Cantonese Congee with Stir Fried Chicken ( 广东粥)

Congee2

Congee or Chook (粥) is a popular rice porridge in South East Asia which can be eaten for breakfast, lunch or even dinner. Although, widely available across many South East Asian countries, I much prefer the creamy and tasty Macau and Hong Kong version of this popular dish. In Macau and Hong Kong congee is often serve with either beef, chicken, pork, fish or Chinese sausage, along with an accompanying century egg or fried dough stick. Although, congee can be eaten plain by itself too.

Congee is served in many cha chaan teng or tea restaurants in Macau and in Hong Kong. It’s a popular, cheap and comforting dish and is the Chinese equivalent of the Jewish penicillin known as ‘Chicken soup for the soul’. Many Chinese doctor’s recommend this dish to those who are ill, my Mom use to make or buy this dish for me too every time I was ill. Even now in my adult life whenever I feel ill there is nothing else that I’d like to eat than a humble Congee to make me feel warm and better. This heart-warming dish, though simple, is actually not easy to find in Chinese or Asian restaurants in the U.K. or the U.S. and in those that do serves it I would say that the taste is bland. I’ve yet to find a restaurant in the U.K. and U.S. that serves really good Congee packed full of flavour.

The last time I was very ill, I had just got out of the hospital and I craved so badly for a congee so I went to London’s Chinatown and bought takeaway congee. My heart sank as it tasted so bland. Since then I have been on a mission to create a congee recipe that’s as creamy and as packed with flavour as the congee found in Macau and Hong Kong. I’ve come up with two basic chicken congee recipes and this is one of them. I hope you enjoy this recipe, which is my take on a Cantonese Congee. I hope that if you feel ill and have this it will give you strength and a warm comforting feeling and make you feel better. Bon appetite!

Serves: 6 bowls

Ingredients:

Chicken Marinade:
1. 1/2 inch of finely sliced ginger
2. 1 clove of garlic, crushed and minced
3. 1 tbsp. of light soy sauce
4. 1 tbsp. of dark soy sauce
5. 2 tbsp. Shaon Xing rice wine
6. 1 chicken breast, diced
7. pinches of corn flour
8. 2 tbsp. oil

For the Congee:
9. 1 litre of chicken stock
10. 1.5 litre of water
11. 1 cup of long grain rice (rinse two or three times, then drained)
12. 1/4 cup of glutinous rice
13. 1/2 tsp. salt
14. 1/2 tsp. ground white pepper

For the Garnish:
15. 1 clove of garlic, sliced and deep fried
16. 1 spring onion, finely chopped
17. 1 tbsp. of roasted peanut
18. a handful of chopped coriander leaves.
19. 1/2 inch of finely sliced ginger (omit if you prefer your congee with less heat)

Process:
Chicken:
1. Marinade the chicken for one hour with all the marinade ingredients listed above except for the oil.
2. After one hour, heat a wok over high heat, add 2tbsp. of oil. Once the oil starts to smoke, add your chicken with the marinade into the wok. Stir fry for a 5 minutes or so until the chicken is golden brown and cooked. Set aside.

For the Congee:
2. In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan bring the chicken stock, water, rice and glutinous rice to a boil over low-medium heat. Cook at a lively simmer, stirring occasionally until the mixture is creamy, about 1.5 hour.

Congee 1

For the Garnish:
3. Serve the congee in a bowl, add the stir fried chicken and garnish on top and serve.

Note: You can make the plain congee a few days in advance, stored in a container in the fridge.  Simply bring it to the boil and add your stir fry your chicken when you are ready to eat it.  You can also eat the porridge plain or add any toppings you like.

Congee 3

Mango Pudding

IMG_7003

Mango pudding is one of the all time favourite pudding in Macau and Hong Kong.From a recent visit to Singapore I found that this is also a popular dessert in Singapore. There are even dessert houses in Singapore with a whole page menu just covering all types of mango desserts, a mango pudding, mango shakes with mango pudding or a mango pudding with sago on top or fresh mango and the list goes on.

There has always been a mango craze in Macau and Hong Kong. When I was living in Macau and Hong Kong I often have this dessert at least once a week. Often mango puddings are also served at dim sum restaurants, even in the U.K. dim sum restaurants serve mango puddings for desert. Having recently indulged in this pudding in Singapore for an entire week. I figured it is about time I learn to make it myself if I am to continue on this crazy mango pudding eating marathon. Unfortunately, in Europe and US it is not easy to get those amazingly ripe, baby and ultra sweet mangoes that you can easily find in the markets of Macau, Hong Kong, Singapore and Thailand. Thus, sadly I had to use tinned mangoes as an alternative. If you can get hold of fresh Thai ripe sweet mangoes do use those instead. They are heavenly.

Here’s my newly created recipe a homage to the ultimate mango pudding! Enjoy!

KITCHEN KIT:
6 small ramekins, a small sauce pan, a wooden spoon,a measuring jug.

Serves: 6

Ingredients:
1. 250g fresh or tinned mangoes, chopped into cubes (preferably fresh mangoes)
2. 200ml double cream
3. 400ml mango juice
4. 50 ml ideal milk also known as evaporated milk
6. gelatine 4 sheets (approximately 5cm squared)
7. 5 tbsp. of caster sugar

Process:
1. Place chopped mangoes in the ramekins.

FullSizeRender-14 FullSizeRender-15
2. Place the sauce pan in a hob over low heat, pour over the double cream,mango juice, ideal milk, gelatine sheets and caster sugar. Stir and bring to a simmer until the gelatine has dissolved. Pour the mango pudding mixture into the ramekins. Allow to cool at room temperature for 10 minutes.

FullSizeRender-17 FullSizeRender-20 FullSizeRender-22 IMG_6974 FullSizeRender-21
3. Place the puddings in the fridge for at least 2 hours to set. To serve in a plate out of the ramekins, simply dip the ramekins in hot water for 30 seconds and tip the pudding on a plate.

IMG_7006

Serve with chopped fresh mangoes and ideal/evaporated milk.

IMG_7004

Crispy Prawn Balls

IMG_6906

Inspired from my recent trip to Taipei, I thought I’d re-create the sumptuous crispy golden prawn balls I had there during my visit. This dish is ever so simple yet tasty and a perfect appetiser to serve at dinner parties. Below are some pictures taken from Taipei 101 where I had these gorgeous crispy prawn balls.

FullSizeRender-3 IMG_6539

KITCHEN KIT:
Deep fat fryer or a large sauce pan, tongs, food processor, net ladle, absorbent kitchen paper.  A plate, a cling film, a pastry brush and four bowls.

Serves: 4

Ingredients:
Marinating:
1. 235g fresh prawns, deveined and chopped
2. 70g fresh pollock filet fish, chopped
3. 2 cloves garlic, crushed and minced
4. 1 tsp. salt
5. 1/4 tsp. ground white pepper
6. 1 tsp. sugar
7. 1/2 tsp. sesame oil
8. 3 tbsp. Shao Xing rice wine
9. 4 tbsp. corn flour
10. 2 tbsp. plain flour

Coating and Frying:
11. 2 tbsp. plain flour
12. 1 egg beaten
13. 8 tbsp. panko bread crumbs
14.800 ml. sunflower oil

To serve:
15. 1 head of baby gem lettuce
16. 50g coriander, chopped
17. 2 spring onions, chopped
18. 4 tbsp. shop- bought- sweet chilli sauce

Process:

Marinating:
1. Tip the prawns, fish, garlic, salt, pepper, sugar, sesame oil, rice wine, cornflour and plain flour into a food processor – and blend until all the ingredients are well combined.Take a spoonful of the combined ingredients into your palm and make 14 golfball size balls.Using a pastry brush, brush the plate and the cling film with oil. Place the prawn balls on an oiled plate and cover with a cling film for at least one hour. It is important to oil the plate and the cling film as this will prevent the prawn balls from sticking into the plate and the cling film.

FullSizeRender-2 FullSizeRender-1 FullSizeRender FullSizeRender-6

Coating and Frying:
2. Place the beaten egg, plain flour, panko breadcrumbs on separate bowls. Dip each prawn balls into flour first, then into the egg and finally into the breadcrumbs coating all sides.Heat the vegetable oil in a dee fat fryer or a wok over a medium heat. Drop each prawn balls into the hot oil and deep fry, turning over when golden on one side.The prawns will cook for approximately 4 minutes. It would be best not to cook the prawn balls in 3 or 4 batches this will keep the oil temperature hot and will ensure that all the prawn balls are cooked evenly.

FullSizeRender-5 FullSizeRender-9 FullSizeRender-7 FullSizeRender-8

3. Lift the prawn balls out with a net ladle when golden brown. Drain on absorbent kitchen paper.
Serve with chopped coriander, spring onions, baby gem lettuce and serve straight away with a shop-bought sweet chilli sauce. Alternatively, you can also serve this with a bowl of rice as part of a main course.

IMG_6903 IMG_6904 FullSizeRender-13 IMG_6905

Enjoy!

IMG_6907

Cantonese Crispy Noodle Pork

IMG_3726

This dish is commonly eaten at ‘dim sum’ places. I love the crispiness of this noodle dish and this is definitely one of my favourite noodle dish that I always order whenever I go for dim sum. I used to have this dish for breakfast when I was growing up in Macau, it would have been the soft noodle version though, rather than the crispy one. When I was at primary school, there were small take away restaurants in Macau that only sells fried noodles. They sell fried noodles cooked simply with light soy sauce and beansprouts or fried noodles with strips of beef or sometimes pork. The dishes are cooked within seconds on high heat burner in char-coaled gigantic wok. Soon as the noodles are cooked, they are quickly thrown into paper, similar to the baking parchment paper you get in the UK. The noodle’s quickly place in a plastic bag with a complementary wooden chopsticks. I guess serving fried noodles in a paper is kind of similar to the English ‘deep fried chips’ you get from a ‘fish and chips’ take away places, that are also serve on a cone paper.  On paper on a, bowl or plate, for me it doesn’t matter where this dish is serve as I am sure I would still enjoy it and I hope you do too!

Ingredients Serves 6:
For the pork marinade:
1.  200g. lean pork, sliced finely into strips
2.  1 clove of garlic, chopped into quarters
3.  ½ tsp. of ginger powder
4.  ½ tsp. salt
5.  ½ tsp. ground white pepper
6.  1 tbsp. corn flour
7.  1 tbsp. Shiao Shing rice wine
8.  1 tbsp. Light Soy Sauce

For the shitake mushrooms:
9.  55g. of dried shitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
10. 350 ml. hot water

For the egg noodles:
11. 200g. dried egg noodles
12. 350 ml. hot water

For the sauce:
13. 1 tbsp. corn flour
14. 1 tbsp. soy sauce
15. 1 tbsp. oyster sauce
16. ½ tsp. ground white pepper
17. ½ tsp. sugar

For frying:
18. 2 tbsp. sunflower oil
19. 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
20. 10g. fresh ginger, finely sliced into matchsticks
21. 100g. beansprouts

For the garnish:
22. 5g. chives, chopped

Crispy Noodle Pork:
1.  Marinade the pork with all the ingredients listed above under ‘pork marinade’.IMG_3691
2.  Soak the mushrooms in hot water for 10 minutes, drain the mushrooms and sliced them thinly. Keep the mushroom liquid aside.

IMG_3692
3.  Blanched the egg noodles in hot water for 1 minute, tossing the noodles to loosen the noodles and avoid them from sticking together. Drain the noodles and place on a plate to dry for 30 minutes. The noodles need to be dry, in order for it to crisp up.

IMG_3703

IMG_3704

IMG_3705
4.  Next, combine all the ‘sauce’ ingredients listed above in a small bowl.
5.  Place the wok on high heat burner, add approx. 600ml. When the oil is smoking hot, add a quarter of the noodles and deep fry until they are crispy, do not stir or move the noodles around the pan, just leave them to cook until crisp and golden. Do the same for the rest of the noodles cooking them in batches so they cook evenly and crisp up.

IMG_3708

IMG_3717

IMG_3718

IMG_3722
6.  Once the noodles are cooked and crisp, place on a plate and set aside while you make the sauce.
7.  For the sauce, heat the wok over a high heat burner; add 2 tbsp. of sunflower oil into the wok. Once the wok is smoking hot add the garlic, ginger and mushrooms stir fry until fragrant.
8.  Add the pork and fry for 2 minutes. Next, add the rest of the ‘sauce’ ingredients along with the ‘mushroom liquid’ simmer for 2-3 minutes to reduce and thicken the sauce.
9.  Stir in the beansprouts and cook for 1 minute. Pour the sauce into the crispy noodles and garnish with some chopped chives.

IMG_3724

Serve immediately.

Mom’s Stir-Fry Beef with Bell Peppers

IMG_1376
My Mom being a busy entrepreneur, didn’t cook much when I was growing up, but the few dishes she did cook she cooked really well. And this is certainly one of her dishes which my sister and I really love.  It’s a very simple dish that reminds me of home. This is the kind of dish she would cook for us on a school night, when we got back from school.  My Mom never gave this dish a name, so every time my sister and I fancied this dish we would ask her to cook her ‘beef dish with bell peppers’ that’s just what we call it. To make things easier to catalog, I named the recipe “Stir-fry Beef with Bell Peppers”. Though no doubt in our household it will forever be called ‘Mom’s amazing beef dish with bell peppers’. Enjoy.  

KITCHEN KIT:
A dish for marinade and a work for stir fry.

For the Beef Marinade:
1.  Approx 220g beef sirloin, thinly sliced into strips
2.  1 clove of garlic, crushed of grated
3.  3 tbsp. light soy sauce
4.  1 tbsp. Worcester sauce
5.  ½ tsp. sunflower oil
6.  ¼ tsp. ground black pepper
7.  ¼ tsp. chilli flakes
8.  1 bay leaf, torn into small pieces
 
For the Stir Fry:
9.  2 tbsp. sunflower oil
10. 1 clove of garlic, crushed or grated
11. 1 small onion, finely chopped
12. 1 bay leaf
13. 2 bell pepper, slice into strips
14. 3 tbsp. light soy sauce
15. ½ tbsp. dark soy sauce
16. Pinch of salt
17. ¼ of ground black pepper
18. 2 sprigs of spring onions, finely chopped.
 

The Stir-Fry:
1.  Drain the beef off from the marinade.
2.  On a wok, heat 2 tbsp. of oil, when the oil is smoking hot, add the garlic, onion and bay leaf stir fry until onion turns translucent and soft. 
3.  Add beef and bell peppers, fry for 1-2 minutes. Then season with the soy sauce, salt and pepper, finally add in the spring onions.

IMG_1377
Serve immediately with jasmine rice.

Easy Fried Rice with Cured Chinese Sausages (Chinese Chorizo)

IMG_1029

KITCHEN KIT:
A wok

Ingredients Serves 4:

For the Fried rice:
1.  4 tbsp. groundnut oil
2.  5 cured Chinese sausages, slice thinly ( alternatively use honey glazed ham or chorizo)
3.  2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
4.  15g ginger, crushed or grated
5.  2 medium eggs,  lightly beaten
6.  3 cups cooked jasmine rice, cold and preferably a day old
7.  ½ cup Chinese barbecued pork also known as Char Siu, chopped into small pieces
8.  ½ cup green peas
9.  3 stalks of green onions, finely chopped

For the seasoning:
10. 1 tbsp. light soy sauce
11. ¼ tsp. caster sugar
12. ¼ tsp. ground white pepper
13. ¼ tsp. sesame oil
14. Pinch of fine salt
15. 1 tbsp. water
For the Fried Rice:
1.  Place the wok over a very high heat, add 1 tbsp. of oil, followed by the sausage slices. Fry the sausages for 2 minutes. Remove from the wok and set the sausages aside.
2.  Return the wok to very high heat, add 3 tbsp. of oil, garlic and ginger, fry for 1 minute or until fragrant.
3.  Stir in the eggs and just when the eggs are about to set, add the rice, peas and green onions. Stir Fry for 2 minutes.
4.  Finally season with some light soy sauce, sugar, pepper, sesame oil, salt and water. Stir in the cooked sausages.

Serve immediately.

 

Yang Zhou Fried Rice

IMG_1044

This is probably the most popular Chinese fried rice dish there is. A definite favourite of many Macanese, Hong Kongers and Westerners too, now that it is widely available in many restaurants outside of China.  It is not known how this recipe came about, but many believe that this recipe was created during the Sui dynasty (589–618 CE) in the province of Yangzhou, China.

When I was young, I went to Yangzhou and Guilin with a group of friends. It was one of my most memorable holidays, not just because of the amazing company of fantastic friends but also because of the food I ate during the trip. In a wet market in Yangzhou I sampled the best ever hand pulled noodles – no wonder the market was packed with people at 6 am!

The market was full of hawkers and shoppers. In the air was a heady mix of excitement, the horns of mopeds and the aroma of the day’s just arrived fresh ingredients. It really was an assault on my senses. My sister and I sat on little plastic red stools in the middle of this busy market as the chaos went on all around us. We were completely engrossed in watching an old Chinese lady first pull and then cook amazing fresh noodles for us. She served them in a simple clear broth with fresh vegetables. I was in heaven! One of the best noodles I’ve ever had!

Sadly I didn’t have the chance to try Yangzhou Fried Rice in Yangzhou – I was too busy eating the noodles – so this recipe is based on the Yangzhou fried rice found is cafes and restaurants all over Macau and Hong Kong. Its a dish I’ve eaten hundreds, if not thousands, of times and I never tire of it. When its really good, you don’t need to order anything else other than the Yangzhou Fried Rice – its a meal in itself.

KITCHEN KIT:
A small bowl and a wok

Ingredients Serves 4:

For the shrimps marinade:
1.  ½ cup shelled and deveined shrimps
2.  ¼ tsp salt
3.  ¼ tsp sugar
4.  ¼ tsp ginger, crushed or grated

For the Fried Rice and Vegetables:
5.  3 tbsp. groundnut oil
6.  2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
7.  15g ginger, crushed or grated
8.  2 medium eggs,  lightly beaten
9.  3 cups cooked jasmine rice, cold and preferably a day old.
10. ½ cup Chinese barbecued pork also known as Char Siu, chopped into small pieces
11. ½ cup green peas
12. 3 stalks of green onions, finely chopped
For the seasoning:
13. 1 tbsp. light soy sauce
14. ¼ tsp. caster sugar
15. ¼ tsp. ground white pepper
16. ¼ tsp. sesame oil
17. Pinch of fine salt
18. 1 tbsp. water

For the shrimps marinade:
1.  On a small bowl combine the shrimp, salt, sugar and ginger. Leave to marinade for 1 hour or at least 20 minutes.

For the Fried Rice and Vegetables:
2.  Place the wok over a very high heat, add 3 tbsp. of oil, garlic and ginger, fry for 1 minute or until fragrant.
3.  Add the marinated shrimps and fry them until pink. Stir in the eggs and just when the eggs are about to set, add the rice, pork, peas and green onions. Stir Fry for 2 minutes.
4.  Finally season with some light soy sauce, sugar, pepper, sesame oil, salt and water.

Serve immediately.

IMG_1057

 

Cantonese Chicken Cashew Stir-Fry

IMG_1058

This is such a quick and easy dish to cook. This is the type of dish you will find in local cafes and traditional Cantonese restaurants in Macau and Hong Kong. A simple yet very tasty stir-fry dish with meat and vegetables serve with warm jasmine rice. If you fancy something Chinese on work night or school night, I recommend this easy and simple to cook dish. Enjoy!

KITCHEN KIT:
A wok

Ingredients Serves 2:

For the Marinade:
1.  500g chicken breast, slice into strips and skin removed
2.  1 tbsp. Shaoxing rice wine
3.  1 tbsp. Dark soy sauce
4.  ¼ tsp. ginger powder
5.  2 tbsp. corn flour, for dusting

For the Chicken stir-fry:
6.  1 tbsp. groundnut oil
7.  50g cashew

For the Vegetable stir-fry:
8.  1 tbsp. ground nut oil
9.  15g ginger, grated
10. 1 tbsp. hoisin sauce
11. 1 stalk of celery, finely chopped
12. 100g of snake beans/French beans, slice into approx. 1 inch lengths
13. 1 tbsp. plum sauce
14. 1 tbsp. light soy sauce
15. ½ tsp. sesame oil
16. 1 spring onion, finely chopped (for garnish)
17. ½ tsp. chilli flakes (for garnish)

For the Marinade:
1.  On a bowl combine the sliced chicken with all the marinade ingredients listed above; marinade for 10 minutes.

For the Chicken Stir-Fry:
2.  Drain the chicken of the marinade liquid and dust lightly with corn flour.
3.  On a wok over a very high heat, add 1 tbsp. of groundnut oil, once it is smoking hot add your chicken and fry for 3 minutes. Add the cashew and stir fry for another 1 minute.
4.  Plate the chicken and cashew and set aside.

 

For the Vegetable Stir-fry:
5. Return your wok to high heat and add 1 tbsp. of groundnut oil. Once the oil is smoking hot add your ginger, stir until fragrant.
6.  Then add hoisin sauce, chopped celery and snake beans, stir fry for 2-3 minutes until the vegetables are slightly tender.
7.  Finally stir in your soy sauce, plum sauce, and sesame oil. Return the chicken and cashew back into the pan, garnish with some chopped spring onions and chilli flakes.

Serve immediately with jasmine rice.

Cantonese Aromatic Ginger Steamed Sea bass

 

KITCHEN KIT:
Wok, steamer and a small Bowl.

Ingredients Serves 2:

For the Marinade:
1.  1 sea bass, approx. 400g gutted and cleaned
2.  1 tsp. of rock salt
3.  1 ½ tbsp. Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry
4.  50g ginger, slice into matchsticks 
5.  5 spring onions, slice into 1 inch legths

For the toppings: 
6.  4 tbsp.groundnut oil
7.  ½ tsp sesame oil

For the seasonings: 
8.  3 ½  tbsp. light soy sauce
9.  2 tbsp. hot water
10. Coriander leaves, finely chopped for garnish 

First Stage:
1.  Rinse the sea bass in cold running water, pat dry with kitchen paper and set aside on a plate.
2.  With a sharp knife slash the fish 3 times on both sides. Rub the fish with the salt and Shaoxing rice wine and stuff the ginger and spring onions inside it and on top of it. Set the Fish aside to marinade for 8-10 minutes.


3.  Drain any excess liquid that comes out of the fish.

 

Stage 2:
4.  Lay the fish on a plate or steamer with the ginger and spring onions. Steam on a high heat for 10-12 minutes. Plate the fish once cooked.

Stage 3:
5.  On a wok over very high heat add your ground nut oil and sesame oil. Leave until the oil becomes very hot and then pour this over on top of the cooked fish. Fish should sizzle as you pour this on.

Stage 4:
6.  On a small bowl stir in the soy sauce and hot water. Pour this over the fish. Garnish the fish with some chopped coriander.  


Serve Immediately with jasmine rice.

Cantonese Stir Fried Beef Ho Fun (Quick and Easy Cantonese Dried Beef Ho Fun 干炒牛河)

This is genuine Cantonese dish. The recipe I have written below contains nothing but the authentic Cantonese ingredients used to create this simple, quick and tasty dish. Cooking this dish is not complicated and yet the end result is superb! This is certainly a favourite noodle dish among Macanese and Hong Kongers at Yum Cha time,  otherwise also known as Dim-Sum Eating time! Although the word ‘Yum Cha’ means “to drink tea”. When Macanese and Hong Kongers says that they are going for ‘Yum Cha’ this doesn’t literally mean that they will go out solely to drink tea, but rather to eat dim sum, ordering varieties of little dishes to be shared with family and friends. Dim sum translate to “touch one’s heart”, and originated in Guangdong. Legends says that it started as just a simple snack, rather than as a main meal of the day, hence it was called ‘Little hearts’. Whether it is true or not I recommend dim-sum or going for yum cha to anyone visiting Macau, Hong Kong or Guangdong, as these little treasures will certainly touch your heart and satisfy your belly! If you want a genuine Cantonese experience, a dim sum trip is a must. I hope that you will try it as I am sure you will enjoy it!

NB: In other parts of China, Beef Ho Fun dish contains a blackbean ingredient. Although it is also good, the Cantonese version with the simple recipe below is still my preference as this is the dish I grew up eating with my Mom and sister. Feel free to try both recipes though and see which version you prefer.

 

Ingredients Serves 4:

For the Marinade:
1.  150g sirloin beef, thinly slice into strips
2.  20g ginger, grated or crushed
3.  1 tbsp. Shaoxing rice wine
4.  1 tbsp. light soy sauce
5.  1 tbsp. dark soy sauce
6.  1 tbsp. oyster sauce
7.  1 tsp. sesame oil
8.  1 tsp. cornstarch
9.  ½ tsp.  ground black pepper

 

For the Stir Frying Noodles:
10. 2 tbsp. ground nut oil
11. 200g fresh thick Ho fun (rice noodles),  (if using dried noodles, soaked in warm water for 10 minutes until soft, then drained)
12. 1 tbsp. dark soy sauce

 

For Stir Frying Beef:
13. 3 tbsp. ground nut oil
14. 1 tsp. sesame oil
15. 1 tbsp. light soy sauce
16. 110g of bean sprouts
17. 4 spring onion sprigs, sliced into approx. 1 inch’ in length
18. A pinch of ground white pepper

 

Day 1
The Marinade:
1.  On a bowl combine all the marinade ingredients above with the beef slices. Cover with a cling film and place in the fridge to marinade for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight.

Day 2
The Stir Fry:
2.  Drain the beef slices from the marinade. Set the beef aside.
3.  Meanwhile, on a wok over a very high heat add 2 tbsp. of oil. When the oil is smoking hot, stir-fry the noodles with the dark soy sauce between 1-2 minutes or until slightly coloured. Remove noodles from wok and set aside.


4.  Wipe the wok clean with a kitchen paper. Return the wok to a very high heat; add 3 tbsp. of oil. When the oil is smoking  hot quickly stir-fry your beef for 2-3 minutes. Add noodles to the wok, fry the beef and noodles together for 1 minute. Tossing the noodles vigorously to prevent it from sticking onto the wok.


5.  Stir in your beansprouts and spring onions, season with 1 tbsp. light soy sauce, 1 tsp sesame oil, a pinch of ground white pepper and cook further for 1 minute.


Serve Immediately.

 

Macau Egg tarts (Pastéis de nata)

Although there are now many shops and cafes in Macau, and now even in Hong Kong, that sell egg tarts, the ultimate and mother (or should I say father) of all egg tarts are still the legendary Lord Stow’s Egg tarts made and sold in Coloane village, in Macau, at the original and very first Lord’s Stow’s Café www.lordstow.com/

It was a Brit, Andrew Stow, who brought these lovely desserts to Macau. He started making these golden tarts in the 1980s at his café and they’re still made at the same café today. In the 1990s his ex-wife Margaret, who owns the also excellent Café Nata in central Macau, brought these tarts to the mass market. They soon spread outside Macau, and hotels and restaurants across southern China and Hong Kong were selling these egg tarts known as ‘dan tat’ in Cantonese. But the ultimate still remains Lord Stow’s. To distinguish between the regular ‘dan tats’ now sold across China and the genuine article from Macau, we call the Macau egg tarts ‘po tat’, which just means simply Portuguese tart rather than egg tart. The hordes of Mainland Chinese tourists that I have to wrestle past to buy the famous ‘po tat’ leaves me in no doubt that the Andrew Stow’s egg tarts have helped to bring thousands of visitors to Macau over the years.

Luckily for me, my school was just across the road from Margaret’s Café Nata and my mother and I always used to enjoy egg tarts for lunch together there. At weekends after swimming at Coloane beach I would visit to Lord Stow’s café to feed my egg tart addiction. Ten years ago, my now husband visited me in Macau, we were just dating back then but he knew about my love of egg tarts and hoping to impress my mother he bought a box for her. Unfortunately the egg tarts didn’t made it to our dinner table. Somewhere in the taxi between Lord Stow’s and my house he succumbed to temptation and ate them all. He still loves egg tarts and my mother always brings some for him when she visits Hong Kong – luckily she’s better at resisting temptation on the ferry to Hong Kong than he was in the taxi to my house. I do not know Lord Stow’s secret recipe for ultimate egg tart, here’s my take on it which I think is pretty close to his version. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

 

KITCHEN KIT:
Muffin Tin/mould, rolling pin, pastry brush, cookie/pastry cutter, balloon whisk, large bowl and a sauce pan.

 

Ingredients:

For the Egg Custard Mixture:
1.  4 eggs, yolks only
2.  80ml whipped cream
3.  80ml full fat milk
4.  65g golden caster sugar
5.  1 tsp. vanilla extract or 1 vanilla pod

 

For the Pastry:
6.  2x 320g ready rolled shop-bought, all butter puff pastry if you are in hurry or just feeling lazy. Otherwise you can also make your own puff pastry by following “All Butter Puff Pastry” instructions on the pastry section of this site.
7.  100g unsalted butter, softened (for pastry and for greasing muffin tin)
8.   25g icing sugar

 

For Glazing:
9.  3 tbsp. milk
10. 10g icing sugar
For the Egg Custard Mixture:
1.  On a bowl whisk your egg yolks and sugar until all ingredients are well incorporated.
2.  On a small sauce pan over a very low heat, gently simmer your milk, cream and vanilla pods/extract for 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat, leave to cool for a couple of minutes, and then pour this into your egg and sugar mixture.
3.  Whisk all the ingredients together. Cover with a cling film and place in the fridge overnight.

For the Pastry, baking and glazing process:
4.  Pre-heat your oven to 200°C. Butter your muffin tin/mould.
5.  On a flour dusted work surface, roll both of your puff pastry approx. 3mm in thickness, wide and long enough to cover your entire baking tin, brush the pastry with butter on one side, then sprinkle over some icing sugar on top.


6.  Using a cookie cutter, cut the pastry into discs.

7. Place 3 pastry discs overlapping each other. Just lightly press them together so that they stick together. We’d like the pastry to puff so best not to roll them together or press them too firmly together, a light touch would do.
8.  Place pastry discs on your muffin tin/mould; gently press the pastry at the bottom and around the edges of the tin/mould.



9. Pour your egg custard mixture and bake in the oven for approx. 15-18 minutes or until the mixture has set with a slight wobble when gently shaken. Remove from the oven once baked and set aside.


10. Switch oven setting to grill,  brush the egg tarts with some milk and sprinkle over some more icing sugar on top. Return your egg tarts into the oven and grill just to slightly brown the top of the custard for approx. 5-6 minutes. Remove from the oven, set aside to cool for 5 minutes. Sprinkle over some cinnamon powder.


Serve warm.

 

Extra Tip:
I have tried making these Macanese egg tarts with both silicon muffin mould and muffin tins. If you do have muffin tins I would recommend you use this instead, baking the tart in the tin makes their bottoms crispy and golden just like those egg tarts you get in Macau. Unfortunately silicon mould doesn’t do the same trick, my puff pastry didn’t crisp up.
To make the puff pastry extra sweet dust them with more icing sugar before rolling them. You can also sprinkle over some Demerara sugar on top to add a nice texture to the custard tops as per the picture above. For this recipe, I did both version,  some with just icing sugar sprinkling on top- keeping the custard texture soft and gooey and for some I added Demerara sugar for the nice extra texture on custard tops.

Macau’s Won Ton Noodle Soup ( Won Ton Tong Meen 雲吞湯麵)

Wonton
Wonton noodle soup is a common dish that can be found all over China. There are several variations to this dish and the recipes and the shape of the wonton can vary quite significantly across the different regions of China. This version is my take on a classic Cantonese wonton noodle soup, the type that you find in Macau or Hong Kong.

In Macau the stock for the wonton noodle soup is usually made with fish, chicken and pork bones. For this recipe however I have used dried shrimps as an alternative to fish. Wonton noodle soup is always served in Macau and Hong Kong with egg noodles and the filling is always a combination of pork and prawns. Locals love this dish and so do many Westerners.

I’ve been eating wonton noodle soup from as long ago as I can remember. When I worked in Hong Kong I used to have an amazing wonton noodle soup at least once a week for lunch. I probably shouldn’t say this as it exposes my food obsession. Every lunchtime an old lady that worked at our company would take all our orders for lunch and go and collect the food, I always asked her to get me the amazing wonton noodle soup. She would go and buy them from a tiny restaurant in Cameron Road, Tsim Sha Tsui. They were the biggest wontons I’ve ever eaten. They were absolutely enormous, bigger than a golf ball, and so delicious!

Sadly, like many things in Hong Kong the tiny restaurant that sold those wontons is no longer around. Now living in the UK, it is not always possible for me to get wonton noodle soup for lunch, so I now make these when I miss the hot humid days working in Tsim Sha Tsui!

I hope you like this too!

 

KITCHEN KIT:
A large bowl, 1 medium size sauce pan, 1 large sauce pan, pastry brush.
For the Wonton Makes 32:
1.  180g Pork minced
2.  150g Shrimp, shells removed, deveined and finely chopped
3.  2 garlic cloves, crushed or grated
4.  25g ginger, crushed or grated (it’s important to crushed or grate the ginger than slice it)
5.  8g fresh chives, finely chopped (use yellow chives if available)
6.  2 tbsp. light soy sauce
7.  1 tbsp. oyster sauce
8.  1 tbsp. Shaoxing rice wine
9.  1 tsp. sugar
10. ½ tsp. sesame oil
11. ½ tsp. ground white pepper
12. ½ tsp. salt
13. 32 of 9cm square, wonton wrappers

For the wonton paste:
14. ½ tsp. cornstarch
15. 2-3 tbsp. water

For the Egg noodles:
16. 150g fresh egg noodles serves 2 (alternatively use dried egg noodles)

For the Soup:
17. 30g ginger, slice
18. 1 liter. of chicken stock
19. ½ liter of pork bone stock (or use spare ribs to make the stock)
20. 15g dried shrimps
21. ¼ tsp. sesame oil
22. Pinch of salt
23. Pinch of ground white pepper
24. A handful of chives, finely chopped (use yellow chives if available) (garnish)
25. A handful of spring onions, finely chopped (garnish)
For the Wontons:
1.  Mix all the Wonton ingredients together on bowl. Leave to marinade for 1-2 hours or overnight.


2.  To make the paste that will seal your wonton wrappers, combine cornstarch and water on a small bowl and mix until the cornstarch has completely dissolved into the water without lumps.
3.  Using a teaspoon place your wonton mixture in the middle of the wonton wrappers; brush only one corener side of the wonton wrappers with cornstarch and water. Take one side of the wonton wrapper and cover the other side. Press the sides gently with your fingers to seal them well. (They can now be cooked or frozen for later used, to be used within a month)

 

 

Wonton
4.  On a medium size sauce pan, bring some water to the boil. Once your water starts to boil add your wontons in batches, it is important to cook them in batches and not overcrowd them so they cook well. Once the wontons float to the surface they are done. Remove them and set aside. (For 2 servings cooked 8 wontons and froze the rest for later use)

Wonton

The Egg Noodles:
5.  On the same sauce pan you used to cook the wontons, add your fresh egg noodles in and cook for 3-4 minutes over medium heat. If you are using dried egg noodles follow the packet instructions for cooking as some dried egg noodles takes longer cooking time.
For the Soup:
6.  On a large sauce pan over high heat, add your slice ginger, 1 liter of chicken, ½ liter hot water and pork bones (you can use spareribs for this). Cover the pan with a lid and simmer for 1 hour. Remove any impurities that come out from the pork, throughout the simmering time.
7.  After 1 hour, add your dried shrimps and simmer for another 15 minutes.
8.  Season with some salt and white pepper. Pass the stock through a fine sieve or muslin cloth so you are left with a nice clear broth. Alternatively you can just take the broth carefully, removing shrimps, ginger and pork bones before serving it.

 

Final Stage:
9.  Transfer cooked noodles on a bowl, top with your cooked wontons then your soup. Finally garnish with some chopped chives and spring onions.

Wonton

Serve immediately with steamed pack choi.
Extra Tip:
Freezing Wontons-Once made they can be frozen immediately in the freezer for a month. If you do have a big freezer, I recommend that you freeze the wontons between 1-2 hours, flat on a baking sheet with some gaps between and covered with a cling film. Once frozen you can then place the individual and separated wontons in a freezer bag, this way you can cook them one at a time.
Cooking the frozen wontons- frozen wontons does not need to be thawed/defrosted before cooking them. You can just drop them on boiling water and once they float in the surface they are cooked.

 

Cantonese Braised Beef Brisket (Ngau Lam, 牛腩飯)

KITCHEN KIT:
Large frying pan/wok, a large casserole pan with a lid and a slow cooker (if you do not have a slow cooker you can just use a large sauce pan).

Ingredients:
1.  4 tbsp. ground nut oil
2.  500g beef brisket, chopped into chunks approx. 1nch thick
3.  150g beef tendons, chopped into chunks approx. 1nch thick
4.  40g ginger, peeled and slice
5.  3 cloves of garlic, grated or crushed
6.  1 ½ litre of water
7.  ½ cup shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry
8.  2 ½ tbsp. Chu Hou Sauce
9.  1 star anise
10. 1 cinnamon bark equivalent of approx. 4 inches long/ 2 inch thick.
11. ½ tbsp. brown sugar
12. 2 large daikon radishes, peeled and chopped into chunks approx. ½ inch thick
13. 3 large carrots, peeled and chopped into chunks approx. ½ inch thick
14. 5 tbsp. light soy sauce
15. 2 tbsp. dark soy sauce
16. Pinch of salt
17. Pinch of ground white pepper

The Beef Brisket and Tendons:
1.  On a large frying pan over a high heat, add 2 tbsp. of oil, when the oil is very hot, add and fry the beef brisket chunks and tendons for 3-4 minutes until brown on all sides. Then set aside.
2.  Reheat the same pan/wok adding another 2 tbsp of oil, sauté garlic and ginger for 1-2 minutes.
3.  Transfer cooked garlic, ginger, beef brisket and beef tendon into a large sauce pan. Add 1 ½ litre of water, Shaoxing rice wine, Chu Hou sauce, star anise, cinnamon bark and sugar. Cover sauce pan with a lid and bring to boil.
4.  Then add the daikon radishes and carrots;lower the heat and simmer for 6-10 hours with the lid on; until the beef brisket are soft and tender and beef tendon turns into a jelly-like consistency, soft and almost falling apart.(use a slow cooker instead if you have one)
5.  Stir frequently throughout the whole time to ensure that the ingredients are all well incorporated and the beef doesn’t get stuck at the bottom of the pan. There should be enough liquid to cover all the ingredients both before and after cooking this dish for hours. So do add some more water little ½ a cup at a time, if you find that your sauce starts to dry out during the cooking process.
6.  Season with some salt, pepper and sugar.

Serve warm with jasmine rice or with egg noodle soup.

 

Drunken Clams (Clams Cooked in Beer)

Drunken Clams, Clams Cooked in Beer

I got this recipe from my mother, which she cooks really well with Portuguese dry white wine. Upmarket Portuguese restaurants in Macau use Portuguese dry white wine for this dish, while many other restaurants and cafes in Macau, uses the Macau beer or the well known Tsing Tao beer as an alternative to wine. In this recipe I used Tsing Tao beer as unfortunately my local supermarket does not sell Macau Beer.

A few of the well known restaurants in Macau that serve this dish are: 
A Lorcha 船屋葡國餐廳 in Macau Island
Antonio Restaurant in the Taipa Village
Nga Tim Cafe 雅憩花園餐廳. in the Coloane Village

 Clams Cook in Beer ,Drunken ClamsClams Cook in Beer ,Drunken Clams

KITCHEN KIT:
1 large sauce pan

 

Ingredients Serves 3:

1.  2 tbsp of olive oil
2.  40g ginger, peeled and sliced into matchsticks
3.  3 cloves of garlic, grated or finely chopped
4.  1 small onion, finely chopped
5.  1 red birds eye chilli finely chopped (deseed chilli to lessen heat) 
6.  300g clams
7.  300ml Tsing Tao Beer or Macau Beer
8.  Pinch of Salt
9.  Pinch of Ground white pepper
10. Handful of coriander, finely chopped
11. Handful of sweet holy basil, torn (optional)

The Clams:
1.  Wash and clean your clams under running cold water, for clams that are open or slightly open, tap them lightly, if they do not close discard them.
2.  In a large pan, over a high heat add 2 tbsp of olive oil, ginger, garlic, onion, chilies, some of your chopped coriander, pinch of salt, pepper and sauté for 1 minute.
3.  Add clams and beer; allow it to simmer for 2 minutes then cover with a lid.
4.  Leave to cook for 5 minutes gently shaking the pan a few times. Once the clams have all opened remove from heat and garnish with some chopped coriander and sweet holy basil.

Serve warm with jasmine rice.

 

 

Macanese Baked Pork Chop Rice

Macanese Baked Porkchop Rice

This is one of the locals favourite dish, which can be eaten in many restaurants and cafes in Macau as well as Hong Kong. This is another great example of a genuine fusion dish. Baked pork chop with cheese, tumeric and coconut milk are cooking methods and ingredients that came from the Portuguese and their ex-colonies such as Goa.  And the fried rice which came from canton (Macau, HKG, China).  There are different recipes for a “Baked pork chop rice dish”, one recipe includes tomato paste , tomato chops and ketchup which is known in both Hong Kong and Macau as the “Baked Pork chop rice dish in red sauce” red being the tomato sauce.  The other alternative recipe is known as the “Baked Pork chop rice dish in cheese and white sauce” that is cooked with cheddar cheese and bechamel sauce. Finally the last alternative recipe is called the “Portuguese Baked Pork Chop rice” which is the version I have made here, with a coconut milk  and tumeric powder. The recipes for the red, white and coconut tumeric sauces varies greatly from restaurants to cafes to families that cooks the dish. I have tried all sorts of different versions in my life time and I must say that so far I have been lucky enough to have only had delicious ones so far.

 

KITCHEN KIT:
Ovenproof dish and 2 frying pan/wok.

Ingredients Serves 4:

For the pork marinade:
1.  2 pork chops or pork loin steaks
2.  2 tbsp light soy sauce
3.  ½ teaspoon sugar
4.  ½ teaspoon corn flour
5.  1 tbsp Shaoxing rice wine or sherry
6.  ½ tsp ginger powder
7.  ½ tsp  of sesame oil
8.  Pinch of ground white pepper

 

For the breaded pork chop:
9.  ¼ salt
10. ¼ ground white pepper
11. 2 tbsp flour
12. 1 egg, lightly beaten
13. 30g dried breadcrumbs
14. 4 tbsp of ground nut oil

 

For the Fried Rice:
15. 2 tbsp ground nut oil
16. 1 egg, lightly beaten
17. 3 cups of cooked rice
18. 1 shallot, finely chopped
19. ½ clove of garlic, crushed
20. 1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
21. 2 medium tomatoes, deseeded and finely chopped
22. 1 tsp sesame oil
23. 1 tbsp light soy sauce
For the Sauce:
24. 1 tbsp ground nut oil
25. 1 bay leaf
26. 1 shallot, finely chopped
27. 1 small potato peeled and chopped
28. 1 carrot, peeled and slice
29. 1 tsp turmeric powder
30. 150 ml coconut milk
31. 150 ml full fat milk
32. Pinch of salt
33. Pinch of coarse black pepper
34. Pinch of sugar
35. 30g Cheddar cheese, grated
36. 15g of desecrated coconut

 

Day 1

For the Marinade:
1.  On a bowl combine all the pork marinade listed above, marinade the pork overnight or for at least 1 hour.
2.  Cook your rice and set to chill overnight.

Day 2

For the breaded pork chops:
3.  Preheat oven to 200ºC
4.  On a plate, rub the pork with flour, salt and pepper, then dip into the beaten egg and finally into the breadcrumbs.
5.  On a frying pan heat 4tbsp of oil over a medium heat, when the oil is very hot add your pork and cook until golden brown and crisp. Set your pork aside on a kitchen towel to drain the excess oil.


For the Fried Rice:
7.  On a separate pan, heat 1 tbsp of oil over a high heat, add your egg and just when it starts to set stir in your rice. Add 1 tbsp soy sauce and 1 tsp of sesame oil cook for 2 minutes. Set your egg fried rice aside.


8.  Re heat your frying pan over high heat, add 1 tbsp of oil, when the oil is smoking hot add your garlic, shallot and bell pepper cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly until the bell pepper has slightly softened.
9.  Return the egg fried rice back into the pan, stir incorporating all the ingredients together, cook for 2 minutes and set aside.


For the Sauce:
10. Parboil your chopped potatoes (approx 5 min) and carrots (approx 3 min) until slightly softened, then drain.


11. On a frying pan over a very high heat, add oil and when it is smoking hot; add your shallots,bay leaf,carrots and potatoes;cook for 2 minutes.
12. Next,stir in your turmeric powder, coconut milk, full fat milk; season with salt, pepper and sugar, leave to simmer for 10-15 minutes until the sauce has thickened.

For the Baking process:
13. On an oven proof dish, add your fried rice and half of the sauce, then add the pork chops with the leftover sauce. Sprinkle over some grated cheddar cheese and desecrated coconut. Bake for 25 minutes until cheese has melted.

 

 

Serve Warm.

 

 

 

Mom’s Macanese Crème Caramel (flan)

Crème Caramel, flan

KITCHEN KIT:
Small Sauce Pan, wooden spoon, deep ovenproof dish, pastry brush and a palette knife.

Ingredients Serves 6:
For the crème:
1.  6 egg yolks
2.  410ml evaporated/ideal milk
3.  205ml sweetened condensed milk
4.  1 ½ tsp of vanilla extract or 2 vanilla pods only.

For the caramel:
5.  6 tbsp of water (if you would like to have a runny caramel) or 1 ½ tbsp  of butter (for a darker, more intense and thicker caramel base sauce)
6.  160g caster sugar

Buttering the dish:
7.  10g melted unsalted butter

The crème:
1.  Pre-heat oven at 150°C.
2.  On a bowl mix all the crème ingredients. Set aside.

The caramel:
3.  On a small saucepan over a low heat, add your sugar and water. Stir until the sugar granules have turned into liquid.
4.  Once it starts to bubble and thickens stop stirring, leave to boil until it changes into an amber colour then remove from heat.
5.  Pour the caramel onto your dish, leave to set for a few minutes.


Buttering the dish and adding of he crème:
6.  Once the caramel has set and cooled, brush all sides of the dish with unsalted melted butter.
7.  Pour the crème mixture on the dish. Place the dish on a baking tray.
8.  Pour hot boiling water on the baking tray filling it a third of the way up, (bain-marie) place in the oven to bake for 30 minutes or until the crème has set. Remove from the oven, leave to cool for a few minutes and place in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
9.  Dip a palette knife on a hot water, run it through around the edges of the crème caramel dish, shake the dish gently this will loosen the crème caramel from the dish. Cover the dish with a plate and tip it upside down.

Crème Caramel, flanCrème Caramel, flan

Serve with some fresh raspberries.

Extra Tip: For the caramel sauce you can either use butter and sugar for a more intense flavour, dark caramel colouring and thicker sauce. My Mom usually makes the caramel sauce with water and sugar which gives a more delicate flavour an amber colouring to the sauce and thinner liquid sauce. I have tried and liked both versions. For this recipe, I used butter and sugar. Which ever caramel receipe you use, just ensure that you don’t use a non-stick pan, using a non-stick pan will crystallize your sugar instead of giving you the nice caramel liquid.

Evaporated/ Ideal Milk and Condensed milk are widely used in Macau and Hong Kong, most cafes and restaurants in Macau and Hong Kong used these as an alternative to fresh milk, with the hot weather these are perfect alternatives. The famous Macau and Hong Kong Milk Tea are also made with Evaporated/Ideal milk .

Crème Caramel, flan

Cantonese Pork Spare Ribs

Cantonese Pork Ribs

KITCHEN KIT:
Oven Proof dish and a pestel and morter

Ingredients Serves 2:
For the Marinade:
1.  420g pork spare ribs
2.  1 star anise crushed/pounded
3.  1 tsp fennel seeds pounded
4.  1 tsp 5 spice powder or all spice
5.  ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
6.  Pinch of salt
7.  Pinch of ground white pepper
8.  1 tbsp Shao Sing rice wine (or sherry)
9.  2 tbsp light soy sauce

For the Sauce:
10. 100ml light soy sauce
11. 1 tbsp of Shao Sing rice wine (or sherry)
12. 5 tbsp of honey
13. 2 cloves crushed garlic
15. 1 tsp of 5 spice powder or all spice
16. zest of 1 orange
17. chopped coriander leaves for garnish

 

Day 1
The Marinade:
1.  Combine all marinade ingredients together and rub all over the pork ribs. Leave to marinade over night on a deep oven proof dish.

Cantonese Pork Ribs

Day 2
The Sauce:
2.  Pre-heat oven to 200°C.
3.  Place marinated pork in the oven for 45 minutes, and then remove from the oven.
4.  Combine all the sauce ingredients on a bowl; pour over the pork ribs marinade, rubbing the sauce all over the ribs.


5.  Place the pork ribs in the oven to cook for another 20 minutes. Once cooked remove from the oven and garnish with some chopped coriander leaves.

Cantonese Pork Spare RibsCantonese Pork RibsCantonese Pork Spare Ribs
Serve warm.

 

 

Galinha Cafreal à Africana (Macanese African Chicken)

Galinha Cafreal à Africana (Macanese African chicken)

Certainly one of Macanese’s favourite dish. This is my take on the famous Macanese Galinha Cafreal à Africana.

KITCHEN KIT:

Ovenproof dish and pastry brush

 

Ingredients Serves 4:

1. 1 small spatchcock chicken approx 1.4kg

2. 150g melted butter

3. 10 cloves of garlic, grated or crushed

4. 1 tsp of salt

5. 1 ½ tsp of coarsely ground black pepper

6. 3 bay leaves torn in a few pieces

7. 3 lime leaves finely slice into thin strips

8. 1 red dried chilli finely chopped

9. 1 can of coconut milk or 400 ml

10. 10g desecrated coconut

11. 200ml chicken stock

12. 1 tsp of corn flour

 

Day 1

The Marinade:

1. On a deep dish add 100g butter, 10 cloves of grated garlic,  ½ tsp of salt, ½ tsp pepper, bay leaves, lime leaves and chillies, mix all the ingredients together.

2. Rub the marinade all over the spatchcock chicken. Cover the dish with a cling film, refrigerate overnight to marinade.


Day 2

The Coconut Basting Sauce:

3. On a bowl mix remaining 50g butter, 5 cloves of garlic, salt, black pepper and coconut milk.

 

The Marinated Chicken:

4. Pre-heat oven to 200°C.

5. On a bowl stir 200ml of hot chicken stock and 1 tsp of corn flour then set aside.

6. On an ovenproof dish, add the marinated chicken; then using a pastry brush baste the chicken with some coconut basting sauce. Cover the chicken with a foil.

Galinha Cafreal à Africana (Macanese African chicken)

7. Place chicken in the oven to bake for 45 minutes, basting regularly with the coconut basting sauce. Add 3 tbsp at a time of the chicken stock with corn flour to thicken the sauce, add more if necessary.

8. After 45 minutes, put the oven into grill, remove the foil covering on the chicken. Baste the chicken once again with the coconut basting sauce, return chicken in the oven to grill on one side for 25 minutes, then turn the chicken over and grill the other side for another 25 minutes.

Galinha Cafreal à Africana (Macanese African chicken)Galinha Cafreal à Africana (Macanese African chicken)Galinha Cafreal à Africana (Macanese African chicken)

9. When the chicken is cooked and the skin is blackened sprinkle over some desecrated coconut return to the oven for 2 minutes.

Galinha Cafreal à Africana (Macanese African chicken)

Galinha Cafreal à Africana (Macanese African chicken)

Serve warm with jasmine rice or chips.

Galinha Cafreal à Africana (Macanese African chicken)

Extra Tip: Do not be alarmed that the chicken is blackened it is not burnt it is meant to be black and it does add flavour to the dish, although the exterior of the chicken looks black the insides of the chicken remains succulent and juicy.

Macanese Almôndegas

almôndegas

These miniature pork patties are so easy to make and are so delicious. I used to have these as an afternoon snack after coming home from school and they are so comforting and absolutely moorish. Nowadays, I serve these as canapé when friends come over for tea. Like many other Macanese dishes the recipe for this dish also varies from family to family, some add chopped green olives. Usually these patties are not dipped in flour. Thyme leaves and chilli powder are not used in this dish as well. I personally prefer a bit of chilli powder and thyme leaves to enhance the flavour, but feel free to omit these if you would like to try the simpler version.

KITCHEN KIT:
Deep frying pan and a colander

Ingredients Makes 25 pcs:
1.  250g minced pork
2.  65g grated mature cheddar cheese
3.  1 egg lightly beaten
4.  1 sprig of thyme leaves only
5.  45g of breadcrumbs
6.  45g of flour
7.  600ml oil (for a 10inch size pan that’s 3 inches deep)
8.  Pinch of salt
9.  Pinch of ground white pepper
10. Pinch of chilli powder

The Patties:
1.  Mix pork, some thyme leaves and grated cheese; season with a pinch of  salt, pepper and chilli powder. Knead until mixture is smooth.
2.  Make small round balls out of the mixture, approx 1 inch in size. Flatten each ball.
3.  Dip each ball on a flour, then beaten egg and finally dip into the breadcrumbs, coating all over evenly.
4.  Heat oil on a deep pan (the oil needs to be very hot).  You can either deep fry or shallow fry your almôndegas in batches for approx.3 minutes on each size. Once cooked and golden brown, drain the cooked almôndegas on a colander sitting on a bowl or kitchen towel to drain excess oil.

almôndegas

Serve warm with an ice cold Macau style milk tea.

Macanese Minchi (Stir-fried minced beef with potatoes and fried eggs)

Macanese Minchi

This is a local favourite and an equivalent of a national dish in Macau. It’s a household family favourite but can also be ordered at many Macanese and Portuguese restaurants all over Macau. If you want an authentic Minchi visit Wai Kei, in Macau one of the locals favourite restaurant in Macau.  It is said that the word minchi came from the British who lived in nearby Hong Kong. The word “minced” was pronounce by the local Cantonese as Minchi and hence the dish became known as Minchi. Macau and Hong Kong only 70km apart and the two cities influence each others cuisine. Macau was under Portuguese administration from the mid 16th century up until 1999 when, like Hong Kong in 1997, it became one a Special Administrative Region of China. Macau has a much longer colonial history than Hong Kong and still has strong ties with Portugal. Macau, as an ex-trading port for Portugal, benefitted greatly from the spices the Portuguese ships brought from their trading routes. Hence Macanese cuisine today contains a lot of spices not seen in Cantonese cuisine and strong influences from Portugal and it’s colonies’ cuisines. Spices, salted fish and cured meat, such as chorizo and presunto, came not just from Portugal but also from Africa, Brazil, East Timor and India on ships as they passed through Macau. Macanese food is thus more than just a mix of Cantonese and Portuguese cuisines it is also heavily influenced by many of Portugal’s former colonies cuisines; making it the original fusion cuisine, full of flavour, history and memories from the past.

KITCHEN KIT:

Wok or a none stick pan, colander

 

Ingredients Serves 4:

The Marinade:

1. 2 cloves of bashed garlic.

2. 1 tbsp of light soy sauce

3. 1 tbsp dark soy sauce

4. 2 bay leaves

5. ½ tsp of cayenne pepper.

 

The Beef Minchi and Potatoes:

6. 550g lean minced beef (alternatively use 275g minced pork and 275g minced beef)

7. 1 medium potato of approx 225g, peeled and cubed in small pieces

8. 1 medium onion, finely chopped

9. 1 small shallot, finely chopped

10. 3 cloves of crushed and chopped

11. 2 bay leaves

12. 2 tbsp light soya sauce

13. 1 tbsp of dark soy sauce

14. 1 tbsp Worcester sauce

15. ¼ tsp brown sugar

16. ¼ tsp salt

17. ¼ tsp cayenne pepper

18. ¼ tsp ground white pepper

19. 700ml sunflower oil

20. 2 tbsp olive oil

21. 4 eggs

 

The Marinade:

1. Marinade beef on a bowl for 30 minutes with 2 cloves of bashed garlic (large enough to take them off), bay leaves, cayenne pepper, light and dark soy sauce.

Minchi Marinade

The Potatoes:

2. On a high heat, heat the wok with 700ml of sunflower oil, deep fry cubed potatoes, gently stir to make sure they are not stuck together. Once crisp and golden brown, remove the potatoes from the wok and leave the potatoes to drain on a colander over a bowl. (The oil needs to be very hot before the potatoes are added, to check that the oil is hot enough place a wooden chopstick on the oil, if the oil bubbles up, your oil is hot enough for the potatoes to be added in, if you have a deep fat fryer you can use that instead to deep fry your potatoes.)

3. Remove oil from the wok.

The Beef:

4. Reheat your wok again over a high heat, add 2 tbsp of olive oil, add the garlic, onions, shallots and bay leaves stir continuously for 1 minute.

5. Add only your marinated beef (discard: bashed garlic chunks), cook the beef and just when the beef starts to turn brown add your light soya sauce, Worcester sauce, sugar and season with salt, pepper and cayenne pepper.

Light and Dark Soy SauceMacanese Minchi

The Egg:

6. Heat some oil in a wok until it is smoking hot. Crack the egg into the pan, with a very hot pan the egg should crisp up around the edges immediately. Move the egg from side to side, bathing the entire egg with the hot oil. This will make the egg crispy, finally turn over the egg so its semi-side up and then serve. The yolk should still be runny.

Serve Warm with jasmine rice.

Macanese Minchi

Extra Tip: There are many variations to this dish. Most Macanese do no marinade the beef before cooking it, but I personally prefer to marinade the beef with the herbs and spices as for me it intensifies the flavours even more. You can choose to omit this section. It is also fine to only use light soy sauce and omit the cayenne. I know many families in Macau that prefer to only use light or dark soy sauce and others who prefer to combined them as I have done in this recipe.

Macanese Bacalhau Guisado

This is my Mom’s easy version of a Macanese Bacalhau Guisado. One of our family favourite dish for an evening supper. As this is so easy to make, we usually have this on the weekdays. So yummy and so easy.

KITCHEN KIT:
Deep frying pan and a casserole pan with a lid.

Ingredients Serves 4:
1.  1lb boned and skinned cod.  (if using salted cod please see instructions below on how to prepare the salted cod overnight)
2.  5 tbsp olive oil.
3.  2 tbsp butter.
4.  1 medium size onion diced.
5.  2 cloves of finely chopped garlic.
6.  4 tomatoes deseeded and chopped.
7.  3 bell peppers deseeded and chopped.
8.  1 medium potato skin peeled off and sliced thinly like a disc.
9.  90g pitted green olives
10. 3 bay leaves.
11. Some flour for dusting
12. Some salt
13. Some pepper
14. ¼ tsp paprika
15. Optional- a handful of fresh parsley chopped for garnish
16. Optional- a few small bell peppers for garnish

Preparing the Fresh Cod fish if not using Bacalhau (already slated cod) :
1.  On a plate rub the fish with rock sea salt, leave the fish to rest for 5-10 minutes, the salt will remove excess liquid from the fish and helps firms up the flesh of the fish.

The Bacalhau:
2.  Season the cod with a pinch of salt and pepper, dust with some flour and shake off the cod to remove excess flour. (if you are using a salted cod for this dish, omit seasoning with salt, just season with pepper and dust with flour as the fish will already be salty)


3.  Heat frying pan with 4 tbsp of oil fry the cod for 2 minutes on each side. Remove the fish and set aside covered in foil to keep it warm.
4.  Heat casserole pan, adding left over oil from the frying pan used to cook the fish, add 1 more tbsp of oil onto this and 2 tbsp of butter. Add garlic, onions, peppers and bay leaves cook for 1 minute then mix in the potatoes. Season with some salt, pepper and paprika; cook all together for a further 3 minutes then mix in the tomatoes. (The amount of salt you add in depends entirely on your taste buds, you will have to season the dish with some more salt if you are using fresh cod rather than “bacalhau”, salted cod).


5.    Add the fish onto the same pan, gently flake it and lightly cover the fish with all the cook vegetables so the flavours infuse into the fish. Cover with a lid and cook for 20 minutes over a low heat.

Serve warm with steamed jasmine rice.

Extra Tip: Traditionally the fish used for this dish is a salted cod. If you have the time and prefer to use a salted cod, you would have to rinse the salted cod in cold water, soak it in water for 24 hours, changing the water 2 or 3 times, before cooking it. The soaking time varies depending on the size and dryness of the fish.