Street Food - Hainanese Curry Rice

August 05, 2012 Ivan Teh - RunningMan 0 Comments

Street Food - Hainanese Curry Rice

Also Known As:
Hainanese Curry Rice, Curry Rice Hainanese, Curry Rice



Average Price Per Serving:
SGD $3 - $8



Description:
Hainanese Curry Rice is a unique Singaporean dish, invented by Hainanese chefs who worked for the Colonial British. A lesser known cousin to Hainanese Chicken Rice, Hainanese Curry Rice can be considered a fusion dish, influenced by the cooking styles of the English, Hainanese, and Nonya / Peranakan.


Essentially, Hainanese Curry Rice consists of plain white rice, slathered in a variety of gravies / sauces, with a variety of different side dishes. Traditionally, there are 4 side dishes consistently associated with Hainanese Curry Rice.

The 4 side dishes normally eaten with Hainanese Curry Rice include:
Chicken Curry / Curry Chicken, which consists of chicken and potatoes boiled in a spicy coconut curry;
Kong Bak / Three Layer Pork Belly, which is pork belly slow braised in a savoury spiced soy sauce;
Chap Chye / Mixed Vegetable Stew, which is a dish of stewed cabbage, mushrooms, cloud ear fungus / black fungus, dried shrimp and cellophane noodles / glass noodles;
and finally Breaded Pork Chop, which is sliced pork covered with a biscuit crumb, and then deep fried till crisp.


Besides these 4 side dishes, a Hainanese Curry Rice stall will usually have a few other side dishes as well. These include spicy stir fried long beans, fried sunny side up eggs, and Lion's Head Meat Ball, made from minced pork and various spices. However, a Hainanese Curry Rice stall will always have lesser variety than a typical Economic Rice And Economic Porridge (Chinese) stall, due to the complexity of preparing its few 'star' dishes.

As for the variety of gravies / sauces slathered over Hainanese Curry Rice, such stalls traditionally use at least 3 types of gravies / sauces. The first is the chicken curry gravy, the second is the braising gravy (Lor) used to braise the pork belly, and the third is the chap chye stew gravy.

Depending on the individual Hainanese Curry Rice stall, the hawker may typically include more than just these 3 usual gravies / sauces. This normally results in a plate of Hainanese Curry Rice looking like it has been drowned / doused in gravy / sauce.

Hainanese Curry Rice is not a visually appealing dish, neither is its description very appetizing. But it is a dish that tastes way better than it looks or sounds.


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Hainanese Curry Rice is a simple, satisfying and easy dish to consume, but extremely time consuming and complex to prepare. Recipies for the various gravies / sauces tend to be closely guarded family secrets. As such, good Hainanese Curry Rice is quite uncommon in Singapore.

These are the top 3 stalls which I feel serve the best Hainanese Curry Rice in Singapore.


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Beach Road Scissor Cut Curry Rice
@ 229 Jalan Besar
Opening Hours: 11am - 3.30am Daily



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Bugis Eleven Fingers (Eukee) Curry Rice / Eleven Fingers Curry Rice
@ 269B Queen Street #01-235
Opening Hours: 10am - 6pm Closed Alt Fri



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Loo's Hainanese Curry Rice
@ 57 Eng Hoon Street #01-88
Opening Hours: 8am - 2pm Closed Alt Thu



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