Hǎochī! Delicious is just one of the many adjectives that best describe Singapore’s best street food. It's a veritable mix of tasty culinary delights from different cultures. Singapore, being a melting pot of Asia, offers locals and tourists alike dishes from China, Malaysia, India and other countries. The street food scene is exciting and will always leave diners wanting for more.
Singapore's Best Street Food
Hainanese Chicken Rice
When you order a plate of Hainanese Chicken Rice, you have the option to order half a chicken or choice parts. The chicken itself is either poached or steamed. Some stalls offer roasted chicken or soy chicken as alternatives. The rice is very flavorful because the liquid used to cook the rice in is the chicken broth itself. Chicken bones, pork bones and sometimes, chicken fat, go into the making of the broth. What adds an exciting punch to the dish are the accompanying sauces. Three basic sauces come with the Hainanese Chicken Rice – dark soy sauce, Chinese chili sauce and pounded ginger. The dish comes with sliced cucumbers and a soup of clear chicken broth on the side.
The origins of Laksa continue to be a topic of debate among Malaysians, Indonesians and Singaporeans. A bowl of Laksa contains slippery vermicelli noodles combined with tofu, shredded chicken, fresh prawns, or succulent lobster in an oh-so-spicy broth with curry and coconut milk and topped with coriander leaves and sliced fresh chili.
Char kway teow
Stir-fried flat rice noodles come with sliced Chinese sausage, chives, bean sprouts, cockles (without shells of course) and flavored with chili, shrimp/prawn paste and a combination of dark soy sauce and light soy sauce. Some like their Char kway teow with prawns or with egg. It's stir-fried in pork lard or with fried pork pieces. While on the subject of noodles, some of the other noodles dishes to try in Singaporean street scene are: Mee goreng, Hokkien mee, and Wonton mee.
Roti prata is a dough-based pancake that pretty much tastes like Naan, flat bread from India. It is surely entertaining to watch how cooks expertly flip the Roti prata on a flat grill. The showmanship alone will make you want to eat it as soon as it hits the plate. Roti prata is served as an accompaniment to a bowl of hot, delicious curry. In the Singapore street food scene, Roti prata has evolved. Some are now deep-fried while others are made with butter. Toppings or fillings can also be added upon request. Of course nothing beats the original version if you are a purist at heart.
It is similar to the Mexican Burrito. Chinese in origin, Popiah starts out with a crepe-like paper-thin wafer made of rice or wheat flour smeared with chili sauce, sweet sauce and some minced garlic. Then the wafer is used to envelope Popiah filling, which can include sliced Chinese sausage, carrots, jicama, bean sprouts, shredded omelette, and crushed peanuts. Other fillings are available like shredded crab meat or shrimp. This Fujian-style spring roll is made fresh by vendors in food stalls across the island.
In Singapore, Satay equals barbecue. Satay is like the Mediterranean kebab. Different types of meat, including chicken, lamb, goat, beef and even fish can be transformed into a Satay by marinating the meat in a tasty blend of spices and seasonings. The meat is skewered into thin wooden bamboo sticks and cooked on a charcoal fire. What makes the Satay unique is the sweet and spicy peanut dip that comes with it. One stick is often not enough to satisfy your taste buds for this Indonesian import.
Fresh crab is cooked in chili-tomato gravy. For some, the spicier the sauce, the better the experience! Chili Crab can be eaten on its own, with rice or with mantou buns or Chinese steamed buns (useful for mopping up the extra yummy, mind-numbing sauce).
Next time you find yourself in Singapore, make sure to try these dishes. Find out which ones make it to your own list of best Singaporean street foods. If you are not sure where to go to sample these dishes, ask the locals.