The cultural melting pot that is Singapore has produced some of the most amazing variety of dishes that one can hope to indulge in, morning, noon and night. If you enjoy food, living in this nation may be the best decision you ever made.
In a foodie paradise like Singapore, it is far from surprising that delicious breakfast options abound. While the article is hardly exhaustive, the list below touches on some of Singapore’s most classic breakfast fare: half-boiled eggs and kaya toast, roti prata, masala thosai, nasi lemak, vegetarian beehoon, chwee kueh, and soya beancurd and you-tiao. Enjoy!
Half-boiled Eggs and Toast
The definitive Singapore breakfast list, in my honest and humble opinion, has to begin with this veritable institution of local breakfast staples, half-boiled eggs and toast.
These half-boiled eggs are usually served warm and in a pair. Traditionally the eggs are broken onto a saucer, and both soy sauce and white pepper are added and stirred in. The warm and runny eggs can be scooped and eaten with a spoon, but feel free to slurp the remnants of it by drinking it straight from the saucer. This local delicacy is typically enjoyed with kopi (or teh) and some toast. You can enjoy the toast with butter and sugar, kaya or peanut butter. It makes for a hearty and nutritious start to the day.
This local favourite is another serious contender. This dish consists of a fragrant and tasty bed of pandan leaf and coconut-infused rice that is served with some omelette, cucumber, fried ikan bilis and peanuts, and of course, the piece de resistance, the gorgeous sambal. It is often served with either a deep-fried turmeric fish (a personal favourite) or chicken wings. This dish is an explosion of flavour and is really an excellent choice not just for breakfast, but lunch as well.
You-Tiao and Soya Beancurd
You-tiao consists of a pair of deep-fried dough sticks that have to be torn apart and eaten one at a time. These crispy fritters are best eaten fresh and in tandem with a bowl of hot soya beancurd—a not-too-sweet and super-silky delight that slides soothingly and gently down your throat. It is the perfect companion to the deep-fried fritter as it cuts the oil and creating a nice balance of texture and flavour.
Here is a variant to this awesome soy-related breakfast option; peanut pancake aka mee chiam kueh (a spongy, sweet and nutty pancake sandwich that is crispy around the edges), which is best enjoyed with a warm (or cold) cup of freshly made soybean milk.
This Indian speciality is a flatbread of sorts that is skillfully stretched, slapped and folded on a hot and flat metal surface. Done well, it is soft and chewy on the inside and golden brown and crispy on the outside. It’s served with a small bowl of dipping curry (usually chicken, mutton or fish curry) and is eaten with your hands. Little ones are fond of eating their prata with some sugar sprinkled on top.
Prata is traditionally made savoury, either kosong (plain) or with an egg cracked into it. But these days there are many variations to the prata, which includes dessert prata like ice cream, chocolate sauce, maple syrup and more. But when it comes to brekkie, we think it is best to stick with the classics. The prata is best enjoyed with a teh halia (milk tea with ginger) or teh tarik (pull tea).
This delicious wrap is made primarily from lentils and rice, and is generously stuffed with a spicy potato filling. The dish is commonly served with some sambar or chutney. Masala Dosa is a rich and hearty breakfast option that is great for those who are physically active on the job. Otherwise, this meal may be better left for a lazy weekend or your day off, where you won’t have to worry about carb overload and falling asleep at your desk!
Chwee Kueh is a Teochew steamed rice cake that is very popular not only in Singapore, but in Southeast Asia. Steamed rice cakes may not sound like much but when these small, white cups of smooth and tender bites are topped with brown, crunchy and salty preserved radish bits and a delightful sweet chilli sauce, the combination makes for one perfect morsel of intense, savoury goodness. It’s a light yet filling breakfast that will not fail to put a smile on your face.
Vegetarian Bee Hoon (Zai Mee Fen)
This Singaporean hawker staple consists of rice vermicelli, bean sprouts, carrots and cabbage, fried tofu skin and a variety of mock meats that are made from gluten. This stir-fried bee hoon dish is simple, savoury and delicious, is even better when paired with pickled green chilli and/or sambal. Healthy? Not so much. Tasty? Yes, absolutely.