Many of these dishes were brought to Singapore by the early southern Chinese immigrants (Hokkien, Teochew, Cantonese, Hakka and Hainanese) and adapted to suit local circumstances (such as available ingredients) and cannot strictly be considered mainstream Chinese cuisine due to the presence of Malay, Indian, and other influences. Singaporean Chinese cuisine is largely derived from the cuisines of the Hokkien, Teochew, Hainanese, Cantonese, and Hakka dialect groups that comprise the majority of the Chinese population in Singapore.
Most of the names of Singaporean Chinese dishes were derived from dialects of southern China, with Hokkien (Min Nan) being the most commonly used dialect. As there was no systematic transliteration of southern Chinese dialects into Latin alphabets, it is common to see many different forms of transliteration for the same dish. For example, Bah Kut Teh may also be called Bak Kut Teh, and Char Kway Tiao may also be called Char Kuay Teow and so on. Another common variation occurs due to the different types of Hokkien accent used. For example, Ngo Hiang (五香) is the pronunciation of the Zhangzhou Hokkien accent while Ngo Hiong is the pronunciation of the Quanzhou Hokkien accent.
Bak kut teh
Bak-kut-teh (also spelt bah-kut-teh; Chinese: 肉骨茶; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: bah-kut-tê) is a Chinese soup popularly served in Malaysia, Singapore,(where there is a predominant Hoklo and Teochew community) and also, neighbouring areas like Riau Islands and Southern Thailand.
Banmian (板麵) is a popular noodle dish, consisting of handmade noodles served in soup.
The name banmian (board/block noodle) came from the Hakka’s method of cutting the noodle into straight strands using a wooden block as ruler. In Hakka, some might call it Man-Foon-Char-Guo (麵粉茶粿) or Dao-Ma-Chet (刀嬤切).
In Hokkien, it was called Mee-Hoon-Kueh (麵粉粿; lit. “wheat snack”) but what we can find at hawker stalls is generally called banmian. The current style is a mix between the Hakka traditional method and the Hokkien traditional method. The Hakka initially made the noodle by shaving off a dough, whilst the Hokkien would roll the dough into a flat piece then hand-tear into bite-size.
Claypot chicken rice
Claypot chicken rice (Chinese: 砂煲鸡饭, 瓦煲鸡饭 or 煲仔鸡饭) is usually a dinner dish in the southern regions of China, Malaysia and Singapore. It is typically served with Chinese sausage and vegetables. More often than not, the rice is cooked in the claypot first and cooked ingredients like diced chicken and Chinese sausage are added in later. Traditionally, the cooking is done over a charcoal stove, giving the dish a distinctive flavour. Some places serve it with dark soya sauce and also dried salted fish. Salted fish enhances the taste of the claypot chicken rice, depending on the diner’s preference. Due to the time-consuming method of preparation and slow-cooking in a claypot, customers might have to wait a period of time (typically 15-30 minutes) before the dish is served
Duck rice (simplified Chinese: 鸭饭; traditional Chinese: 鴨飯; pinyin: yā fàn) is a Singaporean Chinese meat dish, made of either braised or roasted duck and plain white rice.
Hokkien mee refers to fried noodles cooked in Hokkien (Fujian) style. Hokkien mee is served in many Southeast Asian countries (mostly Malaysia and Singapore) and was brought there by immigrants from the Fujian province in southeastern China.