilli or a chicken curry.
And if you don’t find something in my round-up below that takes your fancy, click through to those links I just shared, above, which is where I’ve cherry-picked these recipes from, as there are loads more recipes there that I’m sure you’ll enjoy.
But before I share our Memorial Day weekend recipes, I have a favour to ask. Grantourismo is reader-funded. If you’ve cooked our recipes and enjoyed them, please consider supporting Grantourismo by supporting our epic Cambodian cuisine history and cookbook on Patreon, which you can do for as little as the price of a coffee. Or you could buy us a coffee and we’ll use our coffee money to buy cooking ingredients for recipe testing.
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Now, let’s share our best Memorial Day weekend recipes.
Memorial Day Weekend Recipes for Backyard Barbecues and Picnics in the Sunshine
Sourdough Crackers Recipe
This is one of our best Memorial Day weekend recipes, especially if you’re a sourdough baker as it gives you something to do with that leftover sourdough starter discard. It makes a crispy cracker that’s a little salty, a tad spicy, a tiny bit tangy, and utterly addictive. Triangular in shape, they’re perfect for scooping up dips and they’re probably the easiest crackers you’ll ever make, so should inspire you to test out more sourdough starter discard recipes.
Homemade Hummus Recipe
This easy authentic hummus recipe makes a homemade traditional creamy hummus that a Lebanese friend taught Terence when we lived in Abu Dhabi and it’s another one of our best Memorial Day weekend recipes. Like our tapenade and smoked salmon dip, this recipe makes a hummus that beats a store-bought hummus any day. If you have a can of chick peas in the cupboard, hummus is one of the best dip recipes for pairing with crackers and crudités.
Creamy Smoked Salmon Dip Recipe
This creamy smoked salmon dip recipe is made with cream cheese, tangy sour cream, salty capers, dill pickles, purple shallots, a pinch of paprika, and plenty of fresh perfumed dill and it’s another one of our best Memorial Day food recipes. This recipe beats a store-bought dip any day. While it might cost you a bit more to make, nothing tops homemade and you’ll taste the difference in the fresh herbs and proper salmon.
Homemade French Onion Dip Recipe
Make this homemade French onion dip recipe for a rich, creamy caramelised onion dip that will take you back in time to the dips you helped your mum make for backyard barbecues by stirring French onion soup mix into cream cheese or sour cream. This onion dip recipe makes an even more delicious dip than the packet soup dips and is worth the little extra effort.
Mexican Guacamole Recipe
This authentic Mexican guacamole recipe makes a genuine Mexican guacamole that’s made table-side at good restaurants in Mexico. It’s all about the creamy luscious texture, bright green colour and full flavour of perfectly ripe avocados. It’s easily one of the best dip recipes for barbecues, and while it could be served with crackers, I recommend you try your hand at baking homemade tortilla chips if you’re staying home for the weekend, otherwise plain restaurant-style store-bought tortilla chips work.
Easy Mexican Tomato Salsa Recipe
This easy red tomato salsa recipe makes a spicy Mexican salsa that we’ve been perfecting since we returned from our first big trip to Mexico and the USA way back when we first began travelling. Like the guacamole, it’s great with tortilla chips or corn chips, but it’s also another one of our best dip recipes for crackers and crudités, and it’s another one of our best Memorial Day food recipes.
Thai Nam Prik Ong Recipe
This Thai nam prik ong recipe makes a spicy pork and tomato dip from Northern Thailand. Served with fresh or steamed vegetables or sticky rice, which you dip into the bowl, nam prik ong is the most approachable of the Thai relishes and dips, not being as pungent or fiery as some. It’s another of our best Memorial Day food recipes for fans of spicy food, although this is gently spiced.
Thai Nam Prik Num Recipe
This Thai nam prik num recipe makes a smoky green chilli dip that’s one of the best known Northern Thai specialties – so much so that it’s often called Chiang Mai chilli relish. Made from local chillies, it’s grilled on a barbecue with garlic and shallots and typically served with crunchy pork crackling and sticky rice, but could also be paired with crackers. It’s easily one of the best dip recipes to make if you have spice loving friends.
Vietnamese Pineapple Omelette and Prawn Summer Rolls Recipe
This Vietnamese pineapple omelette prawn summer rolls recipe makes the fresh spring rolls found in tropical Southern Vietnam, the Mekong Delta and Southern Cambodia that can be served as a healthy snack, light appetiser, part of a shared family-style meal or as finger food for a Southeast Asian feast, summer barbecue or spring picnic. It’s also another one of our best Memorial Day weekend recipes.
Vietnamese Fresh Prawn and Pork Spring Rolls Recipe
Our Vietnamese fresh prawn and pork spring rolls recipe is a classic gỏi cuốn recipe resulting in fresh, fragrant spring rolls that can be served as a light appetiser, part of a shared family-style meal or as finger food for a Vietnamese feast or barbecue. They are perfect for a laidback get-together and one of our best Memorial Day weekend recipes.
Cambodian Fried Spring Rolls Recipe
This classic Cambodian fried spring rolls recipe makes a crunchy deep-fried egg roll filled with minced pork, dried shrimp, carrot, garlic, and daikon radish or taro, seasoned with fish sauce, Kampot pepper, sea salt, and palm sugar. We also have a Cambodian fried spring roll dipping sauce recipe to go with it.
Spicy Chicken Lettuce Wraps Recipe
This spicy chicken lettuce wraps recipe makes a Southeast Asian take on the Chinese lettuce cups from Southern China and Hong Kong, popularised in Chinese-Australian restaurants. Our minced chicken lettuce cups take inspiration from northern Southeast Asia, from both savoury larbs (minced meat salads) and the local custom of wrapping street food snacks in lettuce. Light yet filling, this is perfect finger food for a casual soiree and one of our best Memorial Day weekend recipes.
Shan Tomato Salad Recipe
This Shan tomato salad recipe with shallots, sesame and coriander will make you a sweet tomato salad textured with crunchy purple onions, sesame seeds and crispy fried shallots and garlic, and fragrant fresh coriander. Mostly made with green tomatoes, it’s typically eaten as a refreshing accompaniment to rich curries but can also be enjoyed with a roast chicken or fried chicken wings.
Yum Chee Fresh Herb Salad Recipe
This fresh herb salad recipe makes another one of the best Memorial Day weekend recipes, a big fragrant Yum Chee from chef Chalee Kader’s 100 Mahaseth restaurant, a casual Isaan region-focused eatery in Bangkok‘s hip Charenkroeung neighbourhood. ‘Yum’ is a salad and ‘chee’ is herb’ in Thai and there are three key herbs in the dish: Puck Chee or coriander, Puck Chee Lao or dill, and Puck Chee Farang or Sawtooth coriander. One of my favourite summer salads, it’s akin to a European-style green salad, yet it’s distinctly Southeast Asian in its sweet and sour flavours and zesty-ness.
Easy Cherry Tomato Salad Recipe
This easy cherry tomato salad recipe is the best tomato salad recipe for a taste of the Mediterranean. It’s super quick and easy to make. The key to making this salad taste great is fresh, flavourful produce and top quality ingredients: extra virgin olive oil from Valencia, capers from Pantelleria, Ortiz salted anchovies from Spain, the juiciest olives from Kalamata and so on.
Coleslaw Recipe with Purple Cabbage, Crunchy Carrot and Pickled Pink Shallots
My coleslaw recipe is made with purple cabbage and pickled pink shallots and has more colour, texture and tang than the average coleslaw thanks to the crunchy cabbage and zingy pickles. This colourful coleslaw is a feast for the eyes and is as delicious as it looks. It’s a fantastic side to fried chicken, burgers and barbecue meats and is one of my favourite summer salads. When it comes to shredding the cabbage, I use a sharp knife to finely slice it, however, a mandoline is better if you have one. You’ll want a really creamy mayo such as Hellmann’s creamy mayonnaise or Kewpie mayonnaise.
Thai Corn Salad Recipe
Our Thai corn salad recipe makes a simple tossed corn salad that’s inspired by the popular som tam style salad above that’s pounded in a mortar and pestle. While we do love a good classic Thai som tam, it can often be very wet. This salad works best as a tossed salad and it’s easily another of the best Memorial Day weekend recipes. For those nice char marks and smoky aroma, we do the corn cobs on a griddle pan or a stovetop Korean BBQ grill pan if we’re cooking inside or grill it over a traditional clay brazier if we’re cooking out.
German Potato Salad Recipe for a Warm Potato Salad with Bacon, Celery and Scallions
This German potato salad recipe makes a warm potato salad with a dressing of fried celery, scallions or spring onions, and bacon. You’re going to love this if you’re a lover or potato salads, especially if you’ve made my Mediterranean-style warm potato salad recipe with capers, anchovies, chives, and celery leaves and enjoyed that. Like that warm Med potato salad, this is a perfect side to chicken schnitzel or our chicken schnitzel burger.
Grilled Corn on the Cob with Lime Butter and Lemongrass Mayo Recipe
This grilled corn with lime butter and lemongrass mayonnaise recipe is my favourite grilled corn on the cob recipe, inspired by the traditional Cambodian grilled corn, poat dot, a Cambodian street food snack of barbecued corn on the cob with mayonnaise, lime and chilli, and the Mexican grilled corn on the cob street food dish. It makes a fantastic side to barbecue ribs and skewers or fried chicken.
Mexican Grilled Corn Recipe
This Mexican grilled corn recipe makes Mexico’s corn on the cob street food snack called elotes, which we became addicted to on our first trip to Mexico many years ago. Super easy, it makes use of summer corn and is fantastic on its own or can be served as a barbecue side. If you can, grill the corn cobs for this Mexican grilled corn recipe over an open flame. Here in Cambodia, Terence typically grills on a traditional clay brazier as most Cambodians do, both at home and cooking on the streets. Terence likes these coconut charcoal BBQ briquettes.
Mexican Grilled Chicken Tacos Recipe
This easy Mexican grilled chicken tacos recipe for tacos de pollo asado makes corn tortillas filled with incredibly delicious chicken pieces that’s moist and flavourful thanks to a marinade of chipotle and spices such as cumin and paprika. Delightfully smoky courtesy of the griddle pan, you can also cook the chicken on a barbecue or grill. Some long tongs will come in handy, even if you’re not grilling over an open fire or coals, things can still get hot.
Mexican Grilled Corn Salad Recipe
While this Mexican grilled corn salad recipe makes a terrific salad for spring picnics or summer barbecues, it’s a fantastic year-round salad and is easily another of the best Memorial Day weekend recipes. You can serve it as a traditional tossed salad in a big bowl or you can serve it individually.
Mexican Street Corn in a Cup Recipe
Our Mexican street corn in a cup recipe for Mexico’s esquites or elote en vaso, which means ‘corn in a cup’, makes a Mexican street food snack or antojitos, meaning ‘little cravings’, that we became addicted to on our first trip to Mexico many years ago. It’s also super easy to make, especially if you have leftover corn on the cob, and is easily another fantastic choice for weekend picnics or barbecues.
Grilled Corn Salad With Lime, Chilli, and Lemongrass Mayo Recipe
If you enjoyed the Mexican grilled corn salad, you will love my grilled corn salad with lime, chilli, lemongrass mayonnaise, and sourdough croutons, which is one of my all-time favourite salads and definitely another of our best Memorial Day weekend recipes. Terence makes the croutons with the crunchy end of near-stale sourdough.
Thai Som Tam Recipe
This classic Thai som tam recipe makes the popular Thai green papaya salad that you’ll eat on the streets of Bangkok. The spicy salad hails from Thailand’s northeastern Isaan region, but now you’ll find this street food favourite all over Thailand, and right across northern Southeast Asia. Use a good quality Thai fish sauce, such as Megachef. It’s a wet salad so it travels well if you’re taking it to a friends’ house.
Cambodian Pork Larb Recipe
Our Cambodian pork larb recipe makes laab sach chrouk, a stir-fried minced pork salad that’s combined with fresh fragrant herbs, infused with the delightfully funky flavour of fish sauce, dusted with toasted rice powder, and served with crunchy vegetables. We like to stir-fry our larbs in a round bottomed wok. The larb – or larp, laab, laap, lab, and lap – is found right across Southeast Asia but likely originated in Cambodia.
Thai Chicken Larb for Larb Gai Recipe
Another of the best Memorial Day weekend recipes you can make is this Thai larb gai recipe which makes a classic spicy minced chicken salad from Thailand that is super easy to cook, comes together in minutes, and is very versatile. Adapted from chef David Thompson’s chicken larb recipe from his Thai Street Food cookbook, this is a gently-spiced ground chicken salad, however, you can easily heat things up with more chilli flakes. Make sure to sprinkle on some toasted rice powder or ground roasted rice called khao khua.
Thai Corn Fritters Recipe
Our Thai corn fritters recipe makes tod man khao pod in Thai – crunchy, chewy corn fritters that we gently spice with a little chilli paste. Eaten as a snack in Thailand and neighbouring Southeast Asian countries, you could serve these Thai corn fritters as finger food or as an appetiser. They’re fantastic dipped into our homemade Thai sweet chilli sauce.
Corn Fritter Burger Recipe
Our corn fritter burger recipe with fried egg and Thai sweet chilli sauce makes an incredibly delicious vegetarian burger that’s packed with flavour and crunch. With a Southeast Asian twist on the classic burger, it’s so good you won’t miss the burger patty and bacon, and the grease that comes with it. If you made our Thai corn fritters recipe and you have a batch of our homemade Thai sweet chilli sauce in the fridge, then you’re all set to go.
Burmese Fried Chicken Recipe
This Burmese fried chicken recipe makes the gently spiced fried chicken drumsticks, which are a popular street food snack in Myanmar. The finger-licking fried chicken pieces are sold at roadside stalls to take away or eat at plastic tables set up around the stall, we make these finger-licking fried chicken pieces at home and dip them into homemade sweet chilli sauce.
Southern Fried Chicken Recipe
Our Southern fried chicken recipe is an Aussie take on classic fried spicy Nashville style chicken. Australian chef Morgan McGlone learnt to perfect this during his time in the USA’s South, home to some of the world’s best fried chicken. We make a big batch and use it in everything from chicken burgers to chicken fried rice. The secret is boneless skin-on chicken thighs that are coated in seasoned flour that forms a ‘glue’ on the chicken and then the pieces are deep fried to get the crispiest skin you’ll ever taste. Then there’s the sauce it’s slathered in…
Hand Cut Potato Chips Recipe
Our hand cut potato chips recipe is another healthy fast food recipe. It makes perfect crispy fries for your fish and chips or moules frites or whatever else you like to serve with fries. Our mouthwatering potato chips are crunchy on the outside and soft in the middle. There are a couple of ways to achieve this, but ultimately you need to fry the chips twice. Fortunately, our method doesn’t mean hours in the kitchen and these are better and healthier than any frozen chips you’ll ever eat.
Spicy Potato Wedges Recipe
This spicy potato wedges recipe takes the classic Australian café, pub and bar snack of potato wedges with sweet chilli sauce and sour cream and gives it a spicy Asian twist. These skin-on potato wedges can be fried or baked, but we’ve gone for the oven-baked route for a healthy fast food recipe. Don’t worry, this spicy potato wedges recipe will still make you potato wedges that are crispy on the outside and fluffy within. Served with the classic Aussie combo of sweet chilli sauce and sour cream, these spicy wedges make a filling snack or a fantastic side for burgers.
Chicken Katsu Burger Recipe
This chicken katsu burger recipe places a crunchy tender chicken cutlet, prepared using the classic Japanese katsu method of panko-breaded and deep-fried chicken, between spicy Asian slaw, tangy Japanese-style barbecue sauce, and soft burger buns. Serve with hand-cut fries and you’re in chicken katsu burger heaven. We love these so much we eat them as often as we do Japanese pork tonkatsu.
Chilli Con Carne Recipe
While this chilli con carne recipe makes a good old bowl of chilli for those who like their chilli hot and smoky, this chilli con carne is also terrific eaten cold as a dip with homemade tortilla chips or corn chips. You’ll need to put this on the stove the morning before your party, as it takes a few hours, but not a lot of work, to make, and is another of our best Memorial Day weekend recipes.
Vegetarian Chilli Recipe
This easy vegetarian chilli recipe makes a chilli con carne sin carne (without meat) and it’s vegan if you eat it without dairy accompaniments such as sour cream and cheese. While this bean chilli is a cinch to make and comes together quickly, it’s full of so much flavour thanks to the spices that even meat-lovers won’t miss the beef mince.
Chili Con Carne and Cheese Quesadillas Recipe
Like cold pizza, these chilli con carne and cheese quesadillas taste just as delicious cold or even luke warm, if you keep them warm until you’re ready to eat. This is easily another one of our best Memorial Day recipes if you’re looking for solid dishes for soaking up all that cold beer. And they’re super easy to make after you’ve done all the hard work preparing the chilli con carne and our tomato salsa.
Cambodian Pork Meatballs Recipe for Wraps, Rolls, Soups, Salads and Sandwiches
This Cambodian pork meatballs recipe makes a juicy meatball that’s flavourful and fragrant from some of the quintessential Cambodian ingredients used in a Khmer kroeung or herb and spice paste: shallots, garlic, ginger, lemongrass, and kaffir lime. Small in size, they’re perfect for wraps and rolls, soups, salads, and sandwiches, in the form of num pang, Cambodia’s baguette.
Cambodian Beef Skewers Recipe with Lemongrass Recipe
This Cambodian beef skewers recipe makes another of our best Cambodian barbecue recipes. Called sach ko ang in Khmer, they are typically eaten with pickled vegetables and are a classic late afternoon or early evening snack in Cambodia. Some locals slide the meat off the skewer into the buttered baguette to make a meal out of them.
Cambodian Grilled Pork Ribs Recipe
This Cambodian grilled pork ribs recipe makes a favourite dish that locals here in Cambodia love to tuck into by the plateful at boisterous local BBQ joints, where they’re washed down with Anchor beers. Super easy, they’re made with a simple marinade, and are a cinch to make on a barbecue, grill or a clay brazier.
Classic Burmese Chicken Curry Recipe for an Aromatic Tomato Based Curry
If the weather is not on your side and you decide to stay in, make a big pot of curry, such as this classic Burmese chicken curry. It makes a fragrant gently-spiced curry that is perfumed with turmeric, ginger, garlic, chilli, and lemongrass. A rich curry with a moreish tomato-based gravy and a layer of aromatic oil that’s quickly soaked up by coconut rice, it should be served with zingy Burmese salads. (Links to those in the post, below.) We recommend making this curry in a big round bottomed wok or a Dutch oven.
Please do let us know if you make any of our Memorial Day weekend recipes, as we’d love to know how they turn out for you. Enjoy your weekend with loved ones!