When you talk about local food, one place which comes to mind is Singapore. It is known for incorporating a rich heritage of food dishes of Chinese, Indian, Malaysian and Indonesian influences. Some of the famous local foods to eat in Singapore will be found in the food courts of shopping centers, hawker centers and quaint shop houses that are almost decades old.
Singapore is the best street food cities for a traveler. And there is no excuse why you should not try these mouth watering time-tested foods when you are here. The best people to guide you on the authentic local cuisine in Singapore are the locals. So, lets have a look at the 15 Famous Local Foods to Eat In Singapore.
1. Chilli or Pepper Crabs
It is prepared in two most famous styles. One is with black pepper sauce and the other with a sweet, spicy tomato-ish chilli sauce. It is usually relished with fried buns dipped in the luscious chilli sauce.
2. Fish Head Curry
You can say this dish has a South Indian origin heavily influenced by the various ethnicities in Singapore. The head of a red snapper is stewed in curry with assorted vegetables with Chinese-style lighter and sweeter spices and flavours.
3. Soft Boiled Eggs and Kaya Toast
The traditional Singaporean breakfast is an old school rectangular white loaf, toasted on a bread grill. It is covered with coconut or egg kaya, and then spread with a thick slice of butter that melts between two slices of warm bread. The eggs are boiled depends on how well you like your eggs. Crack open the eggs and season with pepper and dark/light soya sauce. You can savor it by dipping the toast into the eggy mixture for extra deliciousness.
4. Dim Sum
Another dish savoured by Singaporeans is the Dim Sum. A Shanghai inspired cuisine it is relished in a group which is a typical Chinese dining sharing custom.
5. Singapore Fried Carrot Cake
This is not a Western dessert. Here the ingredients are eggs, preserved radish and white radish flour cake which resembles a ‘white carrot’ a popular dish in both Singapore and Malaysia. The other version is the black prepared with molasses or the crispy one where the cake is fried on the top on top of a beaten egg to create a crust and chunks of cake.
6. Fish Head Steamboat
It is a soup with a mix of fried yam, fried fish bones, sour plums and vegetables which typically add flavor to the soup. Hot charcoal is still used as a heat source to prepare this dish. The main choices for this dish are pomfret, grouper or red snapper.
7. Duck Rice
To get the real taste of Duck Rice you must have it only in specialized duck rice shops. Influenced by roast meats in Hong Kong, in Singapore plain white rice is used with ruby red roasted duck, and drizzled with braised sauce. The other version uses braised yam rice and duck meat, along with some bean curd puffs, eggs and peanuts on the side.
8. Nasi Lemak or Coconut Rice
This was once a breakfast dish but now it is eaten during lunch and dinner as well. Traditionally the rice is wrapped in banana leaves and is steamed with coconut cream to give it a sweet fragrance. A typical Nasi Lemak set comes with fried anchovies, peanuts, egg and chilli paste. Additional ingredients like fried chicken drumsticks, luncheon meat and cuttlefish balls are also offered.
Satay is a dish of skewered, turmeric-marinated meat like chicken, beef, mutton and even pork that is grilled on an open fire. Originally an Indonesian dish but accepted as the common hawker dish in Singapore. It is accompanied with cucumbers, onion and rice cake along with a spicy peanut dip.
10. Chicken Rice
One of Singapore’s most well-known and celebrated dishes is the Hainanese Chicken Rice. Almost every coffee shop in Singapore offers Chicken Rice. The whole chicken is cooked in pork and chicken bone stock to absorb the flavours. The rice used for this is cooked with chicken stock, ginger, garlic and occasionally pandan leaves for added fragrance. It is served with chilli sauce made with garlic and red chilli and topped with sweet dark soy sauce and heaped spoons of chopped ginger.
11. Wanton Mee
Influenced by Hong Kong cuisine, it is a wanton noodle dish. This is normally eaten ‘dry’, soaked with some slices of pork char siew, light sweet sauce and wanton dumplings filled with pork with a small bowl of soup on the side. You will get both spicy and the non spicy version. The wanton dumplings may be deep fried or in the form of soup dumplings. The choice is yours.
12. Hokkien Prawn Mee
It is a combination of fried egg and rice noodles in a rich prawn stock with fish cake, squid, prawns and cubes of fried pork fat. For added flavor pork strips are added.
The national fruit of Singapore and widely regarded by many as the ‘King of Fruits’ in Southeast Asia. Locals adore the flesh so much that they turn it into desserts, cakes, tarts and even shakes while the foreigners are turned off by its strong ‘pungent’ smell.
14. Mee Siam
It is “Siamese noodles” and is vermicelli soaked in sweet and spicy gravy flavored by dried shrimp, fermented bean paste and tamarind. It is typically accompanied with bean sprouts, bean curd puff, boiled egg and garnished with chives.
15. Tau Huay
It is a Chinese dessert made with bean curd tofu and sweetened with sugar syrup. When traditionally prepared it is very soft, slightly grainy and soaks in syrup to be eaten together. It can be eaten hot or cold or with glutinous rice balls, grass jelly or soya bean milk as well.
The newer version is more gelatinous and jelly-like and has driven Singaporeans to queue like ants to sugar. It is much smoother and can incorporate any flavor like mango, melon or sesame. However, this should be only eaten cold as heat would break the structure.
So, now as a traveler you know where and what to eat in Singapore. In many of Singapore dishes different food cultures from China, Hong Kong, India, Malaysia and Indonesia have mingled to create many of these dishes. As travellerspeaks, the best thing about Singapore is it has adopted dishes from overseas and assimilates them into its culture. Whether you are a local or a tourist we have tried our level best to give you the 15 famous local foods to eat in Singapore. So, bon Appetit.