Sliced Fish Soup
This is the dish that everyone makes a beeline for when you want a healthier and lighter meal, and rightly so. The process of making this dish involves very little oil, as it brings out the natural flavours of the ingredients to make a very tasty broth. The tomatoes add a sweetness but also plenty of nutrition, and there’s also crunchy fibre coming from the other vegetables.
It’s only 180 calories but it’ll go up a little when you add in the carbs like rice or bee hoon, so keep portions smaller if you’re watching your weight. Just make sure that you don’t pick the fried fish option to avoid the fat and slurp a little lesser on the soup to keep sodium levels healthy.
Yong Tau Foo
Disclaimer here: You are what you pick. Yong Tau Foo is a hakka dish that lets you pick out items from a buffet, before cooking them in the style you like. The options are what determine how healthy this dish is so, skip the fried morsels and thick soup bases like laksa. Better yet, skip the carbs by opting out of the rice and noodles that come with it. But if you must, bee hoon is the leanest.
Focus instead on the choice ingredients with the most nutrition. Don’t go looking at the processed sausages and chicken rolls. Featuring vegetables and tofu, these healthiest items are often stuffed with fish to add protein and sweetness. Pick them over the fatty minced meat, and pair it with okra, bitter gourd or eggplants for that fibre boost. If you’re having the soup, don’t finish it all as there’s too much sodium there. And when going dry, dip the sauces sparingly.
READ MORE: Everything You Need To Know About Asian Noodles And Easy Ways To Cook Them
Much like Yong Tau Foo, your health is in your hands with this congee buffet pairing. You’ve got a nice watery bowl of porridge waiting to be flavoured up with some side dishes. Stacked usually in tin containers and lit by overhead lamps, we understand that feeling when you say you wish you could have a little of each.
From steamed fish to lightly stir-fried vegetables, it’s easy to pick out the more nutritious options. Another great thing is you can often request for smaller portions. Just remember to stay away from the fried, battered and saucy options, as delicious as they seem — they are glistening for a fatty reason! If you really must, punch up the flavour with a small side of chilli paste shrimp or stewed peanuts, but sparingly!
READ MORE: Where To Go For Delicious And Comforting Porridge In Singapore
Chinese Herbal Soup
They are not as common as some of the other options listed here, but if you have one of these stalls in your neighbourhood, you’re in luck!
Not only are herbal soups full of nutritious value and low in calories (each serving amounts to roughly 400 calories), they’re delicious and filling, helping to reduce the urge to snack at your desk later on in the day.
Their traditional recipes range from watercress soup and black chicken soup, to the more pared down lotus root soup and ABC soup (that has pork ribs, carrots, potatoes and tomatoes). You’ll find invigorating ingredients like red dates, goji berries and the occasional medicinal root fortifying the brew, but just the fact that it is slow-cooked is already a win. The method draws out the natural goodness and every sip is a health-booster.
READ MORE: Top 8 TCM Ingredients That Are Great For Your Skin
What’s better than sitting down to a lunch of hearty noodles, minced meat, egg and vegetables? Look for ban mian served in a clear soup base. Thick, cloudy soups are often rich in sodium and fat content.
Braised Duck Porridge
Who says that porridge is boring? While the generous amount of sauce often drizzled over this dish can make it seem like a huge no-go when trying to eat healthily, you can always ask for less gravy. What’s left is a nutritious meal of lean duck meat with silky porridge. Yum.
Thunder Tea Rice
Without a doubt, this is as healthy as you can get. Another traditional recipe, you’ll find various diced vegetables dressed on top of your rice. This usually includes cabbage, leek, spinach, long beans, and chye sim (Chinese cabbage). Think of it like a hakka bibimbap.
Before you think it too boring, there’re lively flavours coming from the chye po (preserved radish), tofu, peanuts and fried ikan bilis (anchovies). There’s also a fragrant soup made of basil, mint, green tea (thus the name), mugwort and coriander to accompany the main bowl.
There’s enough fibre to complete a third of your required intake, but you can add to that with brown rice options, which also brings in antioxidants and vitamins.
For lovers of spicy and savoury flavours, mee soto is a simple dish that packs a punch with noodles made of flour, salt and egg. Ask for extra bean sprouts, so you get a good dose veggies, and don’t finish the soup as that’s where the sodium content is highest.
Stuffed full of delicious vegetables, peanuts, eggs and served with chili, each one of these popular spring roll snacks amounts to only 142 calories each! These filling little gems are great for takeaways, especially when you’re too busy to sit down for a proper plate of food.