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A Slice of Macau

By Anthony Correa

Macanese cuisine is unique to Macau and Hong Kong. It consists of a blend of southern Chinese and Portuguese cuisines, with significant influences from the Indian sub-continent, Southeast Asia and the Lusophone world. It is counted amongst the first examples of “fusion” cooking, tracing its origins back over 450 years.

Many unique dishes resulted from the spice blends that the Portuguese used in an attempt to replicate European dishes. Its ingredients, spices and seasonings include those from Europe, Brazil, Africa, India, Indonesia and Malaysia, as well as local Chinese ingredients.

Common cooking techniques include baking, grilling and roasting. The former, seldom seen in other styles of Chinese cooking, speaks to the eclectic nature of Macanese cooking. Typically, Macanese food is seasoned with ingredients from the “new world” including turmeric, coconut milk, ginger, tomato, peanuts and cinnamon, giving it special aromas and tastes. Bacalhau, olive oil, chorizo sausage, potato, black olives, lemons, and fresh breads draw on its Portuguese heritage, as do cheese, wines and port.

Famous dishes include, Galinha à Portuguesa, Galinha à Africana, Bacalhau, Macanese chili shrimps, Minchi, Arroz Gordo (aka “fat rice”), Capela, Tacho (Macanese Winter Stew), Diablo (Devils Stew), Feijoada (Kidney Bean Stew) and world famous Pastéis de nata (egg tarts).


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