Food in Singapore is a hobby for locals. Street food of Singapore is a national obsession, a way of life for the people. As every country has a way of greeting, people in Singapore greet each other by saying “Sudah makan?” (“Have you eaten?”). Singapore is not only one of the most touristy destinations in Southeast Asia, it is also the among the true cosmopolitans in the region. Therefore, the food here has to be an amalgamation of many.
The street food in this country comprise of a mixture of Indian, Chinese, Thai, Malay and other South Asian dishes, they also have few of their staple authentic food in their menu card that is popular among households. Singapore doesn’t have street stalls as much as other countries, but they do have hawker centers – semi-enclosed building housing rows filled with food stalls selling hot, mouth-watering delicacies throughout the day. And to every foodie’s relief, these hawker centers are dime a dozen and the ‘street food’ is also available in coffee shops, canteens and food courts.
These ‘streets’ might seem clustered with heavy cooking equipment but mind you, they serve food tasty enough to make you eat non-stop and end up in around big belly!
So here’s a guide to Singapore street food with these dishes topping that should be on your list of what to eat in Singapore.
Street Food of Singapore
1. Chai Tow Kuay
Any Singapore street food guide you refer to, it won’t be complete without Chai Tow Kuay. This dish is called the carrot cake but surprisingly doesn’t have carrots in it. Confused? The main ingredients are rice flour, shredded white daikon (radish) and stir-fried egg. Well, Chai Tow Kuav has two variants: white and black.
White cake is the one without the sweet and sour soy sauce. The juice of rice flour mixed with other ingredients creates an explosion of deliciousness in every bite. On the other hand, the black version has the soy sauce adding a sweet and sour taste to the bite. This dish is a complete proof of the fact that the street food of Singapore is full of deliciousness, taste, and variety.
2. Roti Prata
This is a dish straight from Singapore. Roti means bread and prate means flat, hence this dish is basically a flatbread served with a curry. Are we looking for an Indian inspiration? A flavored and a slightly sweet dough is prepared, cooked and flipped over and over again on a hot oily pan until it is crispy with brown polka dots on it.
Few of the unorthodox ingredients like cheese, onions, eggs and have given rise to different varieties of this dish. Roti prate is best served with mutton or fish curry. This dish should definitely be in your what to eat in Singapore list as it was listed at number 45 on World’s 50 most delicious food readers’ poll compiled by CNN Go in 2011.
3. Hokkien Mee
Originated in China, this dish is one of the popular ones when it comes to the street food of Singapore. Egg noodles, stir-fried in stock made up of shrimp and dried prawns, tossed in pork/chicken lards, prawns and squid is a full meal of protein and other nutrients. It is served with sambal, chili, lime and light soy sauce.
This Singaporean street food is traditionally made of pork, beef or mutton, which is prepared with spices, sugar, salt and soy sauce, while dried on racks at around 50 to 60°C. It has a tender texture with a very high water content and low sugar content. With every bite of it, the juice of this grilled, barbecued dish oozes out in your mouth.
5. Chilli Crab
A spicy, hot and a mouth burning dish is what might have come to your mind but surprisingly it is completely contrary to its name ‘Chilli’. It is one of the signature Singaporean dishes. A whole mud crab is stir-fried in a sticky, tangy, sweet and savory chili and tomato based gravy and is mostly accompanied by deep fried buns.
This dish is a perfect must try for all those confused about what food to eat in Singapore. It is listed at number 35 on World’s 50 most quite delicious food compiled by CNN Go in 2011
Satay’s aroma is smelled in all Hawker Centres in Singapore. Satay consists of a piece of skewered meat (chicken, mutton or beef) grilled over hot charcoal fire. What gives this piece of meat its distinct flavor and tenderness is the special marination using local spices. It is one of the cheapest street food in Singapore.
7. Chicken Rice
Your visit to Singapore is not complete without gorging on the national treasure, their national dish – Chicken Rice. From street stalls to high-end restaurants, one thing common and consistent in their menus is this very succulent dish.
The dish is more or less the same everywhere – chicken pieces served on top of fragrant rice and comes with accompaniments that can vary from spicy chili and ginger paste to healthy salads. The chicken can either be simply boiled or roasted. Whatever your preference, Chicken Rice should be on your list of what to eat in Singapore.
8. Old Chang Kee
Old Chang Kee or the curry puff is one of the most popular snacks in Singapore. It is a fried pastry filled with the curry of potatoes and chicken. The curry is always thick so that it doesn’t ooze out of the puff. In order to make it more interesting, Old Chang Kee is given different colors too. So don’t be surprised to find red, green or even black Old Chang Kee.
Summing It Up
Every country’s street food is distinct and special and so is the street food of Singapore. This country believes in variety and it is completely reflected by its food. Singaporean street food has also witnessed the beautiful collaboration with the cuisines of different countries. This helps it cater to people from all backgrounds.
No matter where you are visiting from, there is a chance you might find a piece of home in the food in Singapore. This guide to Singapore street food is meant to ease your search of finding the best street food there. For your next travels there, you know what to eat in Singapore.