Let us get this straight: there is no such thing as Singapore Noodles.
If you are a frequent traveler, you might have chanced upon restaurant menus overseas, especially in the Western states, that has ‘Singapore Noodles’ on the menu.
Often, these servings of Singapore Noodles consists of stir-fried or wok-fried curried vermicelli noodles with vegetables, fried eggs and meat. Sliced chicken, pork, beef or even de-shelled shrimps are very commonly used in the mix. Although all of this sounds delicious, Singaporeans will vehemently scoff at it. Because Singapore Noodles just doesn’t exist in Singapore!
Instead, we have many more amazing noodle options.
We were curious to find out the origin of Singapore Noodles because being born and bred here in Singapore, we want to know who actually created this dish. Just like Chicken Tikka Masala, the roots of the dish do not match up with the actual dish itself. If you did not already know, Chicken Tikka Masala was not created in India, but by the British who adopted the flavours of Indian dishes to create their own. Surprise, surprise!
Diving into the web, we actually discovered that the first known records of Singapore Noodles being sold is actually in Cantonese restaurants in Hong Kong. Gradually, with globalisation, it made its way to several different other Western countries.
Now, we are not local food snobs but we know for sure that Singapore has the best variety of noodle dishes that are arguably so much better than Singapore Noodles. Not convinced? Here are some of our absolute favourite quintessentially Singaporean noodles dishes.
#1 CHAR KWAY TEOW
From the smoky wok hei to the ultra-tasty noodles, cockles, sausages and eggs, this is highly-rated on our list.
#2 BAK CHOR MEE
What makes traditional minced meat noodles (or what locals call the ‘bak chor mee’) so special is the tart vinegar taste coupled with “QQ” or springy noodles and minced pork; the perfect combination!
#3 HOKKIEN MEE
Some like it wetter (cooked with more stock), some like it drier. For us, as long as it’s tasty Hokkien Mee with kickass chillii, we are up for it!
#4 MEE SIAM
This traditional Malay/Nyonya dish has it all: spice, tanginess and intense flavours.
#5 LOR MEE
Lor Mee stalls are quickly vanishing. However, there are still a couple of good ones left. We love diving into a warm bowl with generous zhap (rich sauce) and lots of minced garlic!
#6 WANTON NOODLES
Wanton Noodles dry with green chilli is a favourite of many Singaporeans, especially if it also comes with delicious char siew!
#7 PRAWN NOODLES
Prawn Noodles are nothing without its rich (and oily) broth, made from hours of simmering prawn heads, pork ribs and a variety of spices. A good bowl of Prawn Noodles is our comfort on a rainy day.
Lastly, no one can say that they hate laksa—a creamy spicy vermicelli soup dish topped with prawns, fish cakes, eggs and more! The fresher the coconut milk, the more fragrant the broth!