Hawker foods need not lead to weight gain — just make wiser choices when picking your meal.
When we talk about healthier eating, the typical scene at a hawker centre is probably the last thing that comes to mind. As much as Singaporeans love our local food, we know that healthier eating is not exactly synonymous with fried bee hoon, laksa, char kway teow and mee siam. A serving of char kway teow, for example, packs a whopping 744 Calories, with 38 grams fat (almost all your
recommended daily allowance for fat of 55-60 grams).
However, going to a hawker centre does not have to hamper your health. In fact, if you choose the right dishes, even eating hawker food every day can help you stay healthier and maintain a healthy weight.
Here are some of our favourite healthier hawker food picks that are not only delicious, but lower in calories too!
What makes Teochew porridge healthier, aside from the fact that it is porridge, is the choice of side dishes that go along with it. For a healthier option, order one meat dish (anything as long as it is not deep fried or steeped in oil),
fish, with two
vegetable dishes, preferably the dark, leafy variety. By choosing the right sides, you can easily achieve a
balanced meal with this local favourite.
Rice Pudding Served with Yoghurt Sauce
Thunder Tea Rice is the Hakka answer to a western salad — filled with healthier vegetables. White or brown rice (the latter is the healthier option) is usually topped with cabbage, spinach, leek,
chye sim, green beans, tofu and preserved radish. Served with a green soup made from basil, mint, green tea, mugwort and coriander, it’s
low in fat and sodium. And delicious!
Brown Rice Benefits
With little fat added in the cooking process, fish soup ranks high on the smart eating list. The ingredients, such as sliced fish, tofu, tomatoes, seaweed and lettuce (some hawkers use bitter gourd or
chye sim instead), offer
a good balance of lean protein, carbohydrates and fibre. Just try not to polish off every single drop of the accompanying soup which may be loaded with hidden sodium.
Beef and Brown Rice Spicy Soup
Here is another Hakka dish to make the list: yong tau foo. As with the Teochew porridge, being able to pick your own ingredients makes yong tau foo a healthier option.
Steer clear of fried ingredients and opt instead for the tofu and assorted vegetables.
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This article was last reviewed on
22 Nov 2023
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