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Minchi: A Taste of Home in Macau’s Meat-Potato Hash

Macau, as the first European gateway to China, has a rich culinary history influenced by its Portuguese heritage. The unique mix of flavors can still be experienced in the local cuisine.

One dish that showcases this cultural convergence is minchi, a minced-meat hash that each family prepares with their own twist. It typically includes ingredients brought by the Portuguese, like potatoes and tomato paste, as well as common Chinese ingredients such as rice vinegar and soy sauce. Even Worcestershire sauce, brought by the British during their time in Macau, finds its way into this flavorful dish.

The hash is stir-fried with ground pork and a touch of brown sugar, resulting in a savory and slightly sweet taste that is truly comforting.

In “Milk Street Tuesday Nights,” a cookbook dedicated to weeknight-friendly recipes, a quicker version of minchi is shared. The cooking time is shortened by microwaving the cubed potatoes to kickstart their cooking process. After cooking the pork with most of the seasonings, the pork is set aside while the potatoes are cooked until crispy.

This recipe also adds grated ginger to lighten the dish and give it an unexpected twist. Minchi is often served with rice and topped with a fried egg and a drizzle of Sriracha.

Traditionally, potato recipes involve long cooking times or turning on the oven, but this recipe offers a time-saving microwave method for busy weeknights.

If you want to try making Macanese minchi meat and potato hash yourself, you can find the full recipe here.

Ingredients:

  • 1¾ pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • 12 ounces ground pork
  • 3 tablespoons finely grated fresh ginger
  • 2 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 6 scallions, thinly sliced, white and green parts reserved separately
  • 3 tablespoons grapeseed or other neutral oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped

Directions:

  1. In a large microwave-safe bowl, combine the potatoes, ¾ teaspoon salt, and ¼ cup water. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave on high until almost tender, about 5 minutes, stirring halfway through. Drain the potatoes.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together the pork, ginger, sugar, tomato paste, scallion whites, and ¾ teaspoon pepper. In a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat, heat 1 tablespoon of oil until shimmering. Add the pork mixture and cook until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a clean bowl and wipe out the skillet.
  3. Set the skillet over medium-high heat, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil and heat until shimmering. Add the potatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned and crisped, about 15 minutes. Return the pork to the skillet and add the soy and Worcestershire sauces and vinegar. Toss, then stir in half of the scallion greens and cilantro. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle with the remaining scallions and cilantro.

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