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Street Food in Singapore

By HarryMonday 23rd April 2018

Street food is legendary in Singapore, Asia, so you won’t go hungry. Thanks to the many markets and street-side food shacks, plus the multicultural nature of food in Singapore, with its Malay, Chinese and Indian roots, there’ll always be plenty of mouth-watering dishes to try. Hawker centres also abound in Singapore, and at these complexes selling inexpensive cooked foods, the quality of the dishes is often good.

Street Food in Singapore

Some typical dishes of Singapore

Kaya Toast is a snack food you might eat for breakfast or tea. Toasted bread and lashings of butter are accompanied by kaya, a traditional jam made from coconut and eggs. Kaya toast is often eaten with soft-boiled eggs.

Chai Tow Kway or fried carrot cake is nothing like the carrot cake of the west, and does not contain carrot! It is made with rice flour and white radish, which is steamed and cubed and then fried with garlic, eggs and preserved radish.

Chilli Crab is another Singapore favourite, with a thick, spicy gravy mopped up with fried or steamed buns. Fish-head curry contains fish heads stewed in a spicy gravy, often including aubergines and okra.

Another of Singapore’s popular national dishes is Hainanese chicken rice, where chicken is poached in hot stock and soaked in cold water to ensure the meat remains tender. It is served with rice that has been steamed with ginger, garlic and chicken stock, and a vinegary chilli sauce.

You’ll find various types of Laksa in Singapore, but the home-grown Katong Laksa is said to be the best. It consists of a spicy soup stock flavoured with coconut milk and dried shrimp, with thick noodles and ingredients like cockles, prawns and fishcake.

Hokkien Prawn Mee is a stir-fried noodle dish steeped in aromatic stock made of pork bones and prawn heads, with yellow noodles, juicy prawns, squid, pork belly strips, egg and crunchy fried pork lard. It is served with sambal chilli and a squeeze of lime juice.

Nasi lemak is a Malay dish known as ‘rich rice’ and is made with delicious coconut cream and pandan leaves, plus deep-fried fish or chicken wings, grilled fish paste, anchovies, peanuts, eggs, cucumber slices, and spicy chilli paste.

You may also come across Rojak, a local salad of mixed vegetables, fruits, and dough fritters covered in a sticky black sauce made of fermented prawn paste, sugar, lime and chilli paste.

Roti Prata meanwhile has Indian roots and is a South-Indian flat bread made by frying stretched dough flavoured with ghee.  It is usually served with fish or mutton curry.

To quench your thirst after all that eating, ginger tea is a staple of Indian drink vendors and you’ll find freshly squeezed fruit juice, cold soya bean milk or sugar-cane juice served in the hawker centres.

Local desserts include Cendol, which is shaved ice with green jelly strips in coconut milk, and shaved ice with red beans, jelly cubes, evaporated milk and coloured syrups.

Singapore’s best food courts

Some of the best hawker centres and food areas in Singapore include Maxwell Food Centre, Lau Pa Sat market, the Tekka Centre, Tiong Bahru Market, ABC Brickworks Food Centre, Adam Road Food Centre, Chomp Chomp, Golden Mile Food Centre, The Bedok Marketplace, Chinatown Complex Food Centre and Old Airport Road Food Centre, where you’ll find variations of these popular dishes and more. With so much to explore and so much lip-smacking food to try, loosen your belts and get started!   

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