A fit, well-balanced lifestyle is all the rage right now — as we become increasingly particular about consuming healthier food options, hawker stalls have also doled out more nutritious dining choices in their menus to encourage us to eat healthily.
Gone are the days of salt-laden or greasy hawker food, as these hawkers are serving low-calorie food choices and using healthier ingredients such as healthier cooking oils, wholegrains as well as lower-sugar drinks.
For the uninitiated, eating more wholegrains are full of nutrients and aids in reducing the risk of developing chronic diseases such as heart diseases, diabetes and certain cancers. Those who have been feasting during the festive season will be happy to know that wholegrains may help you to manage your weight as they provide bulk to the diet. This promotes the feeling of fullness and helps reduce the risk of overeating!
These healthier meal options will be here to stay, as they are part of the stall’s permanent core menu offerings. Diners can expect various hawker stalls serving different items — from savoury snacks such as toasts or Min Jiang Kueh to the well-loved Hainanese Chicken Rice — to be actively participating in the Healthier Dining Programme.
Here are five different hawker stalls in Singapore that have rolled out wholegrain options in their menu!
XIANG JI HAINANESE CHICKEN RICE
Fans of chicken rice rejoice! You will be happy to know that the renowned Xiang Ji Hainanese Chicken Rice at Haig Road Market & Food Centre has included wholegrains in their rice. Not only will you be opting for a healthier alternative as compared to the usual, white rice chicken rice, but you will also still be able to enjoy this classic Singaporean favourite with less guilt.
The owners behind Xiang Ji have subtly mixed both brown and white rice together, while still managing to retain the familiar, gingery savouriness in the rice. Taste-wise, we were not able to tell much of a difference. Their grains were slightly more chewy, but remain light on the palate!
It was not oily either, and together with their tender chicken, the chicken rice was truly a delightful and filling meal.
Xiang Ji Hainanese Chicken Rice
14 Haig Road
#01-34 Haig Road Market & Cooked Food Centre
Tel: +65 9753 5837
Tues to Sun: 8am – 7pm
(Closed on Mondays)
Nearest Station: Paya Lebar
Serving comfort food, Congee Delights is yet another hawker stall incorporating healthier ingredients in their porridge. The friendly aunty serves two different crowds each day: the health-conscious office crowd who opt for more nutritious brown rice in their porridge and those who go for the normal white rice.
She faithfully cooks up two huge pots of porridge in the morning, one being wholegrain rice, while the other is the usual white rice. This is because she wanted to cater to her growing pool of consumers who are looking for a healthier version of the popular comfort food.
The best thing about Congee Delights is that you get to order any of her porridges on the menu and opt for your choice of rice base! We preferred the mixture of wholegrain and white rice, as it gave the porridge a much fluffier, nutty taste. It was also thicker and gave us a textural contrast of both different types of grains.
If you’re looking to start incorporating wholegrains into your meals but don’t know how, do give aunty’s mixed porridge a try!
6 Jalan Bukit Merah
#01-45 ABC Brickworks Market & Food Centre
Tel: +65 9423 3120
Nearest Station: Queenstown
TIONG BAHRU TEOCHEW KUEH
The famed Tiong Bahru Teochew Kueh should be your next place to visit if you are looking for kuehs that are flavourful, yet healthy. The folks behind this 45-year-old stall meticulously hand make each and every kueh in the morning, making sure to use wholegrains in all of their traditional treats.
Their Png Kueh, Black Bean Kueh and Glutinous Rice are the best sellers. Among all their kuehs, these three kuehs use Temasek Grain fragrant brown rice in their recipes. Temasek Rice is a special breed of wholegrain rice that Tiong Bahru Teochew Kueh uses; not only is it fragrant and sticky, it is also high in dietary fibre – 1 serving of Temasek Rice is said to contain 92 percent of daily wholegrain requirement (source: Temasek Life Sciences Laboratory Limited).
The star of the show is their Glutinous Rice, which among the three speciality kuehs, has the highest percentage of Temasek brown rice used. This allowed the dish to be naturally fragrant, while its savouriness was further enhanced by the use of hae bee (spicy dried shrimps) and pepper. The peanuts were also crunchy, pairing well with the soft rice.
The well-seasoned Png Kueh was also extremely toothsome, as the skin was soft and chewy with just the right amount of thickness. It also contains a generous filling of peanuts and fluffy Temasek brown rice, and the latter stood out — it had a natural fragrance that enhanced the seasoning and flavours in the kueh.
Tiong Bahru Teochew Kueh
30 Seng Poh Road
#02-02 Tiong Bahru Market & Food Centre
Tel: +65 9150 9076
Daily: 7:30 – 2pm
Nearest Station: Tiong Bahru
Introducing Red Bake, a tiny bakery nestled in the bustling Geylang Bahru Market & Food Centre. Here, they serve affordable buns and toasts, and have also adopted the healthy dining programme initiative and included the use of wholegrain flour in a selected range of breads.
Their freshly baked wholegrain breads are usually sold out by early morning, but we managed to snag the last wholegrain piece in their bakery: The Egg Mayo and Ham Toast! We enjoyed how the bread, paired together with the soft mayo, had a comforting, textural mouthfeel. It also had a pleasant, fragrant wheat flavour.
69 Geylang Bahru
#01-56 Geylang Bahru Market & Food Centre
Tel: +65 6364 3669
Daily: 6am – 11pm
Nearest Station: Geylang Bahru
TIONG BAHRU MIAN JIAN KUEH
Last but not least, we tried out a crowd-favourite pancake stall, Tiong Bahru Min Jiang Kueh. Here, they serve a variety of different-flavoured pancakes, such as peanut and coconut. The stall owner has also been using wholegrain flour to bake her pancakes, which gives the wholegrain pancake a distinctive colour compared to pancakes baked with normal flour.
We chose the Peanut Min Jiang Kueh with wholegrain flour, which came in a slightly purplish hue. Filled with self-roasted ground peanuts, the pancake was thick and fluffy. It has a crispy crust, while the middle was soft and slightly chewy; it felt as if we were biting into a pillow full of goodness!
We particularly enjoyed her pancakes, which also came in a satisfying portion. Not to mention, her prices were affordable as well! This is definitely a min jiang kueh stall we will be back to visit.
Tiong Bahru Mian Jian Kueh
30 Seng Poh Road
#02-34 Tiong Bahru Market & Food Centre
Tel: +65 9834 6495
Weds to Sun: 6am – 2pm
(Closed on Mon & Tues)
Nearest Station: Tiong Bahru
In collaboration with Health Promotion Board, many hawker stalls island-wide have participated in the Healthier Dining Programme: an initiative that encourages store owners to incorporate nutritional ingredients in their menu, so that it becomes much more accessible and pervasive for everyone to consume a healthy meal while dining out.
So, the next time you decide to opt for a healthier option, definitely check these hawker stalls out with these Healthier Dining Programme labels. Tasty food can be healthier too!
This post was brought to you by Health Promotion Board Singapore.