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5 Healthier Options You Can Get at Hawker Centres around Singapore

October 27, 2016

Unless you’re used to preparing your own meals at home, you’ll know that cheap and healthy eats aren’t exactly easy to find in Singapore. Case in point: Protein bowls may be all the rage right now, but when they run close to $20 a pop, it’s probably not a luxury you can afford every day.

Hawker centres are still your best bet if you don’t want to fork out so much for a meal, and the good news is, there are a few healthy options available if you look past the char kway teow and carrot cake. Here are some less sinful choices we unearthed at popular hawker centres around Singapore.

Sliced fish noodles

1. Sliced fish noodle soup, from Teochew Fish Soup, #02-73 Tiong Bahru Market

This is always a safe bet, but be sure to stay away from the fried fish and, instead, opt for fresh fish slices. We like this bowl from Tiong Bahru Market because it’s not too salty, and the fish slices that come with it are plump and fresh, without that off-putting overly fishy flavour. To make it more palatable and creamy, simply request for a dash of evaporated milk to be mixed into your soup.

Fishball noodles

2. Fishball noodle soup, from Riverside Fishball Noodles, Zion Riverside Food Centre, Stall 30

Now here’s a secret hawkers won’t tell you: When in doubt, always pick fishballs over minced pork to go with your noodles. The problem with minced pork is that you don’t know how long it’s been sitting here, and if they’re not cooked all the way through, it can contain bacteria that could cause you to experience stomach upsets. This bowl of fishball noodles has a wonderful soup stock that’s not too oily. It will fill you right up, too, thanks to the generous number of large fishballs you get for just $3.

Chicken porridge

3. Shredded chicken porridge, from Cai Hong Porridge, #01-60 Old Airport Road Food Centre

Especially comforting on a rainy day, a good bowl of porridge is one where the rice grains still have a bit of a bite, and comes with a generous amount of ingredients. This bowl from Old Airport Road Food Centre checks all the boxes, and has a nice fragrance, thanks to the sesame oil that’s added to it. If porridge is not your thing, macaroni in clear soup – which this stall also sells – is another tasty and healthy option.

Thunder Tea Rice

4. Thunder tea rice, from Living Wholesome Vegetarian Food, #02-188 Bukit Timah Market & Food Centre

If you can find it, this vegetarian Hakka dish is probably the healthiest option you can get at a hawker centre. Simple yet satisfying thanks to its many textures, it’s made with ingredients such as brown rice, tea leaves, nuts, beans and tofu. Pour the “tea soup” – made with Chinese tea leaves, toasted sesame and peanuts, mint leaves, and more – over it to enjoy a hearty meal that won’t leave you “comatosed” after lunch. This one from Bukit Timah Market contains finely chopped preserved radish and lady’s fingers for an extra flavour hit.

Popiah

5. Popiah from Rojak Popiah & Cockle, Maxwell Food Centre, Stall 56

Popiah-making is a bit of a dying trade these days, in part because the ingredients require a tremendous amount of prep work. As such, it’s hard to find good popiahs like the one from this stall at Maxwell Food Centre. Unlike many other popiah stalls that use processed crab meat as a filler, we like this one as it has all-natural ingredients such as fresh vegetables, radish, peanuts, and hard-boiled egg. If you’re on the lookout for a light lunch, this is a great choice.