Singapore: Nonya Cuisine

Another cuisine unique to the culinary playground that is Singapore is Nonya (or Peranakan or Nyonya cuisine) a mix of Chinese techniques and Malaysian spaces a product of marriages between Chinese workers and local Malays in the early days of Singapore’s history.

Possibly the most famous Peranakan dish is Laksa Lemak, which we sampled in a hawker market in Chinatown. Hawker Markets are basically giant food courts (either open-air or inside) with tons of stalls specializing in different cuisines and sometimes different foods. We enjoyed our Laksa in a hawker market in Singapore’s Chinatown, which was also the site of our first Durian encounter.

Laksa is quintessentially Singaporean and Malaysian and is a spicy seafood curry, and one of the most popular Nonya dishes. The primary ingredients are coconut milk, chili paste and shrimp, though depending on where you get your laksa you might get a dish with the addition of blood or cuttlefish. Rasa Malaysia has a recipe for Laska, as does Top Hat, a famous KL eatery.

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