A Very Eurasian Christmas: What To Eat From Starter To Dessert
Image Credit: postcards.from.my.home/Instagram

When Dutch, British and Portuguese settlers colonised Malaysia, they left behind a legacy that is bittersweet. They introduced Christianity to a predominantly Muslim country and those who settled there often married into the local communities beginning a new race that the British called the Eurasians. 

The Eurasian community is primarily Roman Catholic and of course, that means that the highlight of the year is Christmas. It's a beloved festival for the community and everyone participates enthusiastically. The food is at the heart of every home and hearth and there are many dishes that come together to make a traditional feast.

There’s a heavy influence from Portuguese culture and some dishes wouldn’t look out of place on a Goan table either. Here are a few dishes you should know if you’d like to have a taste of a traditional Eurasian Christmas. 


For the salad course, a  traditional seybak is made with pork belly and quite often, chewy pigs ears along with fresh crunchy cucumbers, lettuce and fresh flavours like galangal and lemongrass. Often they also add puffed crispy tofu for extra texture and crunch.

Pang Susi

These bread buns stuffed with minced meat are very popular all year round but can be found in huge numbers during Christmas. It’s meant to be a winter breakfast with the bread enwrapping a hot stuffing to keep it warm. The filling often contains candied winter melon for a delicious sweet-savoury blend.

Debal Curry

This fiery curry is made with either chicken or pork and is full of spices. It has Portuguese ties and is very similar in nature to the Goan Vindaloo. However in Malaysia, there are added flavours of lemongrass, galangal, soy and other more east asian staples that set it apart from its Indian cousin. 

Christmas Pie

Unlike many Eurasian recipes, the Christmas Pie has more European influences than Asian flavours. It’s a bottomless pie made with chicken, sausages, quail eggs, mushrooms, carrots and peas, all topped with a creamy sauce and finished with a crisp and buttery shortcrust pastry.

Sugee Cake

No Christmas is complete without a sweet treat and for a Eurasian Christmas, that means Sugee Cake. Made with semolina, almonds, brandy and with a covering of marzipan or royal icing. It’s textured and sweet and has delicate overtones from the almonds and brandy.