Study Abroad Corner

12 must-try food in Singapore


I love Singaporean food. Even though I have never studied abroad in Singapore, I love to travel to and explore the country, and of course, to eat all the delicious food. Singaporeans take food seriously and it’s a frequently-talked-about topic in conversations. Singapore cuisine is very diverse and contains influences from various cultures, including Malaysians, Chinese, Indian, and Indonesian, among others. Singaporeans usually prefer eating at food courts and hawker centers over dining at restaurants because they have wider food options and are more affordable, aka you get to buy a lot more food at cheaper prices :)! Old Airport Road, Tiong Bahru, Lau Pa Sat, and Maxwell are some of the top hawker centers definitely worth visiting.

Below is a (somewhat biased) list of the must-try food in Singapore. The next time you visit Singapore, either for leisure, business, or study abroad, definitely try them out!

Source: Behind the Food Carts

  1. Teochew Fish Ball Noodle
  2. Fish_Ball_Noodle
    Source: SG Food on Foot
    My all-time favorite Singaporean food! When I first tried Teochew fish ball noodle in Singapore at ION Orchard’s food court, I was so amazed by the bouncy and airy texture of the fish balls! They’re generally made from raw fish, mixed into paste, shaped into balls and either boiled or fried. Fish ball noodle either comes with soup or dry-tossed, but my personal favorite is the dry-tossed version, sprinkled with with some green onion and a few pieces of lard – damn shiok!
    “Shiok” is the Singaporean expression for strong pleasure or excitement and is often used in describing food.

  3. Fried Carrot Cake
  4. Carrot_Cake
    Source: Your Singapore
    Also called Chai Tow Kway in Teochew dialect. It’s basically steamed rice flour + white radish/daikon (hence the name “carrot cake” since the word “chai tow” means both daikon and carrot), cut into cubes, and stir fry with eggs, preserved radish and other condiments.

  5. Kaya Toast and Soft-Boiled Eggs
  6. Kaya_Toast
    Source: A British Girl Abroad
    One of the most common breakfasts/snacks in Singapore, it’s usually accompanied by a cup of (hot or ice, depending on your preference and the weather) kopi (coffee) or teh (tea). I really love how the not-overly-sweet kaya toast complements the soft-boiled eggs very well. Kaya toast consists of, well, crunchy toast, softened butter, and kaya jam (a delicious and popular jam in Singapore and Malaysia made from coconut milk, eggs, pandan leaf, and sugar). For the soft-boiled eggs, you break them into a little plate, drizzle with dark soy sauce and pepper, and slurp them down. You can either stir the mixtures up or eat the egg white and egg yolks separately.

  7. Chili Crabs
  8. Chili_Crab
    Source: Serious Eats
    Chili crab can be found in almost all seafood restaurants all over Singapore. It’s usually made with mud crabs stir fried in sweet and spicy chili sauce. Don’t forget to eat it with your bare hands instead of using fork and knife!

  9. Bak Kut Teh
  10. Bak_Kut_Teh
    Source: LIFT
    Literally means “meat bone tea”, bak kut teh is a hearty soup dish made of pork ribs simmered for hours in a broth with lots of herbs and spices. Interesting, there’s no tea involved in the cooking of bak kut teh, but it actually refers to the tea that is served alongside the dish. Bak kut teh is usually eaten with rice or noodle, as well as youtiao (long pieces of deep-fried dough common in China and other East and Southeast Asian countries).

  11. Oyster Omelette
  12. Oyster_Omelette
    Source: Aroma Cookery
    The main ingredients = eggs + oysters. There are many variations for oyster omelette, AKA oyster pancake, as well as the savory sauce that accompanies it (usually chili sauce or sweet and spicy sauce).

  13. Char Kway Teow
  14. Kway_Teow
    Source: Miss Tam Chiak
    Literally means “stir-fried rice cake strips, char kway teow is a very popular dish made from flat rice noodle (hence the name “kway teow”) stir-fried over very high heat in pork fat, soy sauce, chili, eggs, seafood (such as prawns and blood cockles) and other herbs and spices.

  15. Hainanese Chicken Rice
  16. Chicken_Rice
    Source: Delicious Food 4U
    Regarded as one of the national Singaporean dishes, Hainanese chicken rice seems like such a simple dish when in fact it’s not that simple to make. My favorite part of the dish, besides the chicken of course, is the oily and flavorful rice cooked in chicken stock. Enjoy a tender piece of chicken dipped in dark soy sauce, hot chili sauce and minced ginger, accompanies by a spoon of oily rice – once again, damn shiok :3!

  17. Hokkien Prawn Mee
  18. Prawn_Mee
    Source: Miss Tam Chiak
    While there are the soup version (Hokkien hae mee) and the fried version (Hokkien char mee), the soup version is more popular in Singapore. Hokkien prawn mee consists of egg noodle and rice noodle cooked in soup stock and served with prawns, fish cake, pork, sometimes squid and other vegetables. The fried version is stir-fried with eggs and the same ingredients mentioned earlier, and served with soy sauce, sambal chili and lime.

  19. Laksa
  20. Laksa
    Source: Blazor
    Laksa is a popular spicy noodle soup that consists of either rice noodle or vermicelli with chicken, prawn or fish. While there are many variations for laksa, the spicy soup can be categorized into (1) the coconut-based curry laksa, (2) sour tamarind-based asam laksa, or (3) the combination of both curry and asam laksa.

  21. Rojak
  22. Rojak
    Source: So Shiok
    “Rojak” means mixture in Malay, and it associates with different variations of fruits and vegetables salads. The rojak version that I tried in Singapore is called “mamak rojak”, or Pasembur, which includes fried dough fritters, bean curds, boiled potatoes, eggs, bean sprouts, cucumbers, and other ingredients mixed in thick spicy peanut sauce.

  23. Satay
  24. Satay
    Source: Health Xchange
    Satay = seasoned and skewered meat either grilled or barbecued over charcoal fire and served with peanut sauce, cucumber and onion. Originated in Indonesia, this popular street food ranges from chicken, beef, mutton to pork, fish and even goat, although chicken, beef and mutton are the most common satay meats in Singapore.

    Have you tried any of these super popular Singaporean dishes? Which one is your favorite? Any dish I may have missed that you think should be on this list? COMMENT BELOW!

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Hue La

About Hue La

Hey there, I'm Hue (pronounced “huay”, not “hue” like how you would normally say it in English). I'm a USC graduate and traveler with 6+ years of study abroad experience in the U.S. I founded Study Abroad Corner with the goals of providing helpful advice and building a social network for fellow study abroaders around the world.

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