Street food is known across Asia and the Middle East for its intense spices, delicious flavours and rich quality. Although most of these sensory overloads is the result of the delicate blend of spices and herbs, it’s also often the calorie dense creams, fatty meats and simple carbohydrates added to the dish.
Delicious meals with calorie levels to take you WAY over your daily recommended intake. You can train as hard as you’d like but you can never out train a bad diet.
Making a point to make most of the meals you consume at home is a great way to easily manage your daily intake and weight loss goals…but! If you’re a hawker centre fiend, or street food fanatic, there are a number of options you can choose that are light on your waistline but packed with flavour.
We’ve tried, tested and tallied up the best street food for your tastebuds and waistline! Here are the GuavaPass top 6 healthy street food/hawker centre options:
1. Wonton Mee (Dry)
Minced pork dumplings (boiled), noodles, sliced pork, chye sim and gravy
At 411 kcal per serving, this lunch is packed with protein (which you can bring up by asking for more veggies). This yummy and very popular dish is a great option for someone watching their weight – asking for less gravy as well will bring down the sodium and sugar levels.
- Protein: 19g
- Fat: 12g
- Carbs: 55
2. Thunder Tea Rice
Brown rice, vegetables, radish, tofu peanuts, assorted toppings
The traditional Thunder Tea Rice is a crowd favourite at a lot of hawker centres, and is also on the lighter side at 430 calories per serving. The meal consists of white or brown rice topped with chopped veggies, radish, tofu, peanuts and fried ikan bilis. It’s served alongside a green soup packed with a load of vitamins and minerals being made from green tea, basil, mint, mugwort and coriander. Thunder Tea Rice is a high fibre dish which you can make even healthier by opting for brown rice to lower carbs, and another serving of tofu to increase protein.
- Protein: 12 g
- Carbs: 42 g
- Fat: 10 g
3. Sliced Fish Bee Hoon Soup
Noodles, fish, vegetables, broth
Steamed or seared fish with rice noodles in (usually) a clear broth – you can’t really go wrong with this option. The lean protein source and deep green vegetables will keep you fuelled all day long, plus the 8g of fat per serving is mainly from all those amazing fish Omega-3s. Although the clear broth will help you clear up what ever cold you might have, the sodium levels in this dish is the only issue as they are quite high. At 349 calories, this meal is a perfect choice with a generous serving of carbs, fat and protein.
- Protein: 22 g
- Carbs: 48 g
- Fat: 8 g
Lentils, rice, assorted sides
This Indian fermented crepe is a very easy and healthy option for a snack or as a light meal for a number of reasons, one mainly being its low calorie level compared to its nutrient content. Per serving, you’re looking at around 162 calories from the dish made of lentil and rice batter. The high fat content is predominantly from the sides that are paired with the Indian dish, but this can be reduced depending on what you chose – opt for chickpeas, stewed vegetables or a lean meat as your addition. The fermented lentils in this dish is also extremely beneficial to your gut health and digestive system.
- Protein: 5 g
- Carbs: 22 g
- Fat: 6 g
5. Chicken/Beef satay
Meat, soy sauce, curry powder, salt, spices
Across Asia, there is always a stall or cart which will be selling some type of skewered meat. Although you should be weary about the marinated options, and the heavy sauces served on the side, these skewers are pure protein. It’s going to be a bit difficult to find chicken breast here or lean beef, but in saying that, the chicken thigh and beef rump are a far better fat source than other oil-fried street food option. Chicken satays in a light marinade is around 120 calories, and beef options can be as low as 100 calories.
- Protein: 11g
- Carbs: 3g
- Fat: 9g
- Protein: 20g
- Carbs: 4g
- Fat: 8g
Rice noodles, clear broth, vegetables, beef/chicken
One of the best things about Pho is it’s clear broth and light taste. This means the meat usually used is a leaner chicken or beef cut, or more commonly, seared tofu. Pho is a high protein, low fat and high nutrient crowd favourite in hawker centres and market stalls across Asia. For a normal serving (of 1.5 cups of chicken Pho) this dish is between 350-420 calories, depending on the meat option you choose.
- Protein: 25g
- Carbs: 58g
- Fat: 6g