Minced Meat. This could lay claim to being the Macanese signature dish, delicious yet surprisingly simple.

Minchi is the staple Macanese dish of minced meat, very popular and easy to make. There are innumerable versions. Traditionally, minchi is often topped with a fried egg (sunny-side up) and fried diced potatoes.

It has become more widely known and there are now some recipes on the internet that might be described as creative and imaginative but are certainly not traditional.

Minchi appears in other savoury dishes, like chilicotes (fried pastries), minchi croquettes and apa bico (steamed dumplings).

Here are some traditional recipes: versions using soy sauce, one using turmeric, and a video

Minchi from Laura Maria “Lolita” Yvanovich Alves

1 lb 2 oz | 500g minced pork

1 lb 2 oz | 500g minced beef

2 medium onions, chopped

3 tsp light soy

3 tbsp dark soy

1 tsp tek yao (thick, dark, sweet soy)

salt and pepper to taste

¼ tsp five-spice powder

frozen shoe-string potatoes

Sauté onion, add meat, cook until colour changes, stirring with a fork to break up lumps. Add the balance of the ingredients. Adjust to taste.

Dice shoe-string potatoes and cook in oven until crisp, turning as required.

Just before serving, sprinkle with five-spice powder and extra pepper, stir and lastly sprinkle over with the crisp potatoes.

Minchi from Marie Celeste de Figueiredo

2lb 3oz | 1 kg finely minced beef
2 medium onions, diced finely.
Soy sauces – Kikkoman, Teriyaki and dark soy

Prepare base of saucepan with spray-on oil. Add oil, and fry onion (avoid cooking until brown, as that would makes the onions taste bitter). After about one minute, add the meat, and after slightly browned, add enough water to break up the meat. Stir, and let the water reduce.

Then add pepper, Kikkoman, teriyaki and dark soy to taste.

After stirring, taste and add Kikkoman as necessary. Finally, for glaze, add two teaspoons of sugar.

Add a dash of Worcestershire sauce to the soy minchi and a teaspoon of the heavy, dark, caramelised soy sauce (tek yau in Cantonese).
Add a bay leaf while frying the minced meat.

Minchi from Yvonne Bayot Husband and Josephine Bayot Arevalo

4lb 6oz | 2 kg minced beef, pork or a combination of both
2 onions, chopped
8 tbsp thick sweet soy (ABC Brand)
8 tbsp light soy sauce (Superior Brand)
1 tbsp sugar
pepper to taste

Sautée onions, add mince and cook thoroughly, stirring with a large spoon like a flat ladle.

When cooked add all the sauces, sugar and pepper to taste.

Taste and adjust to your liking.

Turmeric minchi from Laura Maria Yvanovich “Lolita” Alves

This version uses turmeric, with a yellow colour instead of the usual brown.

1 lb 2 oz | 500gminced pork
1 lb 2 oz | 500g minced beef
2 medium onions, chopped
1 packet of bacon pieces or ham
2 tsp turmeric
a little curry powder or paste
1 tbsp light soy
salt, pepper, vinegar

Sauté onions, add the turmeric, curry powder, stir, then add a dash of vinegar.

Add the bacon and then the other meats and fry well.

Add the remaining ingredients.

Adjust seasoning to taste.

Variation: To the turmeric minchi, add blanched and diced bitter melon (amargoso in Portuguese and fu kwa in Cantonese) and finely diced chili.

Mosca *

A variation of the classic minchi but with black fungus to add crunch and colour and crisp fried vermicelli for decoration.

* Literally, a fly, presumably so named because of the black fungus.

9 oz | 250g minced pork

½ oz | 15g black fungus *

1 clove garlic, crushed

chopped spring onions

1 tbsp light soy sauce

½tsp corn starch

sugar and pepper to taste

pork lard or oil

vermicelli (for decoration)

Fry the vermicelli in hot oil in handfuls but with care because it burns in a few seconds.

Season the minced pork with a pinch of sugar and pepper, light soy sauce and corn starch.

Heat the lard or oil well, brown the garlic and remove it.

Fry the garlic and spring onions and then the meat, using a spatula to turn and break it up.

Cover and cook over medium heat, stirring to avoid sticking to the bottom.

Add the black fungus about a minute before removing from the heat and stir well.

* The black fungus has to be soaked in warm water for about 5 minutes and then picked over carefully and washed well in cold water because of sand and other impurities lodged in the roots.


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