If you’ve ever been to the Lion City, then you’ll know about all the exciting things to do in Singapore airport alone, plus the inspiring vistas that welcome you the minute you leave the airplane. Sure, it’s not the largest and most expansive country by any means, but this nation situated at the tip of the Asian mainland is home to so much diversity and rich culture. And if you haven’t checked this off your travel bucket list yet, then we strongly recommend making this your next destination when the pandemic fallout clears up.
However, we won’t be talking about travel guides or must-see places in Singapore today; instead, we want to touch base with something at the heart of almost everyone that lives there — food. Well, we guess it would be more appropriate to say stomach, but the point is that the Lion City is also home to some of the most delicious food you can find. So, what exactly makes it stand out, and how do we recreate this taste back at home?
What Makes Singapore Food Delicious?
Other than the generations upon generations of secret recipes, ingredients, and the number of talented chefs that reside in Singapore, there are two distinct features about Singaporean cuisine that give it an edge over all other food. These two key characteristics are ever-present, from the street stalls you pass by to the high-end restaurants inside malls, which means there’s never a shortage of high-standard taste.
- Flavors From Across The World: Singapore is like the boiling point of rich and diverse cultures, and because food traditions from different origins came together, clashed, and combined in the Lion City, it gave way to flavors that echo from across the world. From the rich curries of Indian cuisine to the Chinese-style soup and veggies, there’s no telling how multicultural your next dish will be.
- Powerful Sensations And Spices: However, if there’s one thing that all these different food traditions agree on, it’s the use of spices to bring out the most flavor in their dishes. Apart from the fact that spices are densely-packed with nutrients, they create power and mouth-watering sensations that will make you crave for more.
Of course, with all those things said, it would be a bit of a cliffhanger to just stop there and not give you the opportunity to experience the rich flavors yourself. And, while we can’t really afford to travel to Singapore given the current health and safety concerns, here are some ways you can incorporate the taste of Singapore into your next meal.
#1 Prawns Are Everywhere
Seafood is the name of the game, and if there’s one staple in almost all the restaurants and street stalls, it’s the use of prawns. Whether it’s steaming, grilling, baking, drying, or whichever way you want it prepared, there’s bound to be a Singaporean recipe waiting for you. Plus, it’s also very healthy, which makes it the perfect addition to any diet!
- Belachan (Shrimp Paste): Belachan, also known as shrimp paste, is a dense combination of fermented ground prawns. Mix it with some chilis, add a bit of sugar and salt, and top it all of with some lime juice, then you’ve got yourself the perfect condiment to any dish known as Sambal Belachan.
- Hay Bee (Dried Prawns): If you’re looking to make a sauce, then one of the best ingredients to add if you want a Singaporean flavor into the mix is Hay Bee, also known as dried prawns. The best quality ones are bright orange, and there are many ways to manipulate them into your meals.
#2 Embracing Your Spices
As we’ve mentioned before, the rich use of spices is present throughout Singapore cuisine, and whether it’s just to garnish the end-result, you’ll find these bad boys revolutionizing your taste buds in mere seconds. Sure, some of these do come with a fairly strong odor, so it’ll take a bit of getting used to before you become a master chef.
- Five Spice Powder: If you haven’t seen five spice in your local supermarket yet, these are small packets of finely grounded spices that manifest all the five different tastes — sweet, sour, bitter, salty, and umami. You can try making your own batch of five spice and see how well the flavors blend with your personal recipes.
#3 A Serving Of Rice Or Noodles
Last but not least, you can’t really call it a meal representative of the Asian community if you don’t partner it with a serving of rice or noodles. They serve as the foundation of all the toppings you’ll be making and help achieve a more well-rounded diet. Plus, with examples like the Hainanese Chicken Rice and Laksa Noodle Soup, they’re fairly easy to start too.
Taste The World From Your Kitchen
In conclusion, we want to remind everyone that being stuck at home and socially distancing from the rest of the world doesn’t have to be super restrictive. The kitchen is one of the most accessible ways to still remind you of the world around you. So, give these tips a shot and taste the world from the comfort of your kitchen.