Singaporean cuisine is derived from several ethnic groups. Being throughout history a major seaport, with a huge segment of the population being immigrants, the foods of Singapore are very diverse.
Major influences on Singaporean Cuisine include that of the native Malays, of course. However, the influence of Indonesia, India, and Peranaka are strong, and even stronger is the influence of the largest ethnic group, the Chinese. Singaporean cuisine also has notable influences from Western cuisines – most notably Portugal and Great Britain. Even further adding to the diversity are Middle Eastern cultures, as well as Thailand and Sri Lanka.
Food is a unifying cultural thread, considered as quintessential to national identity in Singapore. In Singaporean literature you find many declarations that eating is both a national obsession and pastime. More often than not, the topic of conversation among Singaporeans is food.
Depending on which cultural immigration group you look at, there are some religious dietary restrictions. The Indian immigrants, holding to their historical homeland strictures, do not eat beef. Muslims will not eat pork. There are also a significant number of vegetarians. This does not stop people of different faiths and dietary preferences from eating together. Muslims, Indians and vegetarians eat together, and the cook will honor and respect each of their dietary restrictions, preparing a meal that provides satisfaction to everyone.
Some Popular Dishes of Singaporean Cuisine-
There are basically five categories of Singaporean cuisine: noodles, rice, seafood, meat, and snacks (or desserts).
Singaporean fried rice, for example is immensely popular not only in Singapore but the world over.
Singapore is also especially famous planet-wide for its seafood. Sambal Stingray and black pepper crab are dominant in the picture, being highly recommended to, and appreciated, by the many tourists. Hainanese chicken rice is the most popular dish within the meat category. Hainanese chicken rice is rice cooked in chicken fat. It is typically served along with boiled chicken, with a spicy chili sauce accompanying the meal.
Three noodle dishes stand out in Singapore cuisine. “Fried Hokkien mee”, fried egg noodles with prawns, sliced pork and gravy, “Nonya laksa”, rice noodles served in a coconut prawn broth and “Char Kuey Teow”, stir-fried rice noodles with prawns, Chinese sausage, lard and cockles. In the snack category, kaya toast is the representative dish, primarily due to the use of kaya. “Kaya kopitiams” are a common sight on the island. These affordable coffee shops dish out bread toasts, spread with coconut jam and butter, served with coffee and tea.
So now let’s get into the main reason you came here – the recipes!
Below is a list of dishes. Click on the dish of your choice, and you will be taken to a print-friendly page with that recipe on it. Off you go now, into the delicious, spicy and diverse world of …
Chili Crab (Sweet Dungeness crab meat in a spicy sour sauce)
Note: Singapore is one of the smallest countries in the world. For more great recipes from tiny nations with big flavor cuisines, visit our Smallest Countries Worldwide Cuisines page.
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