45 Years Built a Nation of Eaters


This August, Singapore celebrates her 45th year of independence. Happy Birthday Singapore! Despite certain ‘drawbacks’ (yeah…you know what I’m talking about) it’s still a pretty good place to call home. Amongst other things, our food is one great reason for us to celebrate being Singaporean. While other people are hanging out their flags or watching the boring parade, I’m going to be celebrating by enjoying all the food that showcases our history and heritage; and displays a culture rich and multi-faceted behind its sterile facade of concrete buildings and rules.

I’m starting with  fish ball noodles, a great favourite with many people in Singapore. Eaten as breakfast (or lunch or dinner) fishball noodles have their place in the cuisine of Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, China and wherever Chinese culinary influence is found in Thailand, the Philippines and Vietnam. It is most likely the fishballs themselves originated from the coastal regions of southern China.

My favourite breakfast fishball noodle stall is in a market in Toa Payoh. The double storey one between Lorong 1 and Lorong 2.

Fishballs and fishcake over thin wheat noodles. Big, round and white, they’re just inviting you to bite into them.

The fishballs are pillowy soft and have a ‘bounce’ when you bite into them. The noodles are tossed in a mouth-watering mix of chilli, vinegar, oyster sauce and a dash of cooked oil.

Traditionally, fishballs are made by pounding fish paste till smooth then mixing with some flour and boiling till light and bouncy. Besides fishballs, this stall serves the noodles with fried shallots, minced pork, a prawn ball and a meat ball. At $2.50 a bowl, it’s pretty decent

The picture below isn’t a dish from the same stall, but it shows one key ingredient of any fishball noodle dish…lard…adds another fragrant dimension altogether.

The guy who serves them remembers me whenever I visit every 6 months or so. His customer service is gold in my book!

On a seperate note, the next 2 months are my chance to eat as much as I can of my crazy island home before I leave it for another cuisine altogether. So fasten your uZap slimming belts and get ready for an eating adventure of Singaporean proportions! (which, judging by the way many of us eat, is the same as saying epic proportions)

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About Mizdee

Food, food, food. Apart from love, it's the other thing that makes the world go round. When I'm sad it's a comfort, when I'm happy it's a celebration and when I'm not hungry, it's just greediness. But hey! Why not? Life is short too pass up a good meal.

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