Macau, China

The Macanese people are Macau-born people with Portuguese ancestry. Their unique heritage also gives rise to unique food.

马介休球 Bacalhau is Portuguese for “cod”.

Cod is cured with sea salt.

It can be grilled.

炙烤马介休 grilled Bacalhau with garlic and Portuguese sausage.

Or deep-fried with mashed potato.

Crispy on the outside, soft and savoury on the inside.

Another Macau-Portuguese dish is made by adding pork rind,

Portuguese sausage,

cured duck leg,

and many other ingredients,

and  then you have

大盘杂煮 Tacho

“Tacho” means “big plate” in Portuguese.

It’s kind of like Cantonese poon choi,

source image

tastes a bit like Shanghai Yan Du Xian,

image source

and is as big as northeastern China Big Stew.

source image

It’s simmered for a long time.

I like how the family members eat with both forks and spoons, as well as chopsticks.

葡式海鲜饭 Arroz de Marisco (seafood rice)

Made with assorted seafood, Portuguese sausage, wine, and olive oil.

A chef creates a uniquely Macau dish.

First he adds orange peels to a chicken.

Ten seconds later . . .

Thirty seconds later . . . The chicken is now buried under an avalanche of seasonings and ingredients.

Leaves? Sure.

All kinds of spices? Sure.

Alcohol? Why not.

It takes an entire day to prepare.

More than 10 different ingredients: turmeric, red pepper, bay leaves, curry, shredded coconut, coconut milk, and so much more.

The ingredients come from all over the world.

The dish is called—

非洲鸡 Africa Chicken

This is one well-travelled chicken.

The chef proudly says, “Africa Chicken, found only in Macau.”

Lishantou, Longquan, Zhejiang Province, China

paddy field

After leaving the field, the farmers’ work is not yet done.

Every household in the village donates some of their harvest from last year, in preparation for a big ceremony.

Women gather to make something special.

The leaves used are freshly picked from the forest. 箬竹 large-leaved bamboo.

Twigs from Chinese chaste tree.

They’re burnt.

To produce wood ash, which contains potassium carbonate.

Pour hot water into the wood ash.

The water that’s filtered through is wood ash water, a kind of baking soda.

Glutinous rice is soaked in wood ash water overnight (the wood ash water looks like tea).

Then the rice is wrapped in bamboo leaves.

灰碱粽 zongzi (sticky rice dumplings) boiled with wood ash water

While the women are busy making zongzi, men are carrying a pig down a slope.

This pig is donated by one of the villagers.

The ceremony requires collaboration of the entire village: musicians, people to light the firecrackers, people to arrange the food offerings  . . .

And many hands to help catch the reluctant pig.

The pig’s head is offered to the gods, representing the villagers’ wish of a good year ahead.

The dumplings are also used as food offering.

Inside, the glutinous rice has turned a golden colour.

Dip it in sugar.

Their efforts at the ceremony are not wasted.

Harvest time.

米汤 soup made by boiling the first batch of harvested rice

That’s all for today, folks!

I’m going off to enjoy my stir-fried rice dipped in Laoganma chilli sauce, topped with more Laoganma chilli sauce, and with a side dish of Laoganma chilli sauce.

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About fmiswriting

One out of 1.4 billion voices.

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