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Chinese Ham With Maple And Brown Sugar Glaze

Give your Christmas ham a mouthwatering twist this year with this delicious maple syrup and apple glaze

A holiday centerpiece, Chinese-style ham was normally used to flavor stews or braises or to make stock. But many years ago, in the journey from China to the Philippines, Chinese ham became a popular Christmas treat for many Filipino families. Perhaps it was because its pungent saltiness made a little go a long way, and large families could feast on ham for several days. Perhaps it was also because a creative cook thought to temper the saltiness with a sweet glaze, feeding the Filipino appetite for sweet-salty combinations. Whatever the reason, for many families, Christmas is not complete without Chinese ham. Here it is glazed in apple juice and maple syrup instead of the ubiquitous pineapple jam, eaten in slivers or sandwiched between pandesal. 


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Chinese Ham with Maple and Brown Sugar Glaze

Serves 24 to 32 


1 fully cooked Chinese ham, about 3 to 5 kilos 

1 cup pure maple syrup

1 cup brown sugar 

1/2 cup apple juice 

1/2 cup brown sugar, for additional sugar crusting (optional)


1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. Place ham, fat side up, on a roasting rack. Score the fat, if desired. 

3. Combine maple syrup, brown sugar, and apple juice in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Do not let it boil over. 

4. Spoon the glaze mixture over the ham. Place ham in the preheated oven for 25 to 35 minutes. Add more brown sugar on top if you want additional crusting. 

5. Slice ham and serve with pandesal and queso de bola slices. 



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Recipe by Cecilia Juntereal. 

Photography by JC Inocian.

Styling by Nancy Dizon Edralin.

FOOD Magazine, December 2013.