I am Singaporean. It may explain a lot about my queueing habits and my obsession with getting value for money, but being Singaporean is more than that. Political stability – and we shall not discuss the specifics of politics here – have allowed me to use my little red passport to travel just about anywhere I’d like to in this world, and the mishmash of cultures and languages have allowed me a better food knowledge, exposure and understanding than I would have if I was born anywhere else.

So in celebration of Singapore’s 49th year of independence – after first being a British colony and then part of neighbouring Malaysia – I present to you some light Singapore-themed reading, to put you in the celebratory mood.

Stories from my childhood

From top: Chee Cheong Fun, Fried Yam Cake, Fried Carrot Cake
From top: Chee Cheong Fun, Fried Yam Cake, Fried Carrot Cake

My childhood was quite food-centric, with parents who not only enjoyed all food, but also enjoyed sharing and educating me about what I was about to put in my mouth. From being schlepped to music class, to attending the childcare/kindergarten at my mother’s workplace, every memory can be triggered by a smell or a taste. Read my favourite memories of Singapore here.

 Singapore Day 2013

Bowl of Kway Chap

Yes yes there seems to be a hoo-ha every year where there is Singapore Day. Singapore Day is a free event for Singaporeans residing overseas with their families to enjoy local delights that they might miss. Translation? If you carry the red passport, they want to lure you back in Singapore. Now most people don’t read past ‘free event’ and assume that anyone can attend – which I’m sure would cause absolute chaos seeing as how all the food, entertainment, and goody bags were also free. Either way, I appreciate the effort of the Singaporean government to convince us why we should go home, and you can read all about what happened at Singapore Day 2013 here!

Hainanese Chicken Rice

A plate of fragrant rice cooked in chicken stock, garlic and ginger is served with delicately poached chicken that's cut into thick slices. Cuts of cucumber garnish the blue plate.

Hainanese Chicken Rice – a Singaporean dish invented by immigrant Hainanese chefs back in the day – is a basic local staple, but involves a LOT of work. If you feel up to the challenge, why not try making it at home! I’ve written recipes for both the roast chicken version and the poached chicken version. How’s that for a bit of weekend cooking?

Singaporean Foods You Should Try

Bak Chor Mee

As multicultural as Sydney is, there are actually Singaporean foods that I miss dearly, that I can’t seem to find here! So I’ve made this list of must-try foods if you visit Singapore. Read my list of Singaporean foods to try here!

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