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Macanese mezze: Three delicious recipes to delight

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DB resident John Agusto Rocha showcases the delights  of Macanese heritage cooking.

Bacalhau Fritters

Makes 10

  • 500 g cod
  • 1 ⁄3 potato
  • 1⁄2 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp parsley, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp breadcrumbs or Japanese panko

Defrost the cod at room temperature, and then marinate with 2 tablespoons of sea salt for at least 3 hours. Steam for 9 minutes. Drain well and flake into tiny shreds. Bake the potato until cooked through, remove the skin and mash until very smooth. Combine the cod, potato, onion, egg and parsley, working the mixture by hand until it is soft and smooth. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Form the mixture into small oval-shaped cakes between two teaspoons, and then coat with breadcrumbs. Deep-fry in olive oil over a high heat. Serve warm or hot with chopped tomato and parsley.

Chicken Rice Soup


Serves 4

  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 chicken thighs
  • 1 ⁄3 cup Thai rice or pasta
  • 1⁄4 cup mint leaves, chopped
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 ⁄3 cup red bell pepper

Pour the stock into a large saucepan, add the onion and chicken. Simmer for 10 minutes before adding the uncooked rice or pasta. Add the mint and some ground pepper to the stock. Add the lemon juice and red bell pepper. Continue to simmer until the rice or pasta is cooked to your liking. Serve garnished with thin lemon slices and additional mint leaves.

Tuna Paté


Makes 2 cups

  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 8 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 cans tuna in olive oil
  • 3 tbsp tawny port
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a small skillet over a medium heat until it simmers. Drop in the onion and cook, stirring often, until slick and golden brown. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes more. Remove from the heat and leave to cool at room temperature. Combine the onion mixture, butter, tuna, port wine and lemon juice in a food processor and buzz to form a smooth paste. Season to taste. Smear the paté on bread, toast points or plain crackers – it will last for 1 week, tightly covered, in the fridge.

John Agusto Rocha hosts Macanese/ Portuguese cooking classes across Hong Kong, and each week at The Cooking Alley in Quarry Bay (3168 6868). He shares recipes on his Facebook blog (@eufoodjourney), and you can follow him on Instagram (@eurasianfoodjourney). To read more about John, click here.

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