From delish spreads to spicy sauces, we give you the lowdown on the best Singaporean condiments.
Singapore is synonymous with food. From kaya toast and laksa to nasi lemak and prata, you’ll never run out of options for a satisfying meal. And if you’re a true connoisseur of local food, you’ll know that condiments essentially tie a dish together. Can you imagine inhaling a plate of chicken rice without the piquant garlic chilli and dark soya sauce? Neither can we! So spice up your kitchen pantry with local condiments that will add a little razzle-dazzle to your homecooked meals. And for sugar fiends, we’ve also included sweet spreads with a local twist.
Local condiments you need: Savoury sauces and spices
Final Destination by Mofo Chili
Described as a “smouldering choice for the fearless”, this sauce is made with heaps of fragrant chillies and doesn’t contain any nasty preservatives. At level 10, it ranks the highest on a scale of spiciness for its product range, so be mindful if you’re using it as a marinade for your meats or dip. Oh, and it’s also halal, vegan and keto-friendly.
Crispy Prawn Chilli by Tean’s Gourmet
Despite its slightly pungent smell, we’re officially hooked on the crispy prawn chilli dip. Aside from its tolerable spiciness and balance of sweetness, the crispy prawn bits make it absolutely moreish and a real treat when paired with simple dishes. Or you can easily zhoosh up a plate of fried rice with this firecracker.
Available at Ntuc FairPrice and Shopee
Pumpkin Black Pepper Dressing by Mekhala Living
Forget mayonnaise. This pumpkin dressing is just as creamy and boasts a peppery taste. A perfect fuss-free substitute for pasta sauce if you’re feeling lazy. Made from beta carotene-laden pumpkins, the dressing contains no artificial preservatives, colours or flavours. It’s also gluten-free.
Available at Isetan Scotts
Sambal Hijau by Shermay’s Singapore Fine Food
Traditionally known as ‘cabe ijo’ in Indonesia, sambal hijau is a punchy, garlicky green chilli sauce usually served with nasi padang. Green chilli sauces aren’t exactly familiar to local eaters, so be prepared to be surprised by its complex flavours. It goes particularly well with fried chicken, stir-fried plates and rice dishes.
Five Spice Blend by Anthony The Spice Maker
This herbs and spices emporium is a one-stop-shop for all your pantry needs. Heck, it even has spice blends for chilli crab, laksa and fish head curry. But our eyes are on the five spice blend, a versatile ingredient made of fennel, cinnamon, clove, star anise and Sichuan pepper. This spice is a mainstay in Chinese cooking; you can use it as a rub for meats or add it to stir-fries and stews.
Black Garlic Butter by Slake
Life isn’t all about spicy food. Change things up with this garlic butter that adds a rich, creamy dimension to your grilled meats (and even vegetables). What’s the secret? Well, you’ll be surprised to know it’s only made of four ingredients: Butter, black garlic, dark soy sauce and pepper. You can even have it on your morning toast to shake things up.
Premium Dark Soya Sauce by Kwong Woh Hing Sauce Factory
It’s no secret that one of the cornerstones of Asian cuisine is soya sauce. A splash of this thick dark sauce gives any dish a deep umami flavour, especially if you’re making slow-cooked stews or braised meats. Kwong Woh Hing Sauce Factory has been around the block since 1943, so you can be sure its soya sauces are top notch. And these folks don’t rely on MSG to give us that instantly recognisable flavour.
Sambal Bajak by Violet Oon Singapore
If we’re talking about spicy sauces, it’s only natural that Violet Oon’s spicy creations make the list. Enter sambal bajak, a potent chilli relish flavoured with shallots, belacan (shrimp-based sambal) and garlic. Just a dollop of this local condiment will add a much-needed kick to dishes like fried tofu with tempeh, seafood and meats.
Curry Powder ‘C’ by Hela Spice
A ubiquitous spice in Indian cuisine, curry powder is a must-have in your pantry. Just sprinkle a dash on meats, vegetables and even salads. You’ll get a strong robust flavour of turmeric, ginger and caraway. Here’s a pro tip: To truly enjoy the full flavours, save it for slow-cooker meals so the spices can release their flavours over a long period of time. Or use it to coat your meats and leave them to marinate for a day.
Local condiments you need: Sweet spreads
Ginger Garden Marmalade by Straits Preserves
A spoonful of this marmalade transports you to the Ginger Garden of Singapore Botanic Gardens. It combines the three Zingiberaceae ginger species that grow there. Coupled with turmeric, cardamom and citrusy notes, it’s wonderfully fragrant. We suggest you warm it up before drizzling it over cold yoghurt for a delicious contrast or bring out its flavours by pairing it with your favourite cheese.
Saffron Kaya by Ujong Gourmet
This ain’t your average coconut kaya. The typically creamy flavours of coconut jam are lifted up by the clean and earthy notes of Spanish saffron, while wild honey accentuates its sweetness. The perfect accompaniment to French toast, if you ask us.
Available at Isetan Scotts
Traditional Kaya by Ya Kun Kaya Toast
Up your basic brekkie game with this bottle of original goodness by the pioneering kaya maestros of Ya Kun Kaya Toast. This age-old concoction is deliciously eggy and boasts a heavenly pandan flavour.
Available at Ya Kun Kaya Toast outlets
Just add any of these to your pantry for more flavourful meals!