[Singapore] Traditional hawker fare at NTUC Foodfare, Ang Mo Kio Hub.

The large, air-conditioned NTUC Foodfare foodcourt at Ang Mo Kio Hub, AMK Central is heaven-sent on hot, humid days such as today in Singapore, where the temperature outdoors at mid-day can soar to 38 deg C (over 100 deg F).

  1. One of my fave hawker food in Singapore is the “chai tow kway” (fried carrot cake) - this is the dark version, fried with sweet dark soy sauce, salted radish, garlic, eggs, fish sauce and lard.

  1. Many Singaporeans love the white version of the fried carrot cake, where the steamed carrot cake has been chopped into smaller pieces, then fried with salted radish (“chai por”), garlic, lard, and lots of egg. This “pancake”-like patty is a fairly recent innovation, as “chai tow kway” during my childhood and even teen years in the 1980s did not look anything like this. Using eggs for this dish is also a rarity back then.

  1. The Local Delights stall at NTUC Foodfare actually went one step further to please customers who couldn’t decide which version - the white one or dark one - to have, by offering both on one serving platter. Fab idea!

  1. The same stall also offered a respectable version of Singapore-style fried Hokkien mee: yellow Hokkien noodles and thick rice noodles (similar to the one used for “laksa”) fried in lard and a pork-prawn broth, with eggs. Delicious with a squeeze of lime and sambal-chilli.

Address: NTUC Foodfarem, Ang Mo Kio Hub, 53 Ang Mo Kio Ave 3, #03-12, Singapore 569933. It’s very easily accessible from Ang Mo Kio MRT station or the bus terminus.

They sure love lard in the street food around Malaysia and Singapore…! Not that they should change a thing!

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For Penang hawkers - lard is one of the quintessential ingredients!

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold