8 Singapore Local Food
Singapore is a melting pot of cuisines, incorporating a rich heritage of food dishes consisting of Chinese, Indian, Malaysian and Indonesian influences.
Chili crab is only mildly spicy despite its name and is often described as having a flavour that’s both sweet and savoury. In 1956, Singapore pair Cher Yam Tian and Lim Choon Ngee opened a food stand next to the Kallang River. It became popular and a little stand by the river couldn’t cut it anymore and the the rest was history. Chilli crab is a popular seafood in Singapore, and consists of mud crabs deep-fried in a sweet, savoury and spicy gravy. It has been referred to as Singapore’s national seafood dish in various publications or even Singapore’s national dish.
Hainanese Chicken Rice
Hainanese chicken rice is a dish of poached chicken and seasoned rice, topped with sprigs of coriander leaf and sesame oil, and accompanied by a garlic-chilli dip. usually with cucumber garnishes. It was adapted from the Hainanese dish Wenchang chicken by immigrants from Hainan in southern China. Hainanese chicken rice is considered one of the national dishes of Singapore and is most commonly associated with Singaporean cuisine but is also seen throughout Southeast Asia.
Dish with rice cooked in coconut milk served with spicy paste at its core. Translate nasi lemak from Malay to English, and you will get ‘rich rice’. The ‘rich’ refers not to wealth, but the coconut cream. This dish is a perfect mix of flavours: added with pandan leaves, eaten with deep-fried fish or chicken wings, otah (grilled fish paste), fried ikan bilis (local anchovies) and peanuts, eggs, cucumber slices, and sambal (spicy chilli paste).
It is also known as otah. The name of the dish is derived from the idea that the dish resemblance a brain (Otak means brain in Malay and Indonesian). It is a blend of raw fish, chopped onions, coconut milk, herbs and spices bound together with egg usually wrapped in a banana leaf and grilled over an open charcoal fire or in the oven.
Bak Kut Teh
Bak Kut Teh is a version of pork ribs tea cooked in broth. It is commonly found on the streets of Singapore, either with a pepper or herbal base. Few ingredients but a must try in Singapore.
In Singapore, there are local takes of the dish such as nasi biryani which is served with curry. If you go exploring around, you might just find a taste of all these different styles — from traditional South Asian ones to modern creations. Long-grain rice, tons of spices and meat are cooked in pressure cookers to retain its flavour. Small changes, such as when meat should be cooked together with rice or how it’s served, makes a world of difference.
It is savoury South Indian specialty. Roti means ‘bread’, and prata or paratha means ‘flat’ in Hindi. Crispy on the outside, soft on the inside. It is satisfying meal for any hour of the day. While the classic versions are served plain or with eggs as a filling, local menus now feature a variety of modern variations such as cheese, chocolate, ice-cream, and even durians.
Fried Hokkien Mee
Singapore fried Hokkien mee is made by stir-frying two different types of noodles with eggs and slices of pork belly and then braised in prawn stock and then topped with shrimp, squid, bean sprouts, chives, and sometimes crispy pork cubes and served with spicy sambal and squeeze of kalamansi for that extra zing. The flavor is simply bombastic!
Whether you’re a local or a tourist, you’ll definitely enjoy your food adventure in Singapore. Have fun!