Hard-To-Find Nasi Ulam With Spiced Chicken At Hip Hawker Stall In Amoy St Food Centre
The digital marketer-turned-hawker offers a refreshing take on the herbed rice dish at Muslim-friendly The Little Red Hen.
Nasi ulam is a traditional dish with Malay, Peranakan and Indonesian influences. It involves mixing rice with finely-chopped fresh herbs like kaffir lime leaves, laksa leaves and lemongrass (‘ulam’ is the generic Malay term for indigenous plants) and served with raw or blanched vegetables like winged beans, as well as sambal belacan. The Peranakan version often includes flaked fish stirred in the rice too. It’s a notoriously time-consuming dish to prepare.
Hawker stall The Little Red Hen, which opened last August at Amoy Street Food Centre, offers the Malay variant of nasi ulam, complete with traditional sides like ayam percik (grilled chicken with spiced coconut sauce), beef rendang and not-so-traditional ones like Mediterranean-style grilled veggies. According to owner Redha Faikah Binte Abdul Wahid, 41, the Malay version of the already hard-to-find dish is even rarer to find at eateries in Singapore. “I only know some Peranakan places that sell nasi ulam (such as Chendol Melaka in Upp East Coast Rd). Part of why I chose it as my signature dish is because it’s too laborious to make and I know not many people offer it,” she says. Dressed in athletic leggings and a T-shirt, the sporty hawker who is single fits right in at her hip-looking stall, which boasts a cute name (more on that later) and modern signboard with a whimsical illustration of a chook.
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