Notorious for sinful and fat-laden dishes, hawker centres remain our top pick for a quick, cheap and tasty meal, but may seem like a nightmare for healthy-eaters.
The latter doesn’t have to be true though. Some hawker dishes are surprisingly not all that bad, if you look closely at their calorie and nutrition content. Ironically, these hidden gems are already on our list of favourites and can be found in most hawker centres in Singapore.
Here, we share five of our go-to options for a healthier meal, so you can have your hawker food and eat it too.
1. Teochew Porridge
If you pick the right side dishes, Teochew porridge is probably one of the healthiest options at the hawker centre. Try pairing the plain porridge base with steamed proteins, such as fish, and some dark leafy greens. As long as you stay away from deep-fried or oily sides, you can’t go wrong with this local favourite.
2. Thunder Tea Rice
Thunder tea rice is usually filled with healthy vegetables such as cabbage, spinach, chye sim, beans, tofu and eggs. The green sauce that goes with it is also low in fat and sodium, making it an excellent choice for weight-watchers. Oh, and it’s pretty tasty too!
3. Yong Tau Foo
If you love to mix and match, this Hakka dish is perfect for you. Yong Tau Foo stalls usually offer a wide selection of tofu, meats and vegetables to choose from. Again, stay away from fried foods and opt for steamed options instead.
Dosa is an Indian crepe-like dish made from rice flour and ground lentils. It’s usually eaten plain, or filled with ingredients such as masala (potatoes), eggs or cheese. Typically served with a few curries, Dosa is a much healthier alternative to prata if you pick the plain option and go easy on the curries.
5. Sliced Fish Soup
Sliced fish soup is a great source of lean protein and a low-calorie choice for those concerned about their weight. Most fish soups come with a fried fish option, so remember to steer clear from that. While fish soup ranks high on our list, it still contains a relatively high level of sodium, so don’t go too crazy with it!