One Word, Singapore

Cross-cultural Cuisines

A number of dishes, listed below, can be considered as truly hybrid or multi-ethnic food.

  • Fish head curry

The origins of the modern dish began in Singapore, with a Singaporean’s Malayalee (an Indian ethnic group from the Southern Indian Staee of Kerala community) chef wanting his South Indian-style food to cater to a wider clientele, notably Chinese customers who considered fish head a specialty. He prepared the dish differently by stewing the head of an ikan merah (red snapper fish) in a spicy-hot curry with vegetables, coming up with the sour-tasting tamarind flavour which became an unmistakable signature of this SIngaporean dish.

Today, restaurants of not only Indian, but Malay, Chinese and Peranakan association, serve variations of this dish. One can either have it with rice or as the Chinese do it – wipe the curry gravy clean with a soft bun. The sweetness of the dough helps to neutralize the spices in the curry – a great way to enjoy the dish even if you have a low tolerance for spice. The Chinese tend to have it alongside smaller dishes of vegetables and meat. The Indians likewise tend to eat it in a similar manner, having it with rice, pappadams and Indian pickle.


Kueh Pie Tee

Kueh Pie Tee is a thin and crispy pastry tart shell filled with a spicy, sweet mixture of thinly sliced vegetables and prawns. It is a popular Peranakan dish. The shells are made of flour and though some stores will make them from scratch, they can usually be found ready made in most supermarkets. Similar to popiah, the main filling is shredded Chinese turnips and carrots, and usually these two dishes are sold by the same stall in hawker centers


  • Laksa

Laksa is a popular spicy noodle soup from the Peranakan culture, which is a merger of Chinese and Malay elements found in Indonesia,Malaysia and Singapore. 


  • Mie goreng

Mee goreng (Indonesian: mie goreng or mi goreng; Malay: mee goreng or mi goreng; both meaning “fried noodles” also known as bami goreng is a dish common in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore. It is made with thin yellow noodles fried in cooking oil withgarlic, onion or shallots, fried prawn, chicken, or beef, sliced bakso (meatballs), chili, Chinese cabbage, cabbages, tomatoes, egg, andacar (pickles). Ubiquitous in Indonesia, it can be found everywhere in the country, sold by all food vendors from street-hawkers to high-end restaurants. It is an Indonesian one-dish meal favorite, although street food hawkers commonly sell it together with nasi goreng(fried rice). It is commonly available at mamak stalls in Singapore and Malaysia and is often spicy.

Mie goreng



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