The Health Guru

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Nutrition Info: Singapore Economy Rice Meals

Posted on | April 29, 2011 | No Comments

Economy Rice Selections

Economy Rice Selections

In Singapore one of the cheapest meal deals you can find in the local hawker food centres are the “Economy Rice” stalls.  They consist of pre-prepared dishes such as braised tofu, black pepper chicken, sweet & sour fish / pork / chicken, sambal fish, ommelete and many variations of vegetables just to name a few.

First a mound of white rice (approx 1 ½ cups) is placed on your plate and you point to what you want and have a scoop placed on our plate.  The price of the plates are determined by how much meat and vegetables you have.


  • Rice + 2 vege = $2.50
  • Rice + 1 vege + 1 meat = $3.00
  • Rice + 1 vege + 2 meat =$4.00
  • Rice + 2 vege + 2 meat = $4.50
  • Rice + 2 meat = $4.00

Truthfully, giving accurate nutrition advice for these meals is VERY, VERY difficult because there are sometimes up to 15 dishes to select from and I have no idea what each individual will choose.  So really, all I can do is tell you how to make healthier choices when you are there and below I’ll give you ‘guestimates’ for nutrition info.

How to make a healthier option:

  • Choose Steamed or Braised options
  • Choose more vegetable dishes instead of meats
  • Choose dishes with clear broths (i.e  avoid curries or sweet and sour dishes)
  • Avoid gravy and deep fried dishes as they are higher in fat
  • Remove skin from chicken / duck
  • Avoid pork dishes as they are higher in fat.
  • Curry dishes will be higher in fat
  • Ask for LESS rice

Calories for 1½ cups white rice:

  • Energy: 242 cal
  • Protein: 4.4 g
  • Carbs: 53.2 g
  • Fat: 0.4 g

Best case scenario is Rice + 2 vege = 342 calories

Worst case scenario is Rice + 2 vege + 2 meat = 650 calories

Here are my ESTIMATIONS as to the calories content of the following. I have NO IDEA what you put on your plate and I have NO IDEA how the cook has prepared it so this is a very, very rough estimation.

Rice + 2 vege =  342 calories

Rice + 1 vege + 1 meat = 430 calories

Rice + 1 vege + 2 meat = 580 calories

Rice + 2 vege + 2 meat = 650 calories

Rice + 2 meat = 510 calories

My advice is ALWAYS:  Half the portion of rice (fist size portion only), choose more vegetables, don’t choose fried dishes, choose clear broths before creamy ones, eat slowly, put your utensils down between bites and always stop when you feel 80% full because it’s better to waste it than to ‘waist’ it.


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