Singapore Stir-Fry: a Cheap Hostel Meal

Cooking in hostels isn’t always easy but it is always worth it! In Singapore, we stayed at the Green Kiwi Backpackers in Bugis.  Which was only a short walk from Little India home of massive fresh food and wet market.

Lingo: Wet Market, is where people kill (usually) and butcher your meat in the one place, making it the freshest meat around.  It often looks quite intense with flies buzzing around, but you will notice that there isn’t much of a smell – which is because all of the meat is fresh and is sold before it has a chance to go off. A great place to pick up a fresh and delicious piece of meat.

Often when you are travelling the dishes you sample are meat or fish-based with little vegetables in them, so after a long day of sight-seeing, I was craving some vegetables.  I had also made plans to catch up with some friends that evening, so thought that it might be nice for me to cook for them instead of hitting the tourists restaurants. I needed to do something quick and easy, that was jam-packed full of veggies – how can you beat a Singapore Stor-Fry. It was about 4 pm and I could see that a storm was about to hit so my mission quickly became – get to Little India ASAP!

Singapore Stir-fry Chicken and Vegetables4

Once there and safe and dry inside the giant fresh food market I took my time browsing the stalls (the rain was going to last for at least 30 minutes). Singaporeans have similar hours to the Mediterranean, so there weren’t many people about at that time of day.  The place was packed when I had passed it earlier in the day and I am sure would have been packed again later in the afternoon.

I grabbed one of the basket bowls and began to fill it up with vegetables and herbs, very quickly I had a small mound of vegetables that felt like it was enough to feed a small army. Hesitantly, I looked at my bowl to see if there were any veggies I could cull to reduce the cost, but they all looked too delicious. I handed my basket to the man running the stall who quickly counted up my ingredients and said – “$6!”

I quickly handed over my cash, and rushed away clutching my goodies, so happy at my cheap purchase in a place like Singapore (if you don’t know – Singapore isn’t a cheap backpackers destination). It was only once I had gotten away did I realise that I should have haggled and got them even cheaper… oh well!

Vegetables I got for my $6

  • Onion
  • Chilli
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Coriander
  • Limes
  • Baby eggplant
  • Bok Choy
  • Broccoli
  • Carrot
  • Capsicum
  • Runner beans

Singapore Stir-fry Chicken and Vegetables 3

Back at my hostel I began to chop veggies and prepare my herbs, soon a delicious smell filled the bottom floor of the hostel – causing a number of other guests to walk in and see what I was doing.  It actually shocked me at how many people hadn’t thought to cook up some nice vegetables for themselves…

Singapore Stir-Fry with Vegetables and Chicken Recipe 
  • 1 bunch of coriander
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 3 limes
  • 1 small nub of ginger
  • 2 chilli’s
  • 1 onion
  • As many vegetables, as you fancy – $6 (including all of the above herbs and spices)
  • 2 chicken breasts – $6 (cheaper if you purchase at the wet market)
  • Chop all of your vegetables into bite-sized pieces and put to one side
  • Dice your onion, chilli, coriander and garlic
  • Grate or finely chop the ginger
  • Chop your chicken to bite-sized pieces
  • Put the onion, chilli, garlic and ginger together and then divide in half – out one half with your vegetables and the other half with your chicken and toss.
  • Add oil to a pan and cook your chicken (coated in chilli, garlic, onion and ginger)
  • Remove chicken from pan and cook the vegetables
  • When the vegetables are almost cooked, re-add the chicken and the diced coriander stir through
  • Squeeze through the juice of the limes just before serving
  • Chopping board
  • Large pot or pan
  • Grater or peeler

$12 and feeds 6… so that’s $2 per person!

Cooking Hints for this recipe:
  • Use a peeler to shred the ginger then chop the strands with a knife – not as fine as grating but it gets the job done.
  • If you don’t have any oil add in some soy sauce (which most hostels will have on their share shelf) on a low heat and use that to keep your pan wet, also means you don’t have to add any salt

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