Food + Drink

Traditional Christmas recipes—but make them Malaysian. Here are 3 easy recipes to cook them at home


By Melissa Foong

Traditional Christmas recipes—but make them Malaysian. Here are 3 easy recipes to cook them at home

It might seem intimidating to cook up a feast for the festive season. To add to the list, thinking of ways to revamp your boring old Christmas recipes is easier said than done. But what if we told you it doesn’t have to be difficult? We’ve got you covered with a few dishes you can easily whip up at home, and they’ll surely wow your guests. A gift from us to you!

1. Switch up your typical Christmas turkey to a roasted kicap chicken

Image: Asian Food Network (AFN)

Ayam Masak Kicap (chicken cooked in sweet soy sauce) may sound like a basic dish but not when chef extraordinaire and Asian Food Network (AFN) ambassador Ili Sulaiman adds her personal touch to the recipe. The classic stuffing for a roast consists of bread, onion, celery, and fresh herbs but since this is not your typical roast, the recipe here has been altered. Asians supposedly just can’t live without their rice. Hence, Chef Ili has incorporated jasmine rice and other local ingredients you would usually find in your nasi goreng (fried rice) into the dish. Imagine a juicy chicken glazed with sticky sweet sauce and a savoury stuffing—it is the perfect centrepiece for your holiday spread.

Roasted Kicap Chicken with Asian Stuffing by Ili Sulaiman

Serves: 4 pax


  • 1 whole chicken (about 1.2 kg)
  • 1 large white onion, sliced thick
  • 2 medium size potatoes, sliced
  • 1 large carrot, sliced


  • 6 tbsp kicap manis (sweet soy sauce)
  • 2 garlic cloves grated/pounded
  • ½ inch ginger grated/pounded
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • 2 tbsp vinegar
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil


  • 200g cooked day-old jasmine rice
  • 6 shiitake mushrooms (chopped)
  • 100g lotus root (roughly chopped)
  • 150g minced chicken
  • 100g raisins
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated/pounded
  • 1 inch ginger, grated/pounded
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • ½ tsp cracked black pepper
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil


1. In a bowl, add in kicap manis (sweet soy sauce), grated garlic and ginger, black pepper and salt, vinegar with some vegetable oil and mix until combined

2. Pat your chicken dry with a paper towel before pouring the marinade all over the skin and cavities of the chicken

3. While you let it sit and marinate for about 10 to 15 minutes, pre-heat oven to 180°c

4. Place the rice in a bowl and add in chopped mushrooms, chopped lotus root, chopped onion, grated garlic, grated ginger, minced chicken, sesame oil and season with salt, pepper. Give them a good mix

5. Next, stuff the cavities of the chicken with the stuffing before tying the legs together with some butcher string

6. In a roasting pan, place sliced onions, potatoes and carrots on the bottom of the pan and sprinkle some salt and pepper. Next, place the chicken on top of the onions. Cover with a foil

7. Roast the chicken for about 1 hour 30 minutes and baste every 20 minutes with any extra marinade

8. Take off the foil for the last 20 minutes of the cooking process to get the skin nice and brown

TIP: To ensure that your chicken is cooked, poke it with the sharp end of a knife near the thigh area and check if the juices that flow runs clear. If it runs bloody, it means your chicken is not cooked just yet and put it back in the oven for a few more minutes.

9. Once the chicken is cooked, let it rest for about 5 minutes before you start carving the chicken. Serve it with some sambal and steaming white rice or noodles.

This recipe was taken from Asian Food Network’s website.

2. Celebrate the Yuletide with a sambal asam grilled lamb paired with a cup of refreshing Chardonnay

If we had a list of all the match-made-in-heaven combos, a plate of sambal asam grilled lamb paired with a glass of Wolf Blass Gold Label Chardonnay would definitely make it to the top of the list (after Mariah Carey and her touch for Christmas carols of course). What greater way to revamp the average grilled lamb dish than with every Malaysian’s favourite—sambal. The spicy and slightly sour chilli paste combined with the tender lamb that melts in your mouth will elevate your festive feasting experience.

Sambal Asam Grilled Lamb by Paul Foster

Serves: 4 pax


  • 4 lamb chops
  • 200g green bok choy
  • ½ cup quinoa
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 2 spring onions
  • 2 tomatoes
  • ½ onion, sliced
  • 200g tamarind pulp
  • Salt/sugar to taste
  • 8 dried chillies
  • 2 chili padi
  • 6 fresh chillies
  • 6 cloves Garlic
  • 8 shallots


1. To prepare the quinoa, combine the quinoa and garlic into a rice cooker or pot

Image: The Spruce Eats | for illustration purposes only

2. Blend dried chillies, chili padi, fresh chillies, garlic, and shallots

3. Soak the tamarind pulp in 1 to 2 cups of water

4. Slice tomatoes into wedges and onions thinly

5. In a medium-sized wok, heat the oil on medium heat and add the paste

6. Fry until aromatic and add tamarind water, tomato, onion, salt and sugar

Image: The Spruce Eats | for illustration purposes only

7. Before proceeding to the lamb, boil and blanch bok choy for 30 seconds in a small pot. Remove and quickly place in cold water to preserve the crunch

8. Place the lamb (fat side down) to sear the meat, and continue to cook all sides evenly until nice and charred

9. Remove from the heat and let it rest before serving


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10. Plate the cooked quinoa, bok choy and lamb chops on a plate. Drizzle sambal sauce liberally

11. Garnish the dish with spring onions and serve with a glass of Wolf Blass Gold Label Chardonnay.

This recipe was taken from Wolf Blass’s website.

3. Munch on this specially-curated local Christmas pie

Image: Fooderati | Melissa Leong

Christmas pie but make it Malaysian. How? By filling it with scrumptious beef rendang. You’d be surprised at how well it goes with a crusty pastry dough casing. Imagine this—as you cut through the crumbly texture on the outside, the intense tropical aromatics from the coconut, chillies and spices greet your nose. Sinking your teeth into the buttery sweetness, the world seems to huddle to a stop as you take a second to process what you’ve just put into your mouth. This is it, the perfect dish to impress your guests this festive season.

Beef Rendang Meat Pies by Melissa Leong

Makes: 8 party pies


  • 500g beef oyster blade, chopped into bite-sized chunks (beef chuck, lamb neck or shanks also work well)
  • 270ml coconut cream
  • 1 tbs kicap manis
  • Salt
  • White pepper
  • 4 sheets short crust pastry
  • ¼ milk for glazing


  • 1 tbs coriander seeds
  • 2 thumb-sized pieces of fresh turmeric
  • 1 generous knob of galangal, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 2 red shallots, peeled and halved
  • 3 chili padi (de-seeded if you prefer a milder heat)
  • 1 thumb-sized piece of ginger, coarsely chopped
  • ½ stalk of lemongrass, coarsely chopped
  • 2 scallions, topped and tailed
  • 1 tsp white mustard seeds
  • ½ cinnamon stick
  • 1 candlenut


1. Preheat the oven to 180˚C. Blitz the paste ingredients in the blender or food processor until you achieve a rough paste (add a small amount of water to the paste if it has issues combining)

2. In a heavy-based pot on a medium heat, add a slug of olive oil and stir fry the paste for 2-3 minutes, until aromatic. Stir the mixture continuously to prevent it catching on the bottom. Remove the paste from the pot and set aside while you brown the meat

Image: Jason Donnelly | for illustrat on purposes only

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