Why Chicken Rice, Chilli Crab Are Intrinsic To Singapore Culture?

A regular Singapore visitor’s itinerary often includes chicken rice and chilli crab, so let’s get to know why they’re familiar. 

Chicken Rice: 

If you want to know the best place to get chicken rice in Singapore, you can expect a diverse response and a heated debate. It’s important not to underestimate the plate of chicken rice – Singapore’s unofficial national dish inspires daily devotion and is found everywhere from humble hawker stalls to top hotels. A national dish is one that best represents a nation, even if it is unofficial, and is enjoyed by its people or is formally proclaimed. Whichever the case, it is strongly associated with the cultural identity of that nation.  

Image Credits: Wikipedia

A rice dish with chicken stock is commonly referred to as Singapore’s national dish. It comes with steamed chicken and sweet soy sauce, chilli, and ginger. 

Originally made with Wengchang chickens in Hainan, a small island off southern China, the chicken rice recipe came to Singapore through a mix of Hainanese and Cantonese cultures. As the recipe evolved to use white cut chickens, which are more tender, the meat was served over rice, covered with a thick layer of oil, and accompanied by a tray of chilli sauce, ginger, and garlic-infused oyster sauce. 

In 2011, CNN named chicken rice one of the 50 best foods in the world. The dish received further acclaim when Gordon Ramsay and Anthony Bourdain praised Tian Tian Chicken Rice at Maxwell Food Centre following a visit to the stall during his travel and food show, No Reservations. 

Chilli Crab: 

Originating in Singapore, chilli crab is made up of a combination of chilli sauce, tomato paste, sambal, and egg, along with tweaks and variations among seafood restaurants. 

Image Credits: Wikipedia

To have the Best crab chilli, reach Roland Seafood. The restaurant is in the eastern part of Singapore, where the owner Cher Yam Tian is said to have created the dish in the 1950s, while her son Roland possesses the recipe that envelops the Sri Lankan crab cooked to red-hued perfection. 

The tables at Sin Hoi Sai, a live seafood restaurant that specializes in crab, are adorned with steaming platters of chilli crab. Before COVID-19, the restaurant received regular shipments of specialty crab such as king crab, snow crab, Dungeness crab, and meaty Sri Lankan crab. The dish is often enjoyed by celebrities, local and global, and always includes your choice of crab cooked in a thicker version of the chilli gravy. 

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