Macau’s national dish is making its way into the city's restaurants

Outside of Macau, it’s a dish few have ever heard of, but, for the Macanese, minchi is regarded as the national dish

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 15 December, 2016, 12:33pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 18 October, 2017, 1:13pm

Traditionally, minchi is a wonderfully simple dish made with minced beef or pork (or a combination of the two), diced potatoes stir-fried with onions, and Worcestershire sauce - it’s often topped with a fried egg and served with a side of steaming white rice. It can also be made with chicken, fish, shrimp, or vegetables such as bitter melon or wood ear mushrooms. There are probably as many variations as there are cooks making it. 

The name minchi is believed to have derived from the English word “minced”,  indicating that the dish was introduced to Macau by the Anglophone community in Hong Kong, although others place its origins in another former Portuguese colony, Goa. However, minchi doesn’t appear in any Indo-Portuguese texts, so the latter is unlikely. 

It is said that minchi used to be the favourite dish of Macanese young boys, but it has evolved into being a popular home-made dish, one that serves as simple comfort food, and is one of the traditional dishes to try when visiting Macau.

The best minchi is reportedly made by chopping the meat by hand using two cleavers (or parangs). The common practice of adding an egg on top is believed to have its roots in Roman Catholicism, with the bright yellow yolk and egg white representing the colour contrast of the Holy See coat of arms.

As minchi is more commonly cooked as a home-made dish, it’s not readily available in Macau’s mainstream dining scene. However, several local restaurants and cafes off the beaten track  serve minchi - and do it well. 

Litoral restaurant is a great place to start, it’s often dubbed the spiritual home of Macanese cuisine and they serve a delcious minchi which, as per Macanese tradition, comes in a large portion. There’s also APOMAC Macau - this civil-servant retirement club serves up authentic Macanese cuisine. Many years of cooking local fare has made chef D. Vitoria one of the best at creating delicious homestyle Macanese dishes and the minchi dish here is no exception. 

Carlos restaurant also serves up fuss-free, authentic Macanese cuisine, including a generous serving of minchi. 

Where to eat minchi in Macau?

Sidonio Pais Avenue, No 49-B, ground floor
Building China Plaza, Macau
(853) 2852 4325

Restaurant Litoral
261A Rua do Almirante Sérgio Macau
(853) 2896 7878

G/F, AR-AS Vista Magnífica Court, NAPE, Macau
(853) 2875 1838