Guide to Chicken Rice in Singapore
Singapore is famous for its chicken rice, specifically Hainanese Chicken Rice. But besides that, there are also other types of meat with rice which are equally good and just as cheap. Here is our guide to chicken rice in Singapore (as well as some of our meat-with-rice recommendations):
The 3 main types of chicken rice in Singapore are Hainanese, soya sauce and roasted chicken rice.
Hainanese Chicken Rice
Hainanese immigrants brought the dish from Hainan, China when they migrated over to Singapore. They sold the chicken rice in Singapore and overtime, the dish evolved under the influence of local Cantonese to our current version.
The original dish used chicken and pork bone for its stock base while the Singapore version solely relies on chicken stock for flavour. Another difference found in the original version is the dressing of the chicken. Modern Hainanese chicken rice often came with sesame oil, soy sauce or oyster sauce drizzled over the chicken for better flavour. The original Hainanese chicken rice was served without any sauce.
[Food Tip] Not all stalls serve boneless chicken rice, you may have to request for it by asking the stall vendors. Some stalls will remove it for you while others may say that they do not have this service. But it doesn’t hurt to try your luck and ask if they could do it for you.
The price for a plate of chicken rice can start from $2.50 (yes S$2.50, the chicken rice store near our office sells it at that price). But the usual price of chicken rice may range from $3-$4 depending on your location.
[Food Tip] Most stalls will provide you with a saucer that comes with 2 compartments. One side with dark soy sauce (sweet) and the other side with chilli sauce. If you love eating spicy food, scoop some of the dark soy sauce to the chilli side and mix it in. Whereas if you can’t really handle spicy, scoop the chilli to the soy sauce side according to your preference.
Read More: Singapore Blog Posts
Soya Sauce Chicken
As the name suggests, the main ingredient of this dish is the soy sauce, mainly light and dark soy sauce. This version of chicken rice has a slightly sweet taste to it. The chicken is boiled with soy sauce and spices for hours and honey is drizzled over the chicken during the last step. A famous store in Singapore selling soya sauce chicken is the 1 Michelin star chicken rice in Chinatown.
Unlike the soya sauce chicken which has a darker reddish-brown colouring to the chicken, the roasted chicken has a lighter brown chicken skin. The chicken meat itself is similar to the Hainanese chicken which has lighter white colour. The main ingredients that the chicken is marinated with are ginger juice, honey and soy sauce.
[Food Tip] When you have chicken rice, you may want to order shared portions if you are eating in groups. The price is usually slightly cheaper with more meat as compared to ordering single portions.
Half Chicken: 3-4pax
Whole Chicken: 5-6pax
Read More: Singapore River City Tour with TravelBuddee
Roast Meat Rice
Unlike the fragrance rice served in chicken rice, roast meat rice is usually served with plain rice. Salt is used to season the pork belly which will then be dried and roasted until the meat turns golden and crisp. The crispy top is usually salty as salt is smothered when it is cooking, therefore, a great pairing with plain rice.
[Food Tip] Ask the stall owner to add some of the char siew sauce over the rice and dish would have a different taste to it!
Char Siew Rice
Char siew is the Chinese version of barbeque pork. Reddish in colour, usually served with a plate of plain rice with char siew sauce drizzled over the dish. Char siew sauce is the main highlight of the dish. The meat is marinated with the sweet, tangy sauce which is made from red bean curd which gives it its colour.
A local popular combination is to order a set of roast meat and char siew together with rice.
Each of these dishes has its own unique taste. If given a chance, try each of these dishes at local coffee shops (kopitiams) in Singapore. Low priced meals for good quality tasting food. Happy eating guys!
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