Singapore, a small island country and a sovereign city-state, is of the principal cities of South East Asia. Although it is small-sized, Singapore has a diversity of religions, cultures, and languages, and hence many international leaders say that Singapore has no specific language or culture. Cuisine wise Singapore has a blend of Chinese, Malay, and Indian in their foods. During the 1850s, Singapore was the principal trading port of British ships on their way to India. Because of this, many Chinese and Indian workers moved to this place for search of work at the harbor. Soon after independence, the Government of Singapore noticed that the population of Singapore is a mix of Indians, Chinese, and Malaysians.
Because of the diverse cultures and people present in Singapore, people visit this city for its varied cuisine and street food. In the 1970s Singapore Government has started erecting markets with hawker centers and food complexes. These hawker centers are spotted all around the city with permanent food stalls and shared tables and seats. Tourists shared their experiences stating that the real spark of Singapore lies in the hawker centers all around the city.
List of 10 Famous and Exclusive Street Foods in Singapore:
In 2018, it was found out that there were 114 hawker centers available all around the city of Singapore serving the best street food. Here, we listed down some of the best street foods available on the streets of Singapore:
1. Frog Porridge:
Frog!!! Feeling strange?? I thought the same in the beginning, but it is not what we believe. This is one of the cleanest and most popular dishes found in the hawker centers. The frog is soaked in soy, wine, and spring onions along with ginger and spicy chill. This marinated frog is then cooked well till the meat becomes succulent and delicate. The porridge that accompanies this is sticky yet light. This porridge is often served with green onion sauce. If you are on an adventurous food tour, then no harm in trying this dish.
2. Hainanese Chicken Rice:
This dish has originated from the island of Hainan, China’s southern tip. This dish has been voted as the unofficial national food of Singapore. The chicken is blanched in boiling water and then immersed in cold water to render it juicy and succulent. This tender chicken is served with rice, which is cooked in chicken stock, ginger, and garlic. A hot chili sauce is served alongside, which is topped with soy and ginger sauce. This dish perfectly serves you the lunch meal on a long and tiring day.
3. Char Kway Teow:
This is considered as one of Singapore’s most loved street foods. The flat rice noodles (kway teow) are stir-fried (char) in a frying pan with blood cockles, soya sauce, Chinese sausage, and bean sprouts over a high flame. This delicious dish is often served with crispy cubes of fried lard.
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4. Bak Chor Mee:
This street food is quite famous in the Chinese community, also called as minced pork noodles. The thin white noodles are blanched and then tossed in oil with a scrambled egg, feisty chili paste, black vinegar. This is then served with minced pork, pork dumplings, meatballs, or fried lard.
5. Sambal Stingray:
Sambal Stingray is a Singaporean invented dish. Stingray was somehow looked upon as a cheap and poor tasting fish, but then the local idea of coating the fish with a traditional Singapore sauce made the dish a revelation in the streets of this city. The stingray is grilled in a banana leaf and with a rich coating of Sambal (chili jam) on the fish. This snack can be best enjoyed on the busy beaches of the city.
Katong Laksa is one of the famous street foods in Singapore. This delicious Chinese-Malay dish is made of white rice noodles soaked in a coconut curry sauce that is spiced with traditional herbs teaming with half-cooked cockles, fish cakes, bean sprouts, and prawns.
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7. Fish-Head Curry:
This mouth-watering dish is mostly favored by the Indian community living in Singapore. The heads of fish are simmered in a spicy sauce with some vegetables like brinjal or lady’s finger that can offer some texture to the dish. Indian stallers love to eat this dish spicy, while the Chinese prefer a sweeter version.
8. Chili Crabs:
This dish is best made with meaty Sri Lankan crabs. A hard-shelled mud crab is stir-fried either with red chilis flakes or black pepper. The black peppered crab with jackfruit sauce accompanied with steamed buns is the best street food that defines Singapore.
9. Roti Prata:
This dish is quite similar to Keralite’s favorite dish, ‘Beef Parata.’ This Singapore breakfast dish is made from the rice flour, which is mixed with coconut milk, then made into a bread and roasted over a frying pan. Ghee and butter are spread over this hot roti prata to make it buttery, crispy, and flaky. This is usually served with fish curry, or if you choose a vegetarian Roti Prata, then you will be served with coconut chutney and sugar.
10. Carrot Cake:
Many tourists would think this as a dessert, but this features savory radish cubes. The large cake is cut into small pieces and fried with soy sauce, vegetables, eggs, and fish sauce. These carrot cakes are so generous and delicious to eat when mixed with a thick and rich black sweet sauce.
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Best Street Food Places and Available Foods in Singapore:
- Singapore is famous for its hawker food stalls. You can find food stalls with shared benches and chairs at every corner of the street. The fluffy Hainanese Chicken rice is available at Bedok Market place.
- If you are in Singapore and are in and around Newton MRT station, then you are at the right spot to taste the best street food in Singapore. Newton Food Center is the food paradise for Central Singapore.
- Amoy Street food center near Teylok Ayer and Tanjong Pagar MRT station is home to both traditional hawkers and modern fusion hawkers at affordable prices. This is the best lunch spot for white-collar workers and professionals.
- Craving for Indian food even in Singapore? Then Tekka centre is where you should stop. You will find the lip-smacking dum biryani, Indian rojak, and special South Indian dishes in here.
- Is Singapore Botanic Gardens on your itinerary? Then you are lucky to have the street food at Adam Road food centre, which is a stone away from the gardens. This food center is famous for Nasi Lemak. You have a metro station also nearby.
- The airport is the place where you arrive to or depart from the city. Grab a quick bite from the Bedok Market place, which serves you the best Indian and Chinese foods. This is just a fifteen-minute taxi ride from the International airport.
- Singapore’s famous Satay street serves you with the best-grilled beef and chicken skewers. This street runs till post-mid-night. If you are a nocturnal animal, you should visit this street, but make sure you have your transportation. Changi Village food center also runs late till midnight.
Singapore, a culinary meeting point of India, Malaysia, and China, offers a wide-ranging food scene that is one of the exciting in Southeast Asia. More importantly, the city’s hawker centers offer you multi-ethnic Singaporean food at its best. Whether you need a quick bite or a leisurely meal, the cost doesn’t leave a hole in your pocket. Besides, the experience of street food in this city is unique and is an integral part of the way of life. So, get ready to explore the hawker centers in this busy and beautiful city, and don’t forget to leave your comments below.