It’s time that we debunk that common myth that you need to be wealthy to eat healthy. Because that’s definitely not true!
We’re here to help if you’re tired of wrecking your brain to find both healthy and affordable meals that go easy on your wallet and on your waistline.
These are 10 picks for affordable and healthy hawker eats below $5:
1. Char Siew Wanton Mee ($3)
I ordered this dish as a takeaway and it tasted just as good as it is eating there. The char siew was lean and tender, and to my surprise, there were more vegetables hidden beneath the noodles. For those who are hungry, I can assure you that this portion is well worth the price that you pay for.
The noodles were springy and smelt delicious when mixed with the dark soy sauce seasoning. I loved how the wanton had great bite because of the lean meats used for the filling.
Yi Ma Rou Li Cheng Ji (168) Mian Jia: #01-53, 416 Bedok North Avenue 2, Singapore 460416 | Opening Hours: 7am – 3pm, Closed on Sundays.
2. Seafood Soup With Rice ($4.50)
The seafood soup from Zhong Hua La Mian Xi Can was chocked full of vegetables and seafood in a flavourful broth. I liked how the soup did not have any traces of oil on its surface, and it was a simple and unpretentious meal.
There were also a good portion of prawns, sliced fish and squid in the gingery soup too. For those who love seafood and want it guilt-free, this is for you.
Zhong Hua La Mian Xi Can: RedHill 75 Food House | #01-94, 75D Redhill Road, Singapore 154075 | Opening hours: 10am – 9.30pm
3. Sliced Fish Porridge ($4)
I usually shy away from fish soup due to its fishy smell, but this particular soup had no trace of that at all. The fish slices were succulent and had a great bite, while the soup had slight hints of bittergourd and was not oily at all.
It made for a hearty meal because of the tasty porridge that was flavoured by the fish broth too. Definitely a great choice if you are looking for a light meal that is both filling and easy to digest.
Zhao Cai Yu Xuan: #01-02, Blk 128 Bedok North Street 2, Singapore 460128 | Opening Hours: 11am – 10pm
4. Thosai ($2)
The thosai from Indian Muslim Food was unlike others that I’ve tried, crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. It went well with the spicy fish curry, and had a filling of seasoned potatoes.
Both the curry and daal did not have any oil floating on the surface and were definitely guilt-free, without compromising on taste. Truly never a daal moment with this dish!
Indian Muslim Food: Fortune Coffee, #01-1745 Blk 122 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 3, Singapore 560122 | Opening Hours: 8am – 9pm
5. Seafood Marinara ($3.90)
This humble seafood pasta was one of my favourites, filled with mussels, crunchy crystal prawns and squid. I would have preferred if the pasta was a little firmer, but the flavours of the dish were delicious enough for me to overlook that. I found myself finishing the entire plate before I knew it!
Even though it was cooked aglio olio style, there was little to no traces of oil leftover on the plate. This definitely gets a two thumbs-up from me. From 12pm – 3pm, this dish is also on their promotional lunch menu at an affordable $3.50.
Bavaria Haus: Fortune Coffee, #01-1745 Blk 122 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 3, Singapore 560122 | Tel: 9833 7486 | Opening Hours: 12nn – 11pm
6. Mee Soto ($3)
This mee soto broth was savoury and peppery, and a large handful of fresh beansprouts ensured that we got our serving of vegetables, along with the hearty yellow noodles. They were generous with the pieces of chicken as well, and it complemented the soup really well.
The fried onions and cilantro enriched the taste of the broth without causing it to turn oily, and for just $3, you can expect to have a full and filling meal, without the guilt!
Mar-sha Family: Mukmin Restaurant, #01-26, Blk 129 Bedok North Street 2, Singapore 460129 | Opening Hours: 7am – 9.30pm
7. Old Cucumber And Pork Ribs Soup ($4)
This soup is perfect for a chilly day, and tasted homemade. I particularly loved the lean and meaty pork ribs, and the old cucumber was melt-in-your-mouth delicious.
If you’re feeling extra hungry, you can order a bowl of rice to accompany your soup. This soup would work great as a side to a main meal, or by itself if you’re looking for a light meal.
Yu Ji Claypot & Stewed Soup: Happy Hawkers by Koufu, #01-2429, Blk 531 Ang Mo Kio Ave 10, Singapore 560531 | Opening hours: 11am – 10pm
8. Braised Duck Porridge ($3.50)
This dish looked seemingly normal upon first glance. Little did I know that all the goodness was hidden beneath that smooth, silky porridge. The braised duck sauce was delicious and the idea of boneless duck in the porridge was really great, because I could just chow down without having to worry about picking out the meat from the bones.
If you’re looking for a light meal, this is your to-go dish as it fills you up and is packed with flavour. Whoever said porridge made a boring meal?
Long House Soon Kee (Boneless) Braised Duck Rice: Happy Hawkers by Koufu, #01-2429, Blk 531 Ang Mo Kio Ave 10, Singapore 560531 | Opening hours: 11am – 10pm
9. Ban Mian ($3)
This bowl of ban mian is the kind of hearty meal that I need. For $3, you’ll get a generous portion of noodles, minced meat, an egg and chye sim.
The soup had a strong chye sim flavour and wasn’t overly salty. I was pretty glad that the soup did not become too starchy and thick, and the noodles had a smooth mouthfeel despite having lesser oil.
Teochew Fish Soup: Blk 66 Toa Payoh Lorong 4, #01-327, Singapore 310066 | Opening Hours: 7.30am – 6pm
10. Ipoh Hor Fun ($2.50)
This flavourful hor fun exceeded my expectations in terms of taste. The portion of rice noodles and shredded chicken were pretty generous for an affordable $2.50, and came with a handful of chye sim as well.
The sauce was very tasty when tossed together with the springy hor fun, and didn’t leave a greasy aftertaste too.
Ka Soh Wonton Mee:Blk 66 Toa Payoh Lorong 4, #01-327, Singapore 310066 | Opening Hours: 5.30am – 2pm
Wherever you are in Singapore, be it a coffeeshop or hawker centre, our tip is to look out for menu items at stalls with the Healthier Choice Symbol next to it. These dishes are generally lower in calories (less than 500 calories) and are equally as tasty. You can treat your wallet right, and have a healthy meal too!
*This post is brought to you in partnership with Singapore Health Promotion Board