The top 10 foods of Singapore will stand up against any cuisine. Geographically a small country in area it is huge in influence throughout the region and the world. Nowhere is this more demonstrated than in its local cuisine. There are so many influences here that the best food in Singapore takes in many styles. The ethnic make up of the country is about 74% Chinese, 13% Malay, 10% Indian and the remainder are a mixture. This is obviously reflected in the local food. Sold in restaurants, cafes and street corner stalls here are some of the dishes that make up the amazing cuisine of Singapore. It is by no means a definitive list, but one that should not disappoint the first time visitor to the City / State.
Char Kway Teow
This is stir fried flat rice noodles with cockles, fish cake and Chinese sausage known as, lup cheong. Quite a complicated dish to cook, this is a dish that stems from the Teochew ethnic group. It contains both rice and wheat noodles. It is said that only a true wok master has the ability to cook the noodles in such a way that loses the smell of the Hokkien Noodles whilst maintaining the texture of the Kway Teow noodles. This is a firm favourite among Singaporeans and impossible to leave of a list of the top 10 foods of Singapore.
Although a dish of the same name is found in Malaysia, true Singapore style Hokkien Mee is only found in Singapore and is very close to many of the people’s hearts. Hokkien is one of the strongest Chinese dialects here and this is from where the dish originated. The dish is a mix of stir-fried egg and rice noodles. To this egg, slices of pork, prawns and squid, and added. It is then and served, garnished with vegetables, small pieces of lard and a sambal sauce. Lime is squeezed to add zest.
This is found just about everywhere and is surely one of the top 10 foods of Singapore. It has its roots in the Hainanese version of the dish, though it has changed slightly over the years, by incorporating a more Cantonese version into the preparation. This is often referred to as the Singaporean National Dish. Boiled or steamed chicken is served on top of a fragrant rather oily rice. It is accompanied with sliced cucumber. Some variations include roasted chicken or a soy sauce cooked chicken. The dipping sauces of high quality dark soy sauce, chilli with garlic, and ground ginger, play an important role. You can use different combinations to get a dish that perfectly suite your palate.
Eating crab in Singapore is an absolute must. Spend any time at all with Singaporean people and you will soon understand just how much they love this food. They have more than a dozen ways to prepare and cook crab in Singapore, they eat eat it with a black pepper sauce, with salted egg yolk, or cheese-baked, to name just a few. However, Chilli crab remains the top seller. This is a real table cloth stainer, as it is covered in a rich red/brown sauce. Locals love this dish completely and mop their plates clean with mini steamed buns, called mantou. One of the top 10 foods of Singapore, for sure.
Bak Kut Teh
Originated either from the Hokkien or Fujian regions of China this name means Pork Rib Tea. Big chunky pork ribs are cooked in a broth rich in garlic, pepper, medicinal herbs and spices. Years ago the workers by the docks would eat this as a way to stay healthy, convinced as to the medicinal properties of the stew. Nowadays it is eaten purely because it tastes so good. It comes in two varieties, the peppery Teochew style or the richer Hokkien type. Fried dough fritters called You Tiao are the perfect accompaniment for mopping up the broth. Ask any Singaporean and this will be in their list of the top 10 foods of Singapore.
Fish Head Curry
Don’t be put off by the look of a huge fish head floating round in your bowl, the flavours here are wonderful. Local legend has it that the dish was invented of a man called Gomez. He migrated to Singapore from Southern India in the 1950′s and began selling Indian Curry from a stall in the Selegie area of the city. Noticing that local Chinese loved eating fish heads, he began adding them to his Southern Indian Curries. So was born an iconic dish that remains to this day. If you feel too squeamish about the dish, it can be found, made from chunks of fried or boiled fish instead; almost as tasty!
Definitely one of The top 10 foods of Singapore, Satay is available all over the region. In Singapore that is no exception. Every country though does have its own take on the dish. here it is a popular street food and is available everywhere. The peanut dip is sweet and spicy, whilst the marinade of local spices totally transforms the meat. It really does take on a style of its own. The skewers instead of being metal are either wooden or the stems of coconut leaves. Side dishes of chopped raw cucumber and onions, add a refreshing balance to the savoury meats and serving it with rice cakes called ketupat adds another dimension. these are steamed in woven coconut leaves. Locals enjoy standing round the stalls enjoying the aromas whilst waiting for theirs.
Considered to be one of the tastiest dishes in Singapore, Laksa is curry soup style of dish made from thick rice vermicelli and using spices for a unique fragrance and chilli for the trademark heat. Cooking in coconut milk adds a rich texture and the local tiny dried prawns add a distinctive seafood tang. The dish has its roots in the descendants of Chinese from the Malay archipelago, known as Peranakans, they invented the dish. Originally only eaten by the more affluent, during WWII, the ladies came out of their homes to sell it on the straits as times were hard. Needless to say it proved very popular and remains so today and would make it on to most people’s list of the best food in Singapore.
Fried Carrot Cake
Another of the top 10 foods of Singapore, this is quite a unique dish. It started of in China before travelling here. The carrots in question are not the normal western orange variety but the white Chinese radish. Originally using rice cakes, when it arrived in Singapore they decided to add a twist by using the white radishes. Some people then changed it again by using a black bean sauce and so the local varieties of either black or white carrot cake evolved. Take your pick, try both and choose your preference, they are both delicious.
This Indian bread is popular throughout Asia but here in Singapore it really has taken hold. Made from a kind of Roti bread, it is folded and stuffed with all kinds of goodness. In the fact the name simply means, folded. These are a large piece of bread and really are filling. The most common filling is of minced mutton and onions, though both chicken and sardine varieties are also available. This really is a classic street food and can be enjoyed everywhere.
So there you have it. I dare say it won’t match everyone’s list of the top 10 foods of Singapore, but a lot of these dishes would make it on to anyone’s list. Let us know your preferences.