Chwee kueh or “water rice cake” is a type of steamed rice cake that is a popular and favourite breakfast dish or snack among many locals. It is made up of a mixture of rice flour and water placed in aluminium saucer cup-shaped mounds and steamed. When cooked, the bowl-like shaped rice cakes are then topped and served with fried diced preserved radish or ‘chye poh’ and chilli paste. The saltiness and sweetness of the ‘chye poh’ complements the subtle flavours of the rice cakes.
Fish Meat Bee Hoon Soup with Milk
Fish Head/Meat Bee Hoon with Milk is a Singaporean soup-based noodle dish that uses either snakehead, pomfret, batang or garoupa cooked together with bee hoon or rice vermicelli in a rich and tasty broth. This dish is available in a choice of fried or plain fish head pieces or fish slices/chunks and served in a soup made out of fish stock derived from cooking fish bones for many hours. Other ingredients like vegetables, fried shallots, anchovies and Chinese wine are also added to the soup to enhance the overall flavour of the dish. For those who enjoy a more creamier soup texture, evaporated milk can also be requested to be mixed and cooked together with the soup.
Fried Oyster Omelette
Fried oyster omelette is a Chinese hawker centre dish of Teochew origin that is often a favourite among many locals due to its savoury taste. Egg batter is mixed and pan fried together with garlic, small oysters, potato or tapioca starch and chilli paste. The omelette-like mixture is fried until crispy, then garnished with spring onions and served with a side serving of spicy chilli sauce mixed with lime.
Mee Goreng With Mata Lembu
Mee Goreng is a fried noodle dish that is commonly found in Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore with each of them done in their own special way that gives them their unique tastes. The Singapore version of this dish uses yellow noodles that is fried with garlic, onions, green chillis, diced tomatoes, chilli paste, bean sprouts, Chinese cabbage, egg, potatoes and minced mutton. This flavourful and spicy dish is then served with a side serving of sliced cucumber and ketchup. The entire taste of the dish can be further enhanced by the addition of a ‘mata lembu’ or bull’s eye egg placed on top, whereby the runny yolk is mixed and eaten together with the noodles.
Frog Legs with Spring Onions & Ginger in Claypot
Frog Legs with Spring Onions & Ginger in Claypot is a delicacy of Cantonese origin but this version is particularly Singaporean. Chopped pieces of frog legs and meat are cooked in a claypot mixed with dark and sweet soya based sauces, ginger and topped with generous amount of spring onions and served bubbling hot. Due to the rich and salty flavours of the gravy, this dish is best eaten with a serving of plain porridge so that you would enjoy the overall balance of taste and texture.
Fried Carrot Cake
Fried Carrot Cake or ‘Chye Tow Kway’ is a very common breakfast staple found in many neighbourhood hawker centres. It is a favourite among many locals as most of us have grown up eating it. It is made up of steamed rice cakes that are broken into little cubes fried with eggs, garlic, sweet sauce (for the black version), preserved radish, soya sauce, chilli paste and served with toppings of chopped spring onions. There are two versions available: white or black, and the former (white) version would provide a more subtle flavour of eggs and preserved radish without the caramelized sweetness that comes from frying it together with the sweet sauce.
Roti Prata or Roti Canai (as they call it in Malaysia) has its influence from Pakistan and India and is a comfort food for many Singaporeans young and old. It is a pancake made up of flour that is fried over a flat round iron pan and usually served with a side dish of vegetable, chicken or fish curry. For those who are not able to handle the spiciness of curry, they may even eat it with sugar. Roti Prata usually comes plain (kosong) or with egg (telor or plaster), and some other variations may include it being mixed with sliced onion, cheese, banana, sardines and chocolate sauce.
Steamed Kai-lan With Oyster Sauce
This is a vegetable dish that is not only quick to prepare but also easy and nutritious. Because of its ease in preparation, it can be found at most stalls, namely those that sell chicken rice, Zhi-Char or claypot dishes. This fuss-free dish is prepared by serving steamed or blanched Chinese brocolli/kale or “kai-lan” drizzled with a mix of sesame oil, oyster and soy sauce and garnished with fried shallots and garlic.
Salted Vegetables & Duck Soup
This is a Chinese “giam chye ark” and Peranakan “itek tim” duck soup recipe that uses preserved salted mustard greens and duck meat as the main ingredients. The salted vegetables are firstly soaked to remove most of its salt content before being used. What gives this dish the exciting dimensions of flavours is that the soup is cooked for a length of time with a recipe of salted vegetables, Chinese preserved sour plums, tomatoes, tamarind slices, peppercorns, ginger and duck until its meat becomes soft and tender. The overall result is a tasty and refreshing soup that is sweet, salty, sour and peppery.
Putu Piring is a Malay snack or dessert of Sri Lankan and South Indian origins that is a type of circular steamed ground rice cakes covering pure melted palm sugar in the centre, hence its name “rice flour plate“. Putu Piring is prepared by placing the ground rice flour in conical shaped funnels after which “gula melaka” or brown sugar (from Malacca in Malaysia) is put in the middle as its filling. It is then left to steam for a couple of minutes before served piping hot with a generous portion of slightly salted grated coconut on pieces of banana leaf.