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Global BBQ: Singaporean Meat, Fire & Smoke

When it comes to international twists on BBQ, most people usually think of Korean Barbecue. But you might be surprised to learn that Barbecue is huge in Singapore.

Singaporean Twists on Classic BBQ Traditions


  • Grilling Outdoors

Because most people in Singapore live in small apartments, they don’t have space to BBQ at home and Barbecuing is primarily done outside.  When the weather gets warm, people take to parks and other open spaces to enjoy some delicious foods. Singapore’s National Parks even rent out Barbecue pits in some of the more popular parks.

  • It’s a Social Event

Friends and families love to get together and have a Barbecue together.  It’s a great opportunity to have a party and BBQ is a good way to feed a large group of people.  Many people grew up enjoying this pastime and want to share the tradition with their children as well.  Not to mention it’s a great way to get some fresh air and sunshine while keeping your kitchen at home clean.


  • Charcoal is King

Most foods are cooked over charcoal instead of on a gas or wood burning grill.  Lighter fluid is not used for the grill or barbecue pit either. Instead, a box of small briquettes that are made from wax and sawdust are lit under the charcoal.  Having a good fire starter is essential, especially when lighting a fire outside where it can be windy.


Popular Singapore BBQ Foods

Even though satay originated in Indonesia, it is very popular in Singapore.  Because it’s easy to grill, you can find it all over the city at various street vendors.  Chicken is the most popular meat but you can also find mutton, beef, or pork.


The meat is marinated in a variety of spices for a delicious flavor, then skewered on a piece of bamboo and cooked over charcoal.  It needs to cook until crispy and slightly charred with a hint of smoky flavor. Serve it with some spicy peanut dipping sauce and sides like cucumbers, onion, and rice cakes.

  • Stingray

Sambal stingray is a very popular Singaporean BBQ dish.  First cut the stingray up into pieces and marinate it in sambal chili sauce.  Then wrap it in a banana leaf and grill it over hot coals. Serve it up with some red onions, shallots, and a squeeze of citrus on top.


  • Wings

Wings are so very popular in Singapore and you’ll find them at many street vendors.  However, the difference is that they focus on cooking them to perfection and preserving the unique flavor of chicken.  Usually roasted over charcoal, they get a nice smoky flavor and then are dipped in chili sauce.


  • Seafood

Another popular thing to grill is seafood and there is a wide variety of it to choose from in Singapore. Some popular seafood to barbecue includes:

  • Crayfish
  • Salmon
  • Prawns
  • Octopus
  • Squid
  • Fish cakes (otah)

  • Sides

Although the meat is the star of the Barbecue, having some good sides is also essential.  Singaporeans love having fried rice, noodles (bee hoon), coleslaw, salads, crackers and chips, crab sticks, sotong balls, and crispy cuttlefish snacks.  For dessert try some marshmallows grilled on a skewer or cakes and sweet breads.

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