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Series: Guide to Hawkerlicious Food!

Series: Guide to Hawkerlicious Food!

Every year when Food Hunt comes around, we are stuck on what to offer to our participants. So naturally, we come up with a list of good food that we swear by. Without further ado, let us introduce our first 5 must-tries in Singapore!

What we recommend: Chicken Rice

 

What’s up?

The Chicken Rice is the most iconic dish in Singapore – a plate of rice served with steamed chicken meat, accompanied by garnishes of cucumber and soup. The rice is specially made with chicken stock to produce a taste unique to this dish.

Yet, the best Chicken Rice is when you have a nice balance of the following: fragrant rice that brings out the essence of chicken and pandan leaves; tender, bite-sized chicken meat that feels delicious on your tongue, smooth down the throat; the chilli, which many say is the deal-breaker, must be all sweet, sour and spicy; and lastly, the soup that is tasteful enough to distract you from the prickly heat on the tongue from the chilli.

Additional Comments:

This dish has a few variations in the region. Malaysia serves the rice as rice balls whereas in Singapore, roasted chicken meat is an alternative to the traditional steamed chicken.

Where to find them?

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[Top Secret till 23rd March 2013.]

What we recommend: Hainanese Curry Rice

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What’s up?

The four classic dishes of Pork Chop, Curry Chicken, Chap Chye and Kong Bak define Hainanese curry rice.

A style of cooking that is only found in Singapore, it was formulated by the Hainanese immigrants that were employed by both the British as well as the wealthy Peranakans as chefs in their homes. The Hainanese immigrants were excellent cooks and innovators in food; it was not long before they started mixing around the different cuisines they were exposed to. They go the Pork Chop idea from the British and the rest from the Peranakans (personally as a Peranakan, I’m mighty proud!). Nowawdays, it is instantly recognized as Hainanese Curry Rice.

Where to find them?

[Top Secret till 23rd March 2013.]

What we recommend: Kway Chap

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What’s up?

Kway Chap is a Teochew dish made of flat, broad rice sheets in a soup made with dark soy sauce, served with pig offals, braised duck meat, various kinds of beancurd, preserved salted vegetables, and braised hard-boiled eggs. The soup is prepared with herbs and spices like cinnamon and cloves. Dark soya sauce is added to the soup.

Although people may be adverse to the idea of pig offals, the kway chap cannot be avoided because of that. The kway (which is the broad rice sheets) has a smooth texture and a light taste, making those who are on Atkins diet sinners for that meal. The companions for the meal – the braised duck meat, beancurd skins, salted vegetables, hard-boiled eggs – make the meal balanced. Yet, there is a case to be made for the pig offals – if rightly done, the kway chap meal is enhanced to another gastronomical level.

Where to find them?

[Top Secret till 23rd March 2013.]

What snacks we recommend: Hum Jin Peng

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What’s up?

Otherwise known as ‘Deep fried salted dough-bread’, Hum Jin Peng is also sometimes called the Chinese donut. It comes in 2 varieties: the salted version without any filling, and the one with red bean paste (tau sah) filling. Both are deep fried to a golden brown.

Where to find them?

[Top Secret till 23rd March 2013.]

What desserts we recommend: Peanut pancake

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What’s up?

A pancake-like snack known as Apam Balik in Malay, made with a filling, traditionally ground peanut with sugar or red bean paste.

Additional Comments:

Increasingly non-traditional condiments such as cheese, kaya (egg and coconut milk custard), blueberry or chocolate are used in variations. There are other variations, such as those made with soya bean milk replacing egg and water.

Where to find them?

[Top Secret till 23rd March 2013.]

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