Chances are good that you’ve seen Macau through it’s role James Bond – site of the elaborate casino in Skyfall. Macau is a peninsula near Hong Kong that’s home to multiple elaborate casinos, although in recent weeks that industry has taken a downturn after anti-corruption campaigns as well as multi-million dollar thefts. But that’s irrelevant to our culinary task. I had my interest piqued in Macanese food — which combines Chinese, Portuguese, and African traditions — after hearing this interview on The Splendid Table with the owners of the Fat Rice restaurant in Chicago. For a very small place, Macau has a big cuisine. I couldn’t fit it all in on this week’s menu, in fact. There’s minchi, which is a minced pork and beef dish with a fried egg on top. . . fried eggs don’t work well for reheating and wielding two large knives (the traditional mincing technique) is just asking for bad things to happen. Another favorite vetoed due to difficulty in reheating was the fried pork chop slider. I’ve had these before and they’re delicious, but not a “stick in the fridge and eat later in the day” type item. Keep these two foods in mind should you ever find yourself in Macau. For the things that are on the takeout menu, here are the notes. And don’t forget to also check out the Thursday Night Sit Down dinner menu, linked here.
Galinha a Africana – Peanut-Chicken stew over potatoes. A simple, warming dish you can reheat in the microwave or a saucepan on the stovetop. (GF)
Tofu Curry – Red curry coconut sauce, tofu, and vegetables, served over rice noodles, quite mild, I think that adding hot sauce is a splendid idea but others may disagree. Another simple microwave or stovetop reheating item. (Vegan, GF)
Sort of Fat Rice – Traditional fat rice is an exuberant form of paella with more ingredients than my takeout containers can hold. In this version – in a nod to Portugal – we’re starting with a recipe for salt cod paella and expanding (with many vegetables) from there. Don’t reheat this for too long, you don’t want the rice to get mushy. You could hit it in the microwave. I’d be tempted to throw it in a skillet with hot oil to reheat, it will add a little crispness to the rice that I like.
In case you’re curious about a more traditional fat rice, here’s the description of the full dish from the Fat Rice menu:
Our namesake, Arroz Gordo, lit.: “substantial rice” is the celebratory dish of Macau. Reminiscent of paella, Arroz Gordo is a bountiful, home-style, layered rice dish usually prepared for family and friends on special occasions.
Jasmine rice laced with sofrito, chinese sausage, salted duck and topped with portuguese chicken thighs, char sui pork, linguiça sausage, fatty prawns, clams, tea eggs, croutons, assorted pickles and sauces
Linguica Sausage Dumplings – Sausage, potatoes, mushrooms fill these buns that are half pan fried, half steamed. A little trickier to reheat. You can put them in the microwave and it will be okay. Or to be a smidge better than okay, you could do a mini-recreation of how they were originally made – in a small saucepan heat a thin film of oil, set the bun down on top for a minute or so (until it sizzles). Toss in a small amount of water (just enough to create steam) and cover immediately. Turn the heat down for a few minutes more, until the bun is warm again.
Delicata Squash with Lemongrass Sauce – You could reheat this in the microwave, in a saucepan, or even baked in the oven. It’s pretty flexible. (Veg)
Savory Apple Slaw – Serve cold. This apple slaw is made raita style, with cucumbers, yogurt and spices. (Veg, GF)
Serradura Pudding – The translation here is “sawdust pudding.” It’s tea biscuits, cashews, sweetened condensed milk, whipped cream, arranged into a pudding parfait situation. Lucky for you it comes in single serve containers because I’ve learned from past experience that once you start eating this stuff, it’s hard to put down the spoon.