20 Zi Char Recipes You Can Easily Recreate at Home
We have rounded up 20 of our easy zi char recipes that you can easily recreate at home to serve up a comforting and hearty feast for your loved ones. Are you ready?
#1: Teochew Crispy Prawn Rolls 虾枣 Hei Zho
Hei zho is a popular Teochew delicacy in Singapore. Mainly made of prawns and minced meat wrapped in a beancurd skin, these fried prawn rolls are steamed first and then deep-fried until golden brown. They are super crispy outside, moist and tender with a light crunch in the inside. Every bite into it is filled with wonderful seafood freshness – bliss!
Watch how we made it on Youtube: https://youtu.be/GytLQLkkAjk
#2: Singapore Fried Vermicelli 星洲米粉
Almost all zi char stalls have this yummy noodle dish on their menu. Although this dish is also widely available in Hong Kong, the version in Singapore is never cooked with curry powder. We recommend that you use Taiwanese Hsin Chu bee boon (新竹米粉) to make this dish because the bee hoon is finer so they can absorb flavours up more easily.
Watch how we made it on Youtube: https://youtu.be/8s7yjqwgl7w
#3: Creamy Butter Prawns Recipe 奶皇虾 (奶油虾)
If you are a seafood lover, you definitely need to give this prawn recipe a try. These prawns are seriously finger-licking good. We used very simple ingredients in this recipe so you can easily make this restaurant-grade dish at home. If you have never tried this dish before, get ready to fall in love.
#4: Sticky Coffee Ribs 咖啡排骨
This is an innovative dish created by Singapore celebrity chef, Mr Sam Leong. Who would have thought of using coffee powder in a Chinese dish? Super clever! If you already have 3-in-1 instant coffee at home, you are halfway to making these delightful sticky ribs.
Watch how we made it on Youtube: https://youtu.be/lOpSRtHCstg
#5: Hotplate Egg Tofu 铁板豆腐
We always like to order hotplate egg tofu not just because it tastes good but also for the theatrical kick. The ingredients are cooked separately and served on a hotplate for the magnificent sizzling effect. This scrumptious dish is both nutritious and super easy to cook.
Watch how we made it on Youtube: https://youtu.be/uthY_SuR_7w
#6: Egg Foo Young 芙蓉蛋
If you are running out of ideas on what to cook for lunch or dinner, just cook this Chinese omelette and half your meal is done. We have added char siu, shrimp and vegetables but you can add any ingredients to your egg foo young — super delicious and super easy.
Watch how we made it on Youtube: https://youtu.be/11D2WLJhmbI
#7: San Lao Hor Fun 三捞河粉
Had too much rich food? Try making this easy and nutritious noodle dish for a change. San lao means three tosses – first hor fun, second beansprouts and third hor fun. The combination of the sweetness from the fish with smooth rice noodles and crunchy beansprouts is simply perfect.
Watch how we made it on Youtube: https://youtu.be/uczBy3zt5vM
#8: Black Pepper Crab 黑胡椒螃蟹
Singaporeans love seafood, especially crabs. Apart from Singapore’s famous chilli crab, black pepper crabs are definitely another hot favourite. Do not feel intimated by the process of prepping the crabs for cooking because it is not as difficult as it seems. We have made a video to show you how to do it easily at home.
Watch how we made it on Youtube: https://youtu.be/2v2nNZhEBuo
#9: Mee Goreng 马来面
We love fried noodles because just one dish is all it takes to make a delectable meal. In our humble opinion, a good mee goreng should taste slightly like chilli crabs. Try using flat yellow cooked noodles instead of the rounded ones so that every strand of the noodles can be coated with the yummy sambal sauce. You can either use our homemade sambal chilli or get them readymade from supermarkets. We like Woh Hup Sambal Shrimp or Taho brand sambal chilli.
Watch how we made it on Youtube: https://youtu.be/N6P6pYxQXjc
#10: Fish Head Steamboat 鱼头炉
Packed with rich umami flavour, fish head steamboat is undoubtedly a comfort food for many of us in Singapore. Although commonly known as fish head steamboat, you can use whole white pomfret or red snapper meat to make this highly addictive soup dish. To make this dish even more flavourful, just add a handful of dried soybeans when making your soup base.
Watch how we made it on Youtube: https://youtu.be/MZv2xF2cfjI
#11: Braised Fish Head Claypot 砂锅红烧鱼头
Braised fish head claypot is a hearty and budget-friendly one-dish meal. We recommend you to get red or golden snapper fish head, which costs around S$6 for a whole head depending on the size. Do add some egg tofu, cabbage, mushrooms (the usual suspects) to turn this into a wholesome dish.
Watch how we made it on Youtube: https://youtu.be/Fawj44jdspU
#12: Yi Pin Guo (Superior Seafood Pot) 一品锅
If you are a seafood lover, you will enjoy this superior seafood pot because it is packed to the brim with fresh seafood. As premium ingredients are used in this dish, this is definitely one of the more expensive zi char dishes. At the same price, you can easily whip out a much bigger portion at home for your family.
Watch how we made it on Youtube: https://youtu.be/KJm-AMVGywY
#13: Cereal Prawns 麦片虾
This is another mind-blowing zi char dish that is well-loved by both children and adults. Who would have thought of using Nestum cereal in Chinese cooking? Truly creative! The prawns are deep-fried to perfection and then coated beautifully with cereal.
Watch how we made it on Youtube: https://youtu.be/_pgjoCdZ150
#14: Salted Egg Yolk Prawns 咸蛋虾
Satisfy your taste buds with this super yummy zi char dish. If you have not tried salted egg yolk dishes before, you are missing out. From Irvin’s salted egg yolk crispy fish skin to McDonald’s salted egg yolk fries, the craze is real in Singapore. You can either use the yolk of a salted egg or Knorr golden salted egg yolk powder to make this dish at home.
Watch how we made it on Youtube: https://youtu.be/Z1HxZXwdgiU
#15: Garlic White Pepper Crab! 蒜蓉白胡椒螃蟹
Tired of the same old same old chilli crabs and black pepper crabs? Try making garlic white pepper crabs instead. In contrast with rich and yet mildly spicy black peppercorns, white peppercorns are more potent in terms of spiciness. Get some bread or deep-fried Chinese buns so that you can savour every drop of the mouthwatering sauce.
Watch how we made it on Youtube: https://youtu.be/Prb-vw-rp7g
#16: Crispy Marmite Ribs 妈咪酥脆排骨
Marmite is a food spread or condiment that either you love or hate. If you are not a Marmite fan, you might find it pleasantly tasty when they are used to make this popular zi char dish. Marmite ribs or chicken are popular because of its unique sweet and savoury taste.
Watch how we made it on Youtube: https://youtu.be/NF_kbN1nm0Q
#17: Sea Cucumber Stewed Duck 海参鸭
Not many zi char stalls have this Hokkien dish on their menu and we wonder why. The duck is stewed to tender perfection in a herbal-laced aromatic sauce. This dish goes perfectly well with steamed rice. If you do not have the herbal wine, which we used in the recipe, just replace it with danggui or angelica root instead.
Watch how we made it on Youtube: https://youtu.be/CRKFfiRPA54
#18: Salted Fish Garlic Chives with Beansprouts 咸鱼青龙菜炒银牙
If you have never tried garlic chives before, they have a mild mix taste of garlic, green onions and leeks. Garlic chives are high in fibre and low in calories. They can also help to improve our immunity so consider making this simple and yet delicious dish for your loved ones.
Watch how we made it on Youtube: https://youtu.be/SMAobmXX9yM
#19: Stir Fried Beef with Ginger and Spring Onion 姜葱牛肉
You can never go wrong with any dish that is cooked with ginger and spring onion. The irresistibly fragrant sauce goes so well with rice. Instead of using beef, you can also use venison, chicken, fish or even seafood. Up your game by serving them on a hotplate. Perfecto!
Watch how we made it on Youtube: https://youtu.be/EfRpZ3GnvBM
#20: Nyonya Steamed Fish 娘惹蒸鱼
Nyonya or Peranakan cuisine is a mix of influence from the Chinese and Malay cuisines. Compared to a typical Chinese steamed fish, Nyonya steamed fish is prepared with a twist of tanginess, which is very refreshing. Feel free to increase the intensity of tanginess if you fancy.
Watch how we made it on Youtube: https://youtu.be/kQlRtj8mRNY
Hope you are feeling inspired already. Head over to Spice N’ Pans channel on Youtube for more recipes. We have more than 400 recipes waiting for you to try. Let’s start cooking!