Wake Up, Lah. Time for Frog Porridge, Lah

Singaporean breakfast

American chef, author, and television personality Anthony Bourdain once stated that Singapore, Hong Kong and Tokyo are the food capitals of the world where cuisines from every country can be found and anyone and everyone is crazy about food. But when asked, most people would be hard pressed to identify Singaporean cuisine and with good reasons.

Founded in 1819 by Sir Stamford Raffles and with only 195 years of recorded history, Singapore did not have a lot of time to develop its own unique cuisine. The foods and cuisine styles on offer are certainly diverse, but for the gourmand who wants to experience a uniquely Singaporean taste, there are only two choices: the chili crab and the Singapore frog porridge. Both of these are proudly claimed by Singaporeans as national signature dishes, but only one among the two bears the country name in its title and while it is sold and eaten everywhere in Singapore at all times of the day, the Singapore frog porridge is at its best as either a breakfast or brunch entry and paired with one or two servings of dim sum.


It is the 19th century Chinese immigrants who first brought their breakfast tradition to a newly born Singapore where it took roots and persists till today. Despite China’s vast culinary repertoire, the traditional Chinese breakfast is deceptively simple – dim sum and porridge, followed by a cup of steaming hot tea to cleanse the tongue. So simple in fact that while it almost comes across as boring, what most diners do not know is that this breakfast is a small, finely-tuned three-course meal in itself. A basket or two of bite size dim sum (VND30,000 – VND40,000 each) preps the palate then the main entree, Singapore frog porridge, follows.

Proper frog porridge is always served in two separate red claypots, the rice porridge (VND15,000 – VND30,000 per pot), thick and rich in one pot and fresh frog meat, flash braised and steeped in Kung Pao sauce (VND80,000 each), in another.


“The meat must be fresh, unmarinated and unseasoned so that the succulent meat can be tasted,” owner and chef Long explains. And despite the popular joke, frog meat tastes a world of difference from chicken. “The sauce is prepared with herbs and spices. My special Kung Pao sauce recipe involves 14 main herbs. The cooking starts five minutes before eating. We flash cook the meat with dried chili, spring onions, and Kung Pao sauce in a red claypot. The dish is then served to the guests in small porcelain bowls, rice porridge underneath and the frog and sauce in a separate layer on top.”

Adding: “Most people find it difficult to distinguish Chinese cuisine and Singaporean cuisine. There’s not much difference to be honest since so much of Singaporean culture and cuisine is deeply rooted in their Chinese origin, but the frog porridge is where the Singaporean modern spin is at. Chinese food favors strong fatty tastes with plenty of oil. Singaporean food, in this case the frog and sauce, is far more restrained and there is no cooking oil involved at all.”

There is also a proper way to eat the porridge. “Never stir it up,” Long insists. “Scoop it up cleanly so that the porridge, the sauce, and the frog are not mixed up together. Then you can taste the different flavors: the rich porridge, the sweet and salty Kung Pao sauce, the succulent frog meat and the red hot spicy chili. The first spoon is always the best.”

Geylang@Saigon: 134 Nguyen Thai Hoc, D1

Images by Ngoc Tran & Adam Robert Young

Share this story, choose your platform!

About the author:

Leave a Comment

The Rise of Niche Dating Apps Catering toSpecific Interests in 2024

The projected reach of the global online dating app market, estimated at $14.42 billion by 2030, marks a substantial growth trend with a Compound Annual Growth Rate of 7.6% from 2023 to 2030. This growth is a testament to the changing preferences of users, who are now looking for more intentional and meaningful connections. With

Read More »

When To Take The Services Of A Blocked Drain Repair Service?

A blocked drain can be a nightmare. Not only is it inconvenient and messy, but it can also damage your plumbing system if left unresolved. Knowing when to call for professional drain repair services versus trying to unclog the drain yourself can save you time, money, and hassle in the long run. Here are some

Read More »

Saving Money With Affordable And Cheap Skip Bin Hire

Home renovations, office revamps, store clear-outs or warehouse cleanups inevitably generate loads of debris. Renting a skip bin provides a convenient method for disposing of high volumes of waste without blowing the budget. Follow these insider tips for scoring an affordable and  cheap skip bin hire like Aot Skip Bins to handle your rubbish removal

Read More »

Key Considerations When Hiring A Mezzanine Floor Builder

Gaining extra functional space and valuable storage capacity inside existing commercial or residential buildings often gets explored as operations scale up over time yet site acreage remains finite. While lateral expansions prove extremely expensive due to land scarcity and construction complexity, heightening ceilings to add intermediate mezzanine levels allows maximising vertical room creatively minus major

Read More »

Questions To Ask Before Hiring A Granny Flat Builder

Installing a granny flat or secondary dwelling on your property can add valuable living space for family or rental income. Hiring an experienced granny flat builder like Granny Flat Solutions is key, but not all builders are equal. Asking the right questions upfront ensures you choose the best construction team. Here are twelve essential questions

Read More »

Why You Should Hire A New Home Builder For Your New House

Building a dream home from the ground up seems like a pinnacle of achievement. And while a DIY approach may appear economical on the surface, orchestrating a major new home construction solo proves immensely challenging for most. Hiring an experienced new home builder like Vision Homes ultimately saves money, stress, and headaches in the long

Read More »