Have you ever wondered if there is any difference between the food from island countries? Taiwanese food and Singaporean food are the two main characters that we will discuss today in this article.
Read on to find out the differences and similarities between these Asian cuisines so that you can know which kind of food best suits your taste buds.
Taiwan is a small island country that is located in the east of Asia.
The country shares maritime borders with China, Japan, and the Philippines on different sides.
As a result, Taiwanese cuisine is similar to Chinese style, but it also resembles Japanese and Filipino flavors.
Taiwanese food is known for their rice and noodle dishes such as beef noodle soups, rice cake, and fried pig intestines served with rice.
Other popular dishes are oyster omelet, braised pork ribs in soy sauce or five spice powder, stinky tofu, red bean soup and milk tea for desserts.
Thanks to the country’s access to the sea, they also have many seafood dishes that make use of saltwater fish, crab, shrimp, clam, and oyster.
Some staple spices that are widely used in Taiwanese cooking are rice wine, soy sauce, fermented fish sauce, sesame oil, pickles, basil, and green onion.
Singapore is another small island in South Asia which has been independent since 1965.
Since the majority are ethnic Chinese, Singaporean food is heavily influenced by Chinese cuisine, as well as Malaysian, Indian, and British cuisines due to the long time being colonized by this country.
The cuisine is rich and diverse, from world-famous dishes such as Hainanese chicken rice to laksa soup and chili crab.
In general, Singaporean food is heavier on seafood than meat.
Their food is bolder in flavor with the use of dried chilies, garlic, lemongrass, ginger, turmeric, paprika, and cumin to name a few.
Besides some staple condiments in Chinese cuisine like fish sauce or soy sauce, Singaporeans also use other seasonings from Malaysian cultures like shrimp paste, tamarind, coconut milk, and candlenuts.
There are some key differences that we need to take a look at to compare Singaporean food and Taiwanese food:
Singaporean cuisine has been influenced by Malaysian, Indian, and British cuisine, while Taiwanese cuisine is influenced by Japanese cuisine
The first one is how other cuisines have influenced Singaporean food and Taiwanese food.
Both cuisines have been influenced by Chinese cuisine, however, they are also shaped by other surrounding cultures.
For example, Taiwanese dishes resemble Japanese and Korean flavors, while Singaporean food is more like Malaysian and Indian food, or partially influenced from Britain, in which Singapore was the colony of this country for a long period of time in the past.
This difference also results in some special characteristics in each cuisine like the popular ingredients, spices, or flavors.
Another difference between Singaporean food and Taiwanese food is how it tastes.
Singaporeans tend to use more pungent spices like garlic, ginger, dried red chilies, or paprika, so their dishes are bolder and flavor and usually spicier.
On the other hand, Taiwanese food is described as sweet and salty.
Another feature that sets Singaporean food apart from Taiwanese food is that the first cuisine uses a lot of seafood dishes.
Although both are island countries, Singapore is more well-known for its abundant sources and dishes from seafood.
Crab cooked with chili or black pepper sauce are two must-try dishes on this island.
On the other hand, seafood is also commonly used in Taiwanese cuisine, but they also eat a lot of pork, beef, and poultry.
The two cuisines also have different types of rice.
In Taiwan, glutinous rice, or known as sticky rice, dominates its cuisine.
It is short-grain and has a soft and sticky texture.
Meanwhile, Singaporean rice is often long-grain Thai rice which has a special fragrant flavor and drier in texture.
Besides the main differences between Singaporean food and Taiwanese food, there are also several things in common that the two cuisines share with each other:
The two cuisines have a strong relation with Chinese cuisine, one of the most popular culinary traditions in Asia.
Therefore, there are some staple ingredients and cooking techniques that have been brought from Chinese cuisine, such as rice and noodles, dumplings, or soy sauce.
Another similarity is that Taiwanese food and Singaporean food are made from fresh ingredients and are diverse thanks to their access to different types of food.
They have meat, seafood, vegetables, and different spices and herbs.
They are not likely to use canned food or processed food like in American cuisine as well.
This article has provided you with information that will hopefully make your decision easier.
For instance, Taiwanese food is sweeter while Singaporean food is saltier and spicier.
Both are delicious and nutritious that feature only fresh ingredients.
So which Asian cuisine is better in your opinion? Try both Taiwainese food and Singaporean food and you will have your own answer.