We did a budget weekend holiday in Singapore earlier this month. Indeed it is an impressive country where cultural heritage and meticulous city planning produce a charming landscape. And yes, they have an abundance of good food but unfortunately our tight schedule did not allow us enough time to explore.
Food is quite expensive in SG but if you know where to look, there are plenty of affordable places to eat at. There is also a good number of budget hotels and accommodations to stay in, too.
So since I did not have enough time to scour the city for serious eats, I thought of taking home some of their famous food as souvenirs, to share with family and of course to stock up my own pantry. So here is Mimi’s top 6 Singaporean food pasalubong, tararannn!!
6. Packaged sauce mixes
Forget about the fridge magnets and other generic tokens, Mi familia got to taste the kaya jam instead, hmmmm…I also bought packaged sauce mixes such as rendang, black pepper, laksa and chili crab sauces. Prices range from 2 to 4 dollars.
5. Oat Choco Snack
Tiny packs of sweet goodness. These light and crumbly oat biscuits are nice as a snack or pick-me up, perfect with coffee or milk tea. They are also affordably priced at 1 dollar per pack of 12.
4. Pork Sausages
I can’t remember how much they cost but regardless, it was worth the price. They go perfectly well with fried rice and of course, with bihon and sotanghon guisado (stir fried glass noodles). I have no point of comparison but this is the Fragrance brand and they taste very good with a perfect blend of savory and sweet.
3. Bak kwa
Ok, this is a photo of a frozen, unthawed stack of pork jerky or Bak kwa which I took out the freezer just for the sake of this belated post. Normally they look beckoning with their slightly charred edges and perfect glaze. I can’t remember the price either but it was a bit costly for a kilo. Just the same, it was worth the price. If you like tocino or pinoy pork barbeque, the Bak kwa will definitely send you straight to umami paradise. It is a perfect combination of savory, sweet with a hint of spice. It is super yummy on its own as a snack but I chose to scrimp on the half kilo I have left by chopping a slice or two, tossed into mayonnaise and liver pate for a nice sandwich spread every now and then❤.
2. Sambal Belacan
Any lover of spicy food such as myself should not leave the Singaporean shores without stocking up much less, tasting sambal belacan. It would amount to missing a portion of your life! I got 2 brands on hand and so far I am happy with this one☝☝, SingLong. It went so well with green mangoes and just earlier this week, I made a crazy Ikan bilis with it. Recipe here: https://theofwmom.com/2018/05/18/sweet-and-spicy-fried-anchovies-and-peanuts/.
1. Salted Egg Fish Skin Crackers
I definitely think this snack helped put Singapore in the map for foodies like me. It has set up the bar for snacks so high that the rest have to content themselves at immitating.
Ok, for a second I almost forgot my first love, chicharon (fried pork rinds) but I think I have to put them in the same category in my book now. Many say the brand Irvin’s is the best there is in the market. But this one☝☝, The Golden Duck, tastes heavenly so perhaps I would not know the difference. Priced at 7.22 dollars, it’s quite pricey for a mere packet of crisps but just like the rest on this list, it was worth the price. I have eaten these crackers alongside rice dishes and porridge, they elevate the flavor of any dish you eat them with. I certainly wish it’s readily available here in Doha or if not yet, at least some good Samaritan will hand me a few packets from their Singaporean trip from now on haha…
So that was it! I hope you will give these food items a try if you haven’t yet. Although my food haul cost a chunk of our trip budget, it was worth it. For me food is culture and one of the best way to know a place is through one’s stomach, agree?