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.

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