Wednesday, 16 March 2011

What exactly do Singaporeans eat everyday?

You must be wondering what happened to STUMPBO?  I've tons of stuff to blog but too busy to. I have many draft posts but never did complete them, and in no mood to. In my free time (to blog) these couple of weeks, I'm fully utilising the current 15 days (5-19 March) of 100-million-times-merit-multiplying period by reciting and writing a few incredible sutras and chanting loads of mantras. I have recited these sutras a few times. And this meritorious act comes in useful, especially at a time when we are faced with the devastating news of Tokyo's and other earthquakes/tsunamis and the death of so many victims. In the same breath, I'm very happy that I have completed part of the "homework" my guru has advised me to do (in order to benefit me), especially since it coincided with this merit-multiplying period. 

I do not have time to cook much these days. So I thought I had share with my readers, especially foreign friends, some of the "normal daily food" which we Singaporeans usually have, apart from the cafes, restaurants and home-cooked food. Yes, I am not talking about our famous Chilli Crabs or Hainanese Chicken Rice or Satay etc.. In multi-racial Singapore, it is a food haven here. We are thoroughly spoilt for choice deciding what to eat during each meal. Some of these photos are randomly snapped when I am out and about finding food and posted over at my LOL8 Photoblog ( 

Ban Mian
Whenever I am in air-conditioned foodcourts, and if I cannot decide what to order, I would usually just have a bowl of Ban Mian, which is hand-kneaded pieces of dough, flat noodles in soup, cooked with minced pork, ikan bilis, veggies, egg, fried shallots, sometimes mushroom. Sprinkled with spicy chilli padi, the taste of the soup is shiok. Usually the person manning and cooking Ban Mian is from China. Ban Mian is a Hokkien-style egg noodle soup common in China's Fujian province and in Singapore and Malaysia.

Pork & Liver Congee
One of my favourite breakfast options, this is Congee. There are many types of congee, cooked with pork, liver, century egg, or fish, or peanuts or chicken, topped with a raw egg, spring onions, fried shallots and you char kway (which is fried bread stick). You char kway is normally eaten as an accompaniment for congee or tau huay (soy milk). You mix the flavour with your own dose of light soya sauce and pepper.

Nasi Padang
One of the days, I met a Dharma sister for lunch and she had wanted to bring me to try a special stall selling Nasi Padang. Unfortunately the stall had closed down and replaced with another selling the same too. However, this Nasi Padang tastes just normal. Nasi Padang is an Indonesian dish comprising of steamed white rice with various meat and vegetable dishes which you can choose from an array of dishes displayed. I usually like curry chicken or mutton rendang, bergedel (potato cutlet), fried vegetables like spinach or lady's fingers, or sayur lodeh (curry vegetables). And another dish which I always must order - Sambal Tempe which has tempe, long beans and tau kwa. Yums!

Mee  Rebus
A Malay dish which I like is Mee Rebus. The dish is made of yellow egg noodles with a spicy slightly sweet. The gravy is made from potatoes, curry powder, water, salted soybeans, dried shrimps, and peanuts. The dish is garnished with a hard boiled egg, lime, spring onions, Chinese celery, green chillies, fried firm tofu tau kwa, fried shallots, and bean sprouts. Usually we add dark soy sauce to the noodles when served.

Malay / Nonya Kueh
Sometimes when there is craving, I like to order some Malay or Nonya Kueh, for tea time snacks or they can be eaten any time of the day.  These 3 types of kuehs I like are Koswi, Onde Onde, Bakar Manis. 

HK Trishaw Noodles
Once in a blue moon, I do crave for Trishaw Noodles 车仔面 which originates from Hong Kong in the 1950s as it was many mainland immigrant workers' staple food. So what's inside the Trishaw Noodles? The noodles in a clear broth tasted refreshing and slightly spicy. The noodles were not particularly chewy QQ as I would like it to be. However it comes with many ingredients. There is a hard-boiled herbal egg which was very nice as the taste of herbs had permeated the egg. There were 2 big pieces of white radish which was my favourite, soft and juicy. The sausage was cut up like a flower petal (I am not crazy over sausages and I don't understand why HK people like to include sausages and luncheon into their noodles). Anotther was a fried fishball. The braised chicken wing was very nicely done with soya sauce, tender and soft. There was crabstick as well as some leafy veggies. Was the trishaw noodles here authentic? I'm not sure.

Korean Saba Fish & Chicken Rice Set
Korean food is easily available in the restaurants and food courts stalls. This here was from the foodcourt in Bugis.  Saba fish is one of my family's favourite fish, since it is grilled to perfection and it is almost bone-less. The Saba fish comes with grilled spicy chicken and onions in a hot plate, complete with sides of kimchi and ikan bilis, soup and rice. 

Unagi & Tempura Bento Set
I like bento sets. A traditional bento consists of rice, fish or meat, and one or more pickled or cooked vegetables, usually in a box-shaped container. This bento set comprises of Unagi, Tempura Prawns, and salad. This is from the canteen at Changi Airport.  Like Korean food, Japanese food is even more popular and easily available everywhere in Singapore.   

Teppanyaki Curry Chicken & Salmon set
I actually fancy anything in a hot plate. I like to hear the sizzling sound of food being cooked and giving a orgasmic aroma. This is Teppanyaki Chicken & Salmon in a hot plate. It is cooked in Japanese curry gravy.  I call this "fusion" food these days.

Spicy Cha Shu Ramen
I heart ramen deeply. So very frequently I will need to get my fix of a bowl of chewy ramen in a yummilicious soup base. My usual selection is Cha Shu ramen, which comes with seaweed, hardboiled egg with squishy runny yolk inside (ok this one above is already hardened). 

Found this 24-hour dim sum joint in Geylang Lorong 27A selling tau huay and Taiwanese snacks.  I tried their version of Taiwanese Oyster Mee Sua. This what we call "O-Ah-Mi-Sua" is the salted wheat flour vermicelli covered in a layer of thick starchy broth, giving it a smooth slippery texture, with oysters, topped with vinegar, chili oil, garlic and parsley leaves to give it an exotic flavor. It is to be eaten piping hot with a spoon only. The Oyster Mee Sua here is one of the best I can find in Singapore so far, although the ingredients were not that generous. Sprinkled with a little vinegar, this is yummy!

Char Kway Teow

One of Singapore's popular dish, Char Kway Teow. Fortunately I do not have craving for this too often, and it is hard to find a good plate of Char Kway Teow these days. Although delicious, Char Kway Teow is known to being unhealthy due to its high saturated fat content. It used flat rice noodles, stir-fried over very high heat with light and dark soy sauce, chilli, a small quantity of belachan, whole prawns, deshelled cockles, bean sprouts and chopped Chinese chives. It is also stir-fried with egg, slices of Chinese sausage and fishcake.  

Vegetarian Tze Char Bee Hoon
Whenever I am on a vegetarian diet, there are quite a number of options available too. For example, this Vegetarian "Seafood" Vermicelli is from a stall in Guillemard. It tastes as nice as the real seafood bee hoon and with "wok hei" even.  

Butter Naan
On and off, I love my naan. This is an Indian dish which I love and it  is another alternative when I am on vegetarian. This is Butter Naan with 3 different side dishes with gravy. Some sides I like are chickpea masala, sambhar, vegetable korma and shahi paneer (cottage cheese cooked in butter)!  And usually I complete my Butter Naan meal with a mango lassi drink. 

Kway Chap
Kway Chap is a Teochew dish of flat, broad rice sheets in a soup made with dark soy sauce, served with pig offal, braised duck meat, various kinds of beancurd, preserved salted vegetables, fishcake and braised hard-boiled eggs and braised peanuts. I like Kway Chap from Yu Kee which sells kway chap and duck noodles/rice too, because their soup is fantastic with a slight hint of herbs.

Bak Chor Mee
I cannot complete this post without mentioning my favourite Bak Chor Mee. Singaporeans love our Bak Chor  Mee to bits. Bak Chor Mee is Hokkien for Minced Meat Noodle (肉挫面 in Chinese). The noodles are topped with generous amount of minced meat, slices of mushroom, pork slice, pork liver slice and lettuce, and sometimes one or two slice of abalone. I like it when stalls add pieces of fried pork lard which makes the dish more fragrant. Also a small amount of vinegar is added to give this dish the extra "oomph". 

McDonald's Grilled Chicken Burger
When I really cannot decide what to eat, or when I am in a hurry, I will order fast food.  This is McDonald's Grilled Chicken Burger, which was recently launched with a 1-for-1 offer.  Although I have not tried Burger King's version of grilled chicken burger (they were selling it for $1 for one day), I am pretty sure the burgers at BK has the upper hand. 

Homemade sandwich

When all else fails and when I have no time to find food, I will usually make a homemade sandwich, with ham, or tuna or anything I can find inside my fridge. Yummy, isn't it?  And even better if I toast it.

Is this what the typical Singaporean eat everyday? The above dishes were just a tip of the iceberg of the 1001 dishes we can find in Singapore.  Perhaps I will showcase some more another time. What do you eat everyday in Singapore? 

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