When I first stepped foot in Singapore back in 2014, the enigmatic charm of the city caught on to me immediately. I always tell my family and friends back in Italy that there is something very distinct about this place which is nearly impossible to find anywhere else in the world.
Singapore is the ultimate hub for every aspiring soul who is eager to experience an unconventional lifestyle. So, if you haven’t yet visited this wonderful city, you’re probably missing out on a lot of adventures.
This “Little Red Dot”, as my local friends love to call home-sweet-home, can offer way more than you can imagine. The essence of the city, along with the extraordinarily modern, extremely well thought out city plan, and an exciting and invigorating buzz, creates the perfect combination of traditions and newness.
In the words of Victoria about ‘The Lion City”
In between the skyscrapers lie colourful buildings and cultural enclaves, and the high-rises themselves are punctuated by gorgeous gardens and waterways
Is that all? Oh no! Singapore takes pride in its overwhelming range of delicious street food and lip-smacking cuisines that are bound to make anyone a loyal foodie out here. From the city’s hawker centers to Michelin-starred restaurants, there is no place on Earth that can get any closer to Singapore.
Think of any Cuisine, and I can assure you that there will be at least one restaurant serving it. Just take a walk around the skyscrapers, and here you are surrounded by plenty of charming eateries: Chinese, Indian, Thai, Vietnamese, Malay, Indonesian, Korean, Japanese, Italian, Western, Brazilian…and even Mongolian barbecues for meat lovers!
When you ask locals about their ultimate favorite meal, the vast majority of Singaporeans, especially Chinese Singaporeans, will straightaway tell you that their favorite is Hainanese chicken rice, also known as Chicken rice. For those who have not heard about it before, this is a very popular dish over here, and it can be found almost anywhere: from hawker stalls, to franchised outlets and even in higher end restaurants. It’s a tasty yet reasonably priced meal, and the go-to choice if you are looking for a simple meal.
Another popular option that goes well at any time and day of the year is the fried rice.
Fried rice is my personal choice whenever I need a happy food to cheer my mood up. It’s a simple meal, but if wisely done, It can be really tasty as well.
Now, as a very general rule a simple meal can become delicious only under a single circumstance: the quality of every single ingredient is outstanding. If this does not happen – the whole meal will be a big disaster!
Claire is a good friend of Timperio and she’s extremely passionate about cooking, and the entire world of food/healthy nutrition in general. She’s a Singaporean Chinese – and when I asked about her secret to her delicious fried rice, she simply said:
Look, you want to know the true secret of this dish? Well, it’s simply hidden in its name: Fried – Rice. In other words, Fry with an exceptional cooking oil, and use a good rice.
That’s what she wrote when I asked her to articulate her thoughts.
Healthier can be Tastier
For many years I have been cooking “fusion” dishes- a mix of Western and Oriental cuisines, due to my partner being Italian, and me being Singaporean Chinese. One thing I do daily is to use extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) in all my cooking as I love how it adds a different layer of flavor to many typical Singaporean dishes, while making them healthier.
Chinese food is often known to be oily and unhealthy due to many dishes being fried at high temperatures or with large amounts of oil.
In order to ensure that the meals you prepare are not overly high in unhealthy saturated fats, it is important to use oils with a high smoke point to reap the health benefits inherent in the oil such as extra virgin olive oil omega 3.
Not only does EVOO offer this, the proven health benefit of consuming EVOO is another reason to incorporate it into your daily cooking.
In Chinese cooking, sesame oil features quite prominently in many dishes, and my advice is to start replacing it with healthy extra virgin olive oil
In this series of home-style Chinese recipes, we provide a healthier and tastier alternative in the form of EVOO, which serves to enhance the traditional flavors of some of our most favorite Singaporean dishes.
We recommend trying out some of your favourite choices with Timperio EVOO.
Just use it for frying or drizzle on top of finished dishes for a refreshing and unique taste experience!
What is Fried Rice?
Fried rice is an easy-to-make dish found in many Asian cuisines. I often cook fried rice when I have leftover rice from the day before, or when I’m short of time. What I love about fried rice is that it can be different every time as you can add any of your favorite ingredients to the dish.
Whenever I cook rice, I never fail to use EVOO. Whether it is adding 2-3 tablespoons to the cooked rice or frying rice with EVOO, I love how the rice absorbs the flavor and fragrance of the oil, making it fluffier and tastier!
Let me share my own fried rice recipe.
Home-cooking a Healthy Vegetarian Fried Rice
Cooking time: 10-15 min
Serves: 4 people
Extra Virgin Olive Oil – 4 tablespoons of Timperio Gentile or Timperio Nobile
400 g cooked brown rice
Onion – 1 large, sliced
Spring onions – 4 stalks
Tofu – 250 g, firm
Eggs – 3 medium
Salt, pepper, chilli powder to taste
Fresh coriander leaves – 1 sprig
Heat oil in a medium sized wok and fry sliced onions until soft, but not brown
Add tofu and fry until golden brown (about 2 minutes)
Push ingredients aside and crack eggs in, breaking up the yolks
When eggs are almost set, stir and add rice in
Continue frying over high heat until well mixed (about 5 minutes)
Add spring onions and seasoning
Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and 1 tablespoon EVOO if you wish.
For meat-eaters, replace the tofu in the fried rice with any meat of your choice (e.g. 250 g prawns, cooked and peeled).
For super food lovers, replace Timperio Gentile with Timperio Organic bio/oil, and drizzle a few drops of Timperio Truffle olive oil, to have an extra dose of natural antioxidants in your meal.
If you feel like heading out to eat, for me the best fried rice in Singapore can be found at Din Tai Fung (various outlets across the island) where they have their famous fried rice of different varieties, including vegetarian and non-vegetarian options.
For a cheaper option, I can recommend a hawker stall “Chinatown Special” at Chinatown Complex Market Blk 335 Smith Street, where they are known for their Yang Zhou fried rice.