Yahoo Singapore readers' most searched food and drinks in 2021

·Lifestyle Editor
·4-min read

Singaporeans love our food, and many of us are self-professed foodies. When the pandemic hit, one of the enduring topics commonly brought up is how to preserve our hawker heritage. Light was also shed on non tech-savvy elderly hawkers who struggled with reaching consumers during these two years.

It's probably difficult to choose the top item from a long list of food available in Singapore, but if online searches are any indication of favouritism, then these data will tell you what Singaporean's favourite (or at least top searched) food are!

We delved deep into our data this year and here are the top 10 food and drinks related searches, according to Yahoo readers in Singapore.

1. Nasi Lemak

Nasi lemak is a Malay fragrant rice dish cooked in coconut milk and pandan leaf. A common dish in Malaysia and considered to be the national dish.
Nasi lemak is a Malay fragrant rice dish cooked in coconut milk and pandan leaf. (Photo: Getty Images)

The top search term for 2021 is Nasi Lemak, and part of us wonder if it's because of the news of a Telegram group named SG Nasi Lemak distributing obscene materials that dominated news for a while, or if it's the powerful draw of the piquant dish.

Think fragrant coconut and pandan rice, proteins of choice whether fried or in rendang form such as fish, chicken, beef, add an otak-otak and egg, sprinkle peanuts and ikan bilis and pull it all together with a dollop of sambal. Okay, we think it's the latter after all.

Coincidentally, nasi lemak is also the top 5 most searched food of our Malaysian counterpart!

2. Bak kut teh

Bak Kut Teh or Bakut is pork rib dish cooked in broth served in Malaysia and Singapore. Herbal Bak Kut Teh from Singapore.
Bak Kut Teh or Bakut is pork rib dish cooked in broth served in Malaysia and Singapore. (PHOTO: Getty Images)

Which do you prefer? The herbal bah kut teh or the peppery version? There's no right or wrong answer, because it's all good in the eye (or the tastebuds) of the beholder. The ones found in Singapore tend to be more peppery, and for rainy weather, it's truly the perfect comfort food.

Oh, if you haven't already, check out this article where Bruce and Chef Bob reviewed a halal bah kut teh stall in Circuit Road.

3. Bubble Tea

milk tea or thai tea or bubble tea , Thai milk tea and iced coffee
Bubble tea. (PHOTO: Getty Images)

I have waxed lyrical about my love for bubble tea, here and here, and many times over my entire career in Yahoo. So, am I even mildly surprised bubble tea is within the top 10 most searched food item in Singapore? Nope!

4. Satay

satay or in English satay is a typical Indonesian and Malaysian food, usually made from beef or chicken cut into small pieces in such a way then skewered using bamboo or sticks and grilled, and served with peanut sauce.
Satay is usually made from beef or chicken, cut into small pieces, then skewered through bamboo sticks and grilled, and served with peanut sauce. (Photo: Getty Images)

These umami-laden savoury pieces of meat, grilled over charcoal and served with savoury peanut sauce, flanked traditionally by onions, ketupat and sometimes pineapple hit all the right spots. It is, after all, the food that was disputed and widely discussed after a short cameo on Crazy Rich Asian!

5. Popiah

Chinese traditional popiah with vegetables. Popular Chinese fresh popiah in Singapore and Malaysia.
Chinese traditional popiah with vegetables. (PHOTO: Getty Images)

It looks unassuming, but the Chinese traditional popiah is packed to the brim with stewed turnip, radish, hei bi (dried shrimps), peanut, sweet sauce, chilli and more, depending on the recipe. Regardless, it's a popular dish that has been around for very long.

6. Hokkien Mee

On a passing whim, I thought that I wanted to try Hokkien Mee at a hawker when I dropped by wet market. This food stall had a long line. I thought that it would be a very popular food stall and my guess was right. It was tastry. I like the wrapping paper for take away. It is not packed in plastic container but wrapped by paper, which is kind of retro style. Also this is good in terms of Sustainability
Hokkien Mee in a takeaway packaging, which can double up as plate from which one eats from. (Photo: Getty Images)

When you say Hokkien Mee in Singapore, people might either think of the one filled with prawns and other seafood, or the one slathered with soy sauce. The latter is a tze-char favourite while the former is a hawker favourite. Both are worth their weight in salt.

7. Carrot Cake

Pouring black soy sauce on ready-to-eat delicious turnip cake, Chinese traditional local dish radish cake in restaurant, close up, copy space.
Chinese traditional local dish radish cake (Photo: Getty Images)

Like the popiah, this dish consists primarily of turnips as well as other additions, but it's usually steamed before being fried to perfection.

8. Laksa

Close up shot of ready-to-eat Singaporean laksa at hawker centre.
Close up shot of ready-to-eat Singaporean laksa at hawker centre. (PHOTO: Getty Images)

High in calories, also high on people's search terms; the laksa is a noodle dish usually served with a thick lemak gravy. It's a heavenly combination, but are usually associated with being heavier on the palate.

9. Chilli crab

An iconic Singaporean seafood dish: chilli mud crab in a spicy tomato gravy, at a famous seafood chain restaurant by the coast.
An iconic Singaporean seafood dish: chilli mud crab in a spicy tomato gravy. (Photo: Getty Images)

The iconic chilli crab is lower on the list than I would have expected, but this mud crab in a spicy tomato gravy does not usually disappoint!

10. Hainanese chicken rice

Chicken and rice, there's really very little things that can go wrong with that combination. There are several types of chicken rice in Singapore, but Yummy! producer Bruce explains it better.

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