Macanese Cuisine

Content courtesy of Wikipedia:

Macanese cuisine is unique to Macau, and consists of a blend of southern Chinese and Portuguese cuisines, with significant influences from Southeast Asia and the Lusophone world. Many unique dishes resulted from the spice blends that the wives of Portuguese sailors used in an attempt to replicate European dishes. Its ingredients and seasonings include those from Europe, Latin America, Africa, India, and Southeast Asia, as well as local Chinese ingredients.

Common cooking techniques include baking, grilling and roasting. The former, seldom seen in other styles of Chinese cooking, speaks to the eclectic nature of Macanese cooking. Macau is renowned for its flavour-blending culture, and modern Macanese cuisine may be considered a type of fusion cuisine.

Typically, Macanese food is seasoned with various spices including turmeric, coconut milk, cinnamon and bacalhau, giving special aromas and tastes. Famous dishes include Galinha à PortuguesaGalinha à Africana(African chicken), Bacalhau (traditional Portuguese salt cod), Pato de cabidela, Macanese chili shrimps, Minchi, and stir-fried curry crab. Other dishes include pig’s ear and papaya salad, and rabbit stewed in wine, cinnamon and star anise. Tapas are also an integral part of Macanese cuisine.

The most popular snack is the pork chop bun. The most popular desserts are ginger milk, pastéis de nata (egg tarts), and almond cake.

The famous restaurants of Macau include the Restaurante Porto Interior, Restaurante Litoral, Restaurante Espao and Restaurante O Santos.

Learn more about the cuisine of Macau, including many recipes, at the Macanese Library website.

Read this interesting article written by Dr. Manuel Fernandes Rodrigues, entitled “Macanese Cuisine: Fusion or Evolution??” and published in Macau “Review of Culture” 2020, no. 62. Dr. Manuel Rodrigues is a member of Casa de Macau in Portugal. We thank him for sharing his research on Macanese Cuisine with us.

International Call for Macanese Cuisine Recipes

The Cultural Affairs Bureau and the Conselho Das Comunidades Macaneses have reached out to all the Casas de Macau including Lusitano Club of USA to participate in the “International Call for Macanese Cuisine Recipes.”

In order to preserve and promote Macanese gastronomy, the Macau SAR Government created the “Macanese Cuisine Database”, to collect and share documents related to the Macanese cuisine, including recipes.

The Cultural Affairs Bureau (IC) of Macao SAR government launched “International Call for Macanese Cuisine Recipes.”  All recipes collected will be stored and displayed in the “Macanese Cuisine Database” and used for the purpose of research and promotion of the Macanese gastronomy.

Submission of Macanese Cuisine recipes and materials is open to everyone beginning August 2020.

For more details and information, please see the Program and Regulations by visiting website:

We welcome you to contact them for any further inquiries through their email:

New Website for Macanese Recipes
There is a new website:
The objective is to help our younger generations cook and enjoy more of our food and hopefully keep some of our culture alive … and, who knows, it might stimulate their interest in our heritage and induce them to learn more about it.
To achieve this, a great deal of work is required if we are to do justice to our food. We need some catchy words and a photo to accompany every recipe. Some old recipes only give imprecise details (e.g., “10 cents of ginger”); they need to be tested and adapted. And today’s cooks have microwave ovens and other modern tools and expect recipes to be up-to-date on techniques.
We are looking for volunteers to proof-read and correct errors, test recipes, send in quality images, clarify unclear details, modernise cooking techniques and so on. If you love our food and would like to work with others to create something worthwhile for future generations, please contact Henry d’Assumpção at
Recipes from our Lusitano Club members: