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Try out these Christmas recipes for this season of giving

by Grace Sundram

This year’s Chrismas is certainly going to be quite different and much simpler than before. But that does not mean we should skip on the feast and prepare a mediocre meal. Christmas is all about sharing the love and joy with your loved ones and the way you can do that is by preparing a really delicious meal for everyone.


On behalf of Chef extraordinaire and AFN ambassador Ili Sulaiman, she has shared with us some tricks and tips on how to make a full course meal for a Malaysian Christmas celebration with a twist.

Wonton Chips and Sashimi Salsa


“This dish is inspired by ceviche and salsa dips. One time during a dinner party we forgot to buy nachos so I quickly fried some wonton skins I had in the fridge and it was absolutely delicious. It’s now a staple for any family movie night or gets together.”

Cook time: 10 minutes | Prep time: 10 minutes | Serves: 4 pax | Difficulty level: Easy


For the wonton nachos:

½ packet wonton skins (large rounds or square)
Enough oil for deep frying


Fresh Coriander

For the ceviche salsa:

120g sashimi-grade salmon cut into cubes
4 sticks of imitation crab meat cut into small cubes
3 large tomatoes
¼ red onion diced
Juice of 3 large limes
2 bird’s eye chilli chopped finely
a bunch of chopped coriander leaves
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp cracked black pepper
2 tbsp mayo


Step 1: Make the wonton chips

  • Cut wonton wrappers into triangles.
  • Add oil into a wok and bring up to 180c or stick a wooden spoon into the oil, once it bubbles rapidly your oil is hot enough to start frying wonton skins.
  • Fry wonton skins for about 1 minute until crispy, before draining on kitchen towel.
  • Season with a dash of salt when they are still hot.

Step 2: Make the salsa

  • Half the tomatoes, remove all the seeds as this allows your salsa to last longer and dice into small cubes and place into a bowl.
  • Similarly, dice the onion, chilli and coriander into small cubes and place in a bowl.
    Combine everything with lime juice, salt and pepper, cover and place in the fridge to chill.

Step 3: To serve

  • Just before your guests arrive, bring out your salsa, remove any excess juice from the salsa and gently fold diced salmon sashimi and cubed imitation crab with some mayo and season with more salt and pepper is needed.
  • Place the mixture into a large bowl, top with some more coriander and tobiko and set the bowl on a large plate next to your pre-fried crispy wonton nachos.

Chef’s tips

You can make the wonton crisp a few days in advance and keep it in an airtight container to save you some time during the festivities. Similarly, the salsa can be made in advance, at least 6 hours before your guests arrive. Just make sure you remove all of the seeds and pulp from the tomatoes when you chop it up. And place it in the fridge to chill. Remember to fold in the sashimi and mayo just before serving.

Hainanese Chicken Chop


“A Malaysian favourite that served in many ‘Western’ food stalls and restaurants. I ate this growing up at home with my family and also when we went out to restaurants. It was originally made by the Hainan settlers in Malaysia that served the British during their colonization of Malaya. A mesh of Chinese style fried chicken marinated with soy sauce and gravy that resembles a traditional brown gravy you would have in Sunday dinners.”

Cook time: 1 hour | Prep time: 10 minutes | Serves: 2 pax | Difficulty level: Moderate


For the chicken chop:

2 whole legs of chicken, deboned chops
1 tsp white pepper
1 tbsp vinegar
2 tbsp soy sauce
1.5 tsp salt
1.5 tsp sugar
1 egg
100g rice flour
100g cornflour
some vegetable oil for shallow frying

For the chicken chop sauce:

1 cloves garlic chopped
1 white onion diced
1 tomato cut into wedges
1 tbsp oyster sauce
2 tbsp tomato ketchup
1 tsp Soy sauce
1 tbsp cornflour
300ml water
150g frozen mix vegetables (peas, carrots, corn)
½ tsp black pepper
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar


Step 1: Marinate the chicken

  • In a bowl, add in the chicken chop and season with salt, pepper, vinegar, soy sauce, sugar and combine with one beaten egg.
  • In a flat plate, mix together the cornflour and rice flour.
  • Next, heat up the oil for frying.

Step 2: Cooking the chicken

  • Add oil into the pan and bring it up to 180°c or stick a wooden chopstick into the oil and once it starts bubbling, it’s ready.
  • Take one piece of the marinated chicken and place it into the flour mixture and coat it well.
  • Then, gently place it into the oil and fry for at least 6 – 8 minutes on each side turning every 2 minutes.
  • Your chicken should be brown and crispy. Once cooked, set aside on a kitchen towel to drain any access oil.

Step 3: Making the gravy

  • Remove the oil from the pan and leave about 2 tablespoons worth. Add in minced garlic, onion and chopped tomatoes and fry for 1 minute until fragrant.
  • Next add in the oyster sauce, tomato ketchup, light soy sauce before adding the frozen vegetables and fry for 1 minute.
  • Lastly, add in the corn starch slurry (cornflour and water) and season with salt, pepper and sugar and cook until the gravy thickens.

Step 4: To Serve

  • Place the chicken chop with a side of salad or chips with a bowl of the gravy.

Chef’s tips

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

Roasted Kicap Chicken with Asian Stuffing


“Everybody loves my family recipe of Ayam Masak Kicap so I found inspiration in the flavours. And when cooking chicken, I always like to incorporate vegetables and carbohydrate to make it an easy one-pot meal. The stuffing for this is really like the ingredients you may have in your nasi goreng and could be a combination of any ingredients you like. If you prefer to keep it plan just season your rice with some salt, pepper and chopped garlic but if you like to have more flavour in it, add mushroom and vegetables too.”

Cook time: 1.5 hours | Prep time: 10 minutes | Serves: 4 pax | Difficulty level: Moderate


1 whole chicken about 1.2kg
1 large white onion sliced thick
2 medium-size potatoes sliced
1 large carrot sliced

For the marinade:

6 tbsp kicap manis
2 garlic cloves grated/pounded
½ inch ginger grated/pounded
½ tsp black pepper
2 tbsp salt
2 tbsp vinegar
2 tbsp vegetable oil

For the stuffing:

200g cooked day-old jasmine rice
6 shitake 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 tbs sesame oil


Step 1: Marinate the chicken

  • In a bowl, add in kicap manis, grated garlic & ginger, black pepper and salt, vinegar with some vegetable oil and mix until combined.
  • Make sure your chicken is patted down dry before pouring the marinate all over the skin and cavities of the chicken.
  • Set aside to marinate for about 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 180°c.

Step 2: Make the stuffing

  • Place the rice in a bowl.
  • Add in chopped mushrooms, chopped lotus root, chopped onion, grated garlic, grated ginger, minced chicken, sesame oil and season with salt, pepper and fold mixture and combine.
  • Next stuff the cavities of the chicken with the stuffing before tying the legs together with some butcher string.

Step 3: Roast the chicken

  • In a roasting pan, place sliced onions, potato and carrot 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.
  • Roast the chicken for about 1 hour 30 minutes and basting every 20 minutes with any extra marinade.
  • Take off the foil for the last 20 minutes of the cooking process to get the skin nice and brown.

Step 4: To Serve

  • 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.

Chef’s tips

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

Sweet Potato Cake with Coconut Drizzle


“Since going gluten and dairy-free I find new ways to curb my sugar cravings, especially during the festive season. This is one of my favourite cakes to make because it is a moist, textured and special cake. The flavours of the sweet potato, coconut drizzle and cinnamon go so well and the crunch of the walnut against the soft cake texture is just so special.”

Cook time: 1 hour | Prep time: 20 minutes | Serves: 2 pax | Difficulty level: Moderate


For the cake:

180g all-purpose flour / Gluten-free flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon powder
½ tsp salt
120g butter/margarine, room temperature
200g granulated brown sugar
2 large eggs, cracked in a bowl
1 tsp vanilla extract
300g mashed cooked sweet potatoes, cooled (about 2 – 3 sweet potatoes)
230ml coconut milk

For the coconut drizzle:

300ml thick coconut cream
200g white granulated sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp cornflour


200g toasted Crush Walnuts
20 – 30g raisins


Step 1: Preheat the oven

  • Preheat your oven to 180°C.
  • A standard loaf (9 x 4 inch) with some grease and parchment paper

Step 2: Make the batter

  • In a bowl, add in all the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt).
  • In a mixer, add in the room temperature butter and beat until fluffy before adding the sugar and beat until pale before adding eggs (one at a time).
  • Next, add in vanilla and the mashed sweet potato. scraping down bowl as needed.
  • Next, add in flour mixture a spoonful at a time and alternate with coconut milk. It is important to reduce the speed, scraping down the bowl as needed.
  • Place the batter into a loaf pan and cook for 35-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean.
  • Remove the cake from the tin and cool down for at least 1 hour.

Step 3: Make the Coconut Syrup

  • In a pot, add in coconut milk, sugar and cornflour and on a low fire, heat up the syrup and stir until thick.
  • Cool before drizzling onto the cake.

Step 4: To Serve

  • Drizzle the syrup all on the cake and garnish with some crushed walnuts and raisins.

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