If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to eat healthier and the other is to save money, you know this is a huge challenge.
Eating healthy in Singapore means either buying a salad at a Western restaurant or getting a pokebowl to go. Either way, it can be expensive.
The other alternative is to make your own food from home and bring it to work everyday. But this is time-consuming and we don’t all have the luxury to do so.
As a result, you seem to always be on the hunt for cheap and healthy food.
Did you know that you can actually get some healthier options at Singapore hawker centres that won’t break the bank AND still help you keep to a clean eating routine?
Here are 5 suggestions for you to try the next time you’re at a Singapore hawker centre and you’re looking for something that isn’t as oily as char kuey teow.
5 Healthier options at Singapore hawker centres
1. Thunder tea rice, or lei cha
This traditional Hakka dish is actually one of the healthiest types of food you will be able to find at a Singapore hawker centre. It is typically made with ingredients such as brown rice, tea leaves, nuts, beans and tofu. Some places replace the brown rice with brown rice crispies. It is commonly prepared with a “tea soup”, which is made with Chinese tea leaves, toasted sesame, peanuts, mint leaves, and more. Because of its low carbohydrate content, you won’t feel too bloated from the meal and suffer from post-lunch food comas.
Popiah is another healthier option to try if you are at a hawker centre. Most hawker centres will have a stall selling popiah. Get the freshly rolled ones, which is made with fresh vegetables, radish, peanuts, and hard-boiled egg. The popiah ‘skin’ is a very thin piece of wrap, making the carbohydrate content low as well. Opt out of having the sauce to save yourself even more calories. This is a great light lunch to have and very affordable too!
3. Chicken porridge
Porridge tends to be overlooked for lunch as many think of it as a food that only sick people eat. But it is actually a very hearty meal to have for lunch that is much healthier than having a plate of economy rice or fried noodles. Get the hawker to put in extra shredded chicken to give you that protein boost. Most porridge stalls come with this option or the option to include fish or pork instead, making it quite a complete meal.
4. Fishball noodle soup
If all else fails, get a bowl of fishball noodle soup, which is definitely lower in calorie content than a bak chor mee or a nasi lemak. This light but fulfilling dish is a healthier option because of the clear soup that it is cooked with. The fishballs are also sometimes handmade by the hawkers themselves, making it healthier as it isn’t packed with preservatives.
5. Sliced fish noodle soup
This is a classic dish to have if you’re looking for something delicious yet healthy. Freshly sliced fish and clear (or milky) soup is the best combination to have for lunch. It isn’t too heavy and at the same time, you will be getting a lot of essential nutrients from the fish and the fish soup.
Sure, these options aren’t salads, but you make do with what you have and we’re lucky enough to have so many options at Singapore hawker centres.
Which of these are your favourite dishes to have at Singapore hawker centres? Let us know in the comments.
Read more articles to improve your health this year.