Eurasian Cuisine in Singapore

Category: Food Heritage

Eurasian cuisine features a myriad of European and Asian influences, with Portuguese and Malay influences figuring most strongly, owning to the ancestral heritage of the local Eurasian community.

Sugee Cake
Sugee Cake. Source: National Heritage Board

Eurasian recipes are usually passed down orally within the Eurasian community, and are fiercely guarded within families. From flavourful, spicy dishes such as curry feng (spicy curry dish containing minced beef or pork) and curry debal  (chicken in sauce of chilli, vinegar and candlenut), to rich desserts such as sugee cake and kueh kochi (snack made with glutinous rice flour, coconut fillings and palm sugar), Eurasian cuisine is enjoyed by communities both within and beyond the Eurasian community.

Eurasian dishes are often associated with and prepared during celebratory occasions, and holidays related to Christianity, such as Christmas and Easter. The dishes are typically eaten with rice and served in a family setting where a scrumptious feast will laid out.

Notably, curry debal is a staple at Christmas and other special occasions for many Eurasians. Every Eurasian family would have their own version of the dish. Debal means leftovers in Creole-Portugese as the dish would actually be prepared with leftovers. Its main ingredients include babi panggang (roast belly pork) and rempah (a herb and spice paste made from candlenuts, tamarind, mustard seed, onions, vinegar, as well as fresh and dried chilies). Curry debal is also commonly referred to as “Devil’s Curry” because of the “heat” (spiciness) of the dish.

Currently, there are a few established eateries in Singapore that serve Eurasian food such as Quentin’s by Quentin Pereira, Popo and Nana’s Delights.


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