Food / Wellbeing

Chin Chin’s Ben Cooper shares his recipe for Christmas day glazed-ham – with a twist

christmas ham recipe

Everyone has their own method of creating traditional Christmas recipes. Some span generations, while others are invented on the fly. While a little unconventional, given the use of South-East Asian flavours, this recipe from Chin Chin's executive chef Ben Cooper is just as deserving of a spot in your mum's haggard family cookbook as that summer pavlova. It takes the humble leg of ham, and brightens her up with fragrant additions like galangal and makrut lime leaves. One bite, and you'll wonder why you ever did it any other way? For a Christmas ham recipe with a twist, keep scrolling.


Sweet Fish Sauce Glaze – Makes 1 1⁄4 cups

  • 500g palm sugar
  • 2/3 cup fish sauce
  • 1⁄4 cup water
  • 1 stalk lemongrass (pale part only), sliced
  • 2 knobs galangal, chopped
  • 1⁄4 bunch Thai basil, leaves picked
  • 10 makrut lime leaves, sliced
  • 1 shallot, sliced
  • 1⁄4 bunch coriander root, chopped

Glazed Ham – Serves 20

  • 6kg leg of ham
  • 5 pink lady apples, sliced



  1. Heat oven to 165 degrees Celsius.
  2. Break up palm sugar into a saucepan.
  3. Add 1⁄4 cup water and ,over a low heat, stir until sugar dissolves.
  4. Add remaining ingredients, bring to the boil then lower temperature and simmer for 5 minutes to reduce.
  5. While the glaze is cooking prepare your ham. Remove the thick outer skin (being careful not to remove too much fat).
  6. Once removed, shallow score the ham crosswise to create 2-2.5cm squares.
  7. Stud each square with a clove.
  8. When ham is ready, place in a baking tray with some apples cut into thick slices beneath it and a splash of water.
  9. Coat with the glaze and place in preheated oven.
  10. Glaze the ham every 15 minutes till ham is cooked. It should take between 1hr 30 min to 1hr 45 min depending on your oven.
  11. When ham is golden and sticky, remove from oven and allow to cool.
  12. This recipe is delicious with an Asian style slaw, chilli relish and crusty rolls!


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