Singapore is known for its mouth-watering hawker cuisine available in hawker centers throughout the city. Hawker fare includes dishes such as char kway teow – stir fried rice noodles with dark soy sauce, Chinese sausage and cockles, lamb biryani, and deep fried curry puffs stuffed with chicken and potato curry. Singaporeans love socialising over food, so besides eating such dishes for lunch or dinner, you’ll often see groups of people snacking on these guilty pleasures any time of the day. While these dishes are absolutely delicious, indulging in them too often can cause weight gain and contribute to high cholesterol.
So what can you do if you want to eat together with family and friends, but prefer something healthier and meat-free? A good way to get around the temptation is to get yourself a less decadent but equally tasty snack, so you can tuck in with everyone else without feeling deprived.
Here are some healthy, vegetarian friendly snacks sold in Singapore.
Full of vitamin C and nutrients, fresh cut fruit are a healthy way to satisfy hunger pangs. The good news is that there is always at least one fresh fruit stall at every hawker center or indoor food court in Singapore. Get yourself a plate of refreshing sliced papaya and watermelon wedges kept cool on a plate of ice, or perhaps try some more exotic varieties like jackfruit, dragon fruit or chiku. If you’re thirsty, these fruit stalls also sell custom-blend fruit juices and smoothies that will quench your thirst and fill you up.
Soybean or tofu pudding is a breakfast and dessert dish of curdled fresh soy milk that’s well loved in China and many parts of Southeast Asia. Founded in 1995 as a hawker stall selling soy milk and soy beancurd, Mr Bean was so popular that it grew to become a private limited company with stores in shopping malls across Singapore as well as the Philippines, South Korea and Japan. Mr. Bean sells not only classic beancurd pudding but also beancurd pudding with granola, grass jelly, sea salt gula Melaka – coconut palm sugar, and a ginger syrup.
Rojak is a savory, sweet and tangy Asian salad that’s ideal for a refreshing afternoon or pre-dinner snack. Ingredients typically include raw jicama, cucumber, pineapples, fried tofu and ground peanuts tossed in a thick and aromatic, tamarind and shrimp paste. Vegetarians and vegans can enjoy a healthy, shrimp-paste free version of rojak from Rojak Line – a Singapore store that has created a special, shrimp-free, vegan, vegetarian and halal rojak. Located at Holland Drive Market & Food Centre, this store also does home deliveries. Rojak Line offers a variety of rojak dishes, which include ingredients like guava and red apples.
Another popular hawker snack in Singapore is popiah – a type of spring roll originating from China’s Fujian province that’s stuffed with savory, stewed shredded turnip. Kway Guan Huat Joo Chiat Original Popiah in the heritage neigborhood of Katong has been making popiahs since 1938. The restaurant serves vegetarian popiahs that are not only scrumptious but rich in fibre and nutrients. You can even order popiah skins and fillings from Kway Guan Huat Joo, bring them home and throw a make-them-yourself popiah party for your family and friends.
The quaint mountain town of Jiufen in Taiwan’s Ruifang District is known for its unique street foods. In Singapore, you can find Jiufen’s famous healthy dessert cups at Nine Fresh, a dessert shop with 18 outlets across Singapore. The items that go into their dessert cups – which come in a variety of combinations – include ai-yu jelly, grass jelly, taro and sweet potato balls, yam, bean curd, pearl jelly, lotus nuts, pinto beans, green and red beans.
Founded by Singaporean entrepreneurs in the 1980s, YAMI Yogurt was the first frozen yogurt brand that Singaporeans came to love. Not too sweet and deliciously light and refreshing, a YAMI Yogurt is the perfect sweet treat for anyone who is on a diet or counting calories. The brand’s yogurt is 97 percent fat free and contains live cultures that aid digestion. Available in natural or fruit flavors, you can choose a variety of fruits, nuts, candy or granola toppings to jazz up your yogurt treat too.
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