Hawker food unifies Singapore’s diverse threads. It expresses our multiculturalism, and offers variety and customisation.
Hawker businesses and recipes in Singapore are usually handed down from generation to generation, and this cultural lineage makes it a food experience that’s globally unique. Simple fishball noodles can taste completely different from another stall’s fishball noodles, with stalls from different cultural groups standing side-by-side with honour.
There really is a lot to love about Singaporean hawker food.
But… meat is a staple in many hawker dishes. Thankfully for vegetarians and vegans, this is where Quorn products come in. Quorn ensures you never miss out on Singaporean staples, no matter how ‘meaty’ they are. Quorn is a brand that’s been dedicated to helping food lovers experience a wide range of irresistibly tasty meals since 1985, and finally it’s available in Singapore.
Here’s where you can shop for Quorn products, and here are some examples of when and how you can use Quorn to make your own favourite hawker dishes that traditionally contain meat.
Chicken rice is undoubtedly one of the nation’s favourite dishes, and there’s few hawker centres that don’t sell it.
A daily favourite consumed by the majority of Singaporeans, the love and pride of chicken rice is second to none. Make your chicken and rice a meat-free version by following this recipe, and replacing the chicken stock with vegetable stock and the chicken with Quorn Fillets. Our succulent Quorn fillets are quick to cook and are perfect for when you have more hungry mouths to feed than minutes to spare.
Ban Mian may look like a humble dish, but the delicious broth paired with some chilli padi means there’s never a drop left in the bowl! Easy homemade flat egg noodles are served in anchovy-based stock and served with mince pork, fried anchovies and poached egg.
To make it meat-free at home, follow this recipe and swap out the minced pork for Quorn Mince, and the anchovies for either kalamata olives or umeboshi, which both have a salty, oily texture. Brilliantly versatile, Quorn Mince is a great source of protein and is low in saturated fat.
Nasi Briyani is a hugely popular dish at local hawker centres, with the Singaporean version being quite different to the traditional Indian biryani dish. The wonderful aroma, the tender meat served on fragrant rice, a delicious thickened gravy… yum!
Bak Chor Mee
Singapore’s bak chor mee sits at the top of the world’s best street food list and is undoubtedly a favourite at hawker centres. A flavourful meal with an array of textures, bak chor mee is a must-try.
Imagine chewy and bouncy noodles tossed with savoury, tangy, spicy seasoning, topped with braised mushrooms, pork and pork lard. Make your pork-free version at home by following this recipe, and adding ghee instead of pork lard and Quorn Mince instead of pork mince.
Bak Kut Teh
Nothing is more comforting than a heavenly bowl of bak kut teh. Whether herbal-based or peppery in flavour, bak kut teh is packed with flavour and is hugely fragrant, drawing people into hawker centres from miles away.
While traditionally a pork bone soup, bak kut teh can be made vegetarian style by following this recipe and by adding Quorn Meat-Free Pieces or tofu. Quorn is higher in protein than tofu (gram for gram it has double the amount), low in saturated fat, and just one portion contains 7g of fibre – more than a quarter of our 30g daily target. This makes Quorn pieces the healthier alternative to tofu.
Up until the late 1970s, satay was a BIG thing in Singapore. The ‘Satay Men’ (street hawkers who would travel around with their portable charcoal grill) were commonplace. Today, satay is one of the most loved hawker dishes in the world, and while it may be thought of as a Malaysian or Indonesian dish, Singaporeans definitely know how to make a great satay. C
hoose from beef, mutton, lamb or chicken, or make your own vegetarian version at home by following this recipe. Quorn’s Swedish Style Balls are tender, juicy, and extremely delicious when wrapped in this peanutty sauce.
Most likely influenced by Hong Kong cuisine, wanton mee has become entrenched in Singaporean culture over the years. The Singaporean version is typically eaten ‘dry’, drenched with some light sweet sauce, slices of pork char siew, and wanton dumplings filled with pork. A small bowl of soup is often served on the side.
Make your own delicious version at home using this recipe and swap out the pork char siew for Quorn char siew (recipe here), and in the wontons swap out the pork mince for Quorn meat-free mince and the prawns for vegan prawns.
A rich and creamy Nonya curry should always be cooked in double quantity. That’s because it tastes amazing the next day! Nonya curry is all about the rempah (spice paste), so get that right and you simply can’t go wrong. The ingredients that make it extra flavourful are blue ginger, belachan, cinnamon, clove and curry leaves.
Char Kway Teow
When it comes to stir fried noodles in Singapore, one of the ultimate local favorites is char kway teow - a dish of flat wide rice noodles, stir fried with egg, dark soy sauce, shrimp paste, a bit of chili, and some Chinese sausage and blood cockles to finish it off.
Make char kway teow at home with this recipe and replace:
● Chinese sausage with delicious Quorn Sausages
● fish cakes with Quorn Fishless Fingers
● cockles with straw mushrooms
● 2 tablespoons light soy sauce and 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce for the cockle juice
● ½ teaspoon light soy sauce and ½ teaspoon dark soy sauce for the fish sauce.
The roti john is an omelette sandwich founded by a Malay-born who lived in Singapore during the British colonial times. It is now popular in present-day Malaysia and Indonesia as street food. This recipe will show you how to make a roti john the Singaporean way - all you have to do is swap out the ground lamb for Quorn Hot and Spicy Burgers.
Always an alternative with Quorn
The Singapore hawker scene is a melting pot of cuisines, incorporating a rich heritage of food dishes consisting of Chinese, Indian, Malaysian and Indonesian influences. The food is mouth-wateringly good, but quite often meat-based. If you don’t want to miss out, Quorn is your new best friend. Quorn might not be true to the heritage of hawker food but it sure is a delicious and healthy alternative that’s quick and easy to prepare.
Being vegetarian or vegan in a food paradise like Singapore might not be easy, but it’s absolutely doable if you’re committed. Buoyed by a global trend, vegan and vegetarian dishes are becoming easier to find and the above examples can easily be made at home with Quorn. Go on - give it a try!
Browse the full range of Quorn flavours and textures and take a look at our mouth-watering recipe collection. Quorn makes a great alternative beyond hawker food too!