Global Finger Foods That Keep the Party Going

From Southern hush puppies to Korean chicken wings, here are more than 50 crowd-pleasing appetizer recipes

Nothing makes a party like well curated snacks. Finger foods in particular have a way of fitting in as both elegant Oscar party bites or raucous Superbowl party apps. But no matter the holiday, celebration, or fête, the best case scenario is when the dishes you choose to serve at a gathering are unique and inspiring—not just the same few go-to staples.

While we’ll never turn down a well-made cheese plate or a delicious party dip, to change up our game, we turned to a number of cuisines around the world to source ideas for more exciting party bites. In addition to Korean fried chicken to authentic Mexican nachos, this includes the likes of cheesy broiled oysters, DIY spring rolls, and fried ravioli.

Now when the question of what appetizers to serve at a party comes up, the only question you’ll have is: how many of these recipes can I pull off?

Persian Kuku Sabzi

Persian Kuku Sabzi
Some ingredients obscure raw oysters, others enhance them. Just as lemon juice brightens and cleans their flavor, so too does Thai basil, marinated pineapple, and a squeeze of lime. A sprinkling of dark-burgundy-colored urfa biber chile flakes, commonly known as urfa, adds a smoky dimension. Get the recipe for Raw Oysters with Grilled Pineapple and Thai Basil »
Full-flavored chicken meatballs smothered in a sweet and salty glaze. Get the recipe for Japanese Grilled Chicken Meatballs (Tsukune) »

Fried Shredded Beef Empanadas

Get the recipe for Shredded Beef Empanadas »

Adobo Chicken Wings

Tito’s Filipino-Style Chicken Wings

Pork and Cabbage Potstickers

Chinese New Year has come and gone, but that doesn’t mean you can’t keep celebrating with these easy-to-make potstickers. Get the recipe for Pork and Cabbage Potstickers »

Cilantro-Mint Chutney

This bright, tangy chutney is a great complement to samosas or curry.

Real Deal Ignacio-Style Nachos

A balance of pickly, salty, cheesy, and crisp, this recipe—inspired by the original—proves that simple is preferable when it comes to nachos. When deep-frying your own tortillas, look for soft tortillas made with all corn (and no flour) for the crunchiest results. Get the recipe for Real Deal Ignacio-Style Nachos »

Broiled Oysters with Parmigiano and ‘Nduja

Get the recipe for Broiled Oysters with Parmigiano and ‘Nduja »

Indonesian-Style Chicken Wings

Marinated in tamarind and aromatic spices, these chicken wings are cooked in coconut water before frying. Get the recipe for Indonesian-Style Chicken Wings »

Hush Puppies

These crisp-fried cornmeal balls are traditionally served alongside fried fish and tartar sauce in the Deep South. Get the recipe for Hush Puppies »

Cretan Cheese Pies with Thyme and Honey (Kalitsounia)

These traditional Cretan handheld cheese pies are often served as an Easter treat. Get the recipe for Cretan Cheese Pies with Thyme and Honey (Kalitsounia) »
Pork Roll Canapés

Roasted Artichokes

Though traditionally cooked in embers, these artichokes are equally as succulent when oven-roasted. Get the recipe for Roasted Artichokes »

Fried Stuffed Castelvetrano Olives

Making for a substantial snack, Rosa Pepe stuffs olives with a simple beef and pork filling; then dredges them in breadcrumbs before crisping them up in the deep-fryer. Get the recipe for Fried Stuffed Castelvetrano Olives »

Broth with Crêpes (Crespelle en Brodo)

Parmesan-laced crêpes soak in a pool of deeply-rich bone broth in this recipe from Abruzzo wine-maker Emidio Pepe’s wife, Rosa. Get the recipe for Broth with Crêpes (Crespelle en Brodo) »

Roasted Tomato and Grape Toasts with Fava Bean Puree

Dried fava bean purée is served all over Puglia, typically with cooked bitter greens and fried or toasted bread. Giorgia Goggi adds lemon juice and miso, and uses it as a base for crostini. Leftovers are an excellent dip for raw vegetables. Get the recipe for Roasted Tomato and Grape Toasts with Fava Bean Puree »

Broccoli Rabe and Italian Sausage Fried Ravioli

Broccoli Rabe and Italian Sausage Fried Ravioli

Roasted Squash and Pork Dumplings

This delicate seasonal dumpling is stuffed with squash, spiced pork, ginger, and scallion. Get the recipe for Roasted Squash and Pork Dumplings »

Korean Fried Chicken

Double-frying chicken wings is the secret in Korean recipes to achieving the delicate, crackly crust that is the hallmark of this popular Korean specialty, made famous in this country at the Los Angeles restaurant Kyochon. Cathy Danh wrote about this snack in “The Other KFC” for our March 2010 issue. Get the recipe for Korean Fried Chicken »
Learn how to make our classic latkes. Author Joan Nathan, from whom this recipe is adapted, likes hers with applesauce; we find them equally delectable with sour cream. Alternating between onion and potatoes when grating keeps the potatoes from darkening. Get the recipe for Classic Latkes

Krisciki (Polish Bow Tie Fritters)

Also referred to as angel wings, these sugar-dusted fritters are both crunchy and pillowy. See the recipe for Krisciki »

Pecan Cheese Wafers

Pecans lightly brushed with egg whites are baked into cheesy, buttery wafers with a touch of chile flakes. Get the recipe for Pecan Cheese Wafers »

Stuffed Mussels (Cozze al Pomodoro)

Thyme and white wine bring out the sweet flavor of mussels in this classic dish.

Buffalo Wings

These are the Buffalo-resident’s Buffalo wings: true to the original 1964 recipe, wings are fried in peanut oil and then tossed in a mixture of melted margarine and fiery hot sauce. Serve them up with blue cheese dressing and celery sticks to complete the classic dish.

Mozzarella Sticks

Crispy breading encases gooey melted mozzarella cheese in this classic appetizer. Get the recipe for Mozzarella Sticks »

Fried Calamari with Saffron Aioli and Agrodolce

Traditional to southern Italy, agrodolce is a sweet-and-sour sauce that adds a bright, tart flavor to this fried dish. Get the recipe for Fried Calamari with Saffron Aioli and Agrodolce »

Boudin Scotch Eggs

Soft boiled eggs are encased in boudin sausage, tossed in bread crumbs, and then deep-fried in this recipe from chef Harold Marmulstein of Austin restaurant Salty Sow. Get the recipe for Boudin Scotch Eggs »

Texas Cheese Ball

The cheese ball is a party staple in Texas, but there should be one on every holiday table. Get the recipe for Texas Cheese Ball »

Herbed Tomato Tart

Made with ripe cherry tomatoes and fragrant herbs, this tart is both delicious and beautiful. Get the recipe for Herbed Tomato Tart »

Nut and Cheese Gougères

Pecan gougères

Pork Rind Roosters

Roosters are an oyster bar standard made up of a single saltine topped with an oyster, horseradish, and several slices of jalapeño. The tradition: You shoot one back, grimace, chase it with a beer, and before you know it, you’ve eaten a dozen and got a T-shirt to prove it. This is not that. This tastes good. Instead of something you’d eat only after partying a bit, this version is an adept way to start a party. Get the recipe for Pork Rind Roosters »

Upperline’s Oysters St. Claude

Fried oysters are paired with a garlicky sauce in this toothsome appetizer served at Upperline, a restaurant in New Orleans’ Uptown neighborhood.

Stuffed Cherry Peppers (Peperoni con Acciughe)

Capers, tuna, and anchovies balance the heat in these small, stuffed cherry peppers. Get the recipe for Stuffed Cherry Peppers (Peperoni con Acciughe) »

Greek Fried Cheese

With a bit of fire for show. Get the recipe for Greek Fried Cheese »

Shtetl Toast

Gribenes, the deeply-flavored result of cooking chicken skin and onions down in fat—a byproduct of rendering schmaltz—is perfect fodder for schmearing on this crostini from Wise Sons Jewish delicatessen in San Francisco. Get the recipe for Shtetl Toast »

Herbed Squash Confit

Herbed Squash Confit

Crab Rangoon

An adaptation of the fried wonton, crab rangoon is one of the most enduringly popular appetizers at the posh Polynesian restaurant chain Trader Vic’s. Get the recipe for Crab Rangoon »

Chickpea Fritters with Coconut Chutney

The menu at the tiny, brightly colored Jesus é Goês restaurant is filled with Goan dishes that pop with traditional Indian spices and ingredients. Many take advantage of Lisbon’s fresh seafood—shrimp and fish in curries and biryanis—and produce. Here, in one of chef Jesus Lee Fernandes’ most popular starters, pillowy, onion-flecked chickpea fritters are served with a pungent chutney made from a blend of common Indian ingredients: cilantro, tamarind, chile, turmeric, and freshly grated coconut. Get the recipe for Chickpea Fritters with Coconut Chutney »

Turkey Momos with Tomato-Cilantro Sauce

These steamed, meat-filled Nepalese dumplings come from Binita Pradhan, the entrepreneur behind Bini’s Kitchen in San Francisco, CA. Get the recipe for Turkey Momos with Tomato-Cilantro Sauce »

Fennel and Herb Phyllo Pastries (Hortopita)

These Greek pastries unite a buttery crust with bright-tasting fennel and feta cheese. Get the recipe for Fennel and Herb Phyllo Pastries (Hortopita)»

Braised and Fried Pork Spareribs

Meaty pork spareribs are rendered tender in a confit of lard, then fried until crisp and dusted with a mixture of hot and sweet paprika in this Hungarian dish. Get the recipe for Braised and Fried Pork Spareribs »

Crab-Filled Crispy Wrappers

Crab Spring Rolls

Strawberry Rhubarb Pâte de Fruit

Instead of coating his pâte de fruit with plain sugar, William Werner of San Francisco’s Craftsman and Wolves flavors Demerara sugar with Clément Créole Shrubb, a spiced liqueur made of aged and white Agricole rums and bitter orange peels. It adds a clean, bright flavor to the glittering topping. Get the recipe for Strawberry Rhubarb Pâte de Fruit »

Cavolo Nero and Prosciutto Bruschetta

Cavolo nero, also known as Tuscan kale, Lacinato kale, or Dinosaur kale, balances thinly sliced, salty prosciutto over toast. Get the recipe for Cavolo Nero and Prosciutto Bruschetta »

Beef Short Ribs Empanadas

In his version of Chilean empanadas, chef Rodolfo Guzmán of Boragó replaces lean ground chuck with rich beef short ribs, which make each bite tender. Get the recipe for Beef Short Ribs Empanadas »

Onion and Anchovy Tarts (Pissaladières)

Based on the classic French caramelized-onion tart with olives and anchovies, these little two-bite hors d’oeuvres pack a flavorful punch.

Saffron Rice Balls (Arancine)

No snack is as beloved in Sicily as these saffron-scented rice balls arancine filled with ragu.

Lamb and Bulgur Wheat Croquettes (Kibbeh)

These spiced croquettes are a classic Middle Eastern snack. Get the recipe for Lamb and Bulgur Wheat Croquettes (Kibbeh) »

Meat Croquettes (Polpette)

Rich ground veal and potatoes are seasoned with garlic and parsley and fried for a classic Venetian snack.

Fried Fish Pies (Pastels)

A popular snack along Senegal’s coast where seafood is plentiful, these small fried hand pies are filled with a spicy herb and fish filling. Get the recipe for Fried Fish Pies (Pastels) »

Virginia Ham and White Cheddar Croquettes

Crisp on the outside and creamy on the inside, potato croquettes filled with a combination of white cheddar and salty ham are the ultimate party snack. Get the recipe for Virginia Ham and White Cheddar Croquettes »

Apple and Stilton Welsh Rarebit Bites

Piquant Stilton replaces the more traditional cheddar in this bite-sized twist on the classic British dish. Get the recipe for Apple and Stilton Welsh Rarebit Bites »

Sweet and Sour Pork and Oyster Meatballs (Tangcu Muli Rouwan)

These succulent Sichuan meatballs are fried until crisp, then coated with a sweet and sour sauce. [Get the recipe for Sweet and Sour Pork and Oyster Meatballs (Tangcu Muli Rouwan) »(http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes/Pork-Oyster-Meatballs)

Spaghetti Fritters with Ham and Smoked Mozzarella (Frittatine di Pasta)

Coiled strands of spaghetti soak up a creamy sauce in these delectable fried ham and cheese fritters.

Grape Leaves Stuffed with Rice (Dolma)

This recipe for stuffed grape leaves uses both lemon juice and zest to enhance the flavor of the stuffing.