Teo Heng Teochew Porridge: Is this Singapore's oldest Hawker?


Stewed Cabbage - Simple Teochew Food

Teo Heng Teochew Porridge is a favourite amongst Teochew Porridge fans and this venerable stall at the Hong Lim Food Centre is always packed from the time they start selling at 7am till they run out of fish at around 1 to 2pm. Ask a handful of people where to eat the best Teochew Porridge in Singapore and most of them will point you to this particular stall.





At the heart of the stall is a Teochew Ah Pek who has been dishing out hawker food for 60 years. Mr Liew started selling food at the age of 17 and can still be seen serving Teochew Muay at this stall. The old man still looked remarkably fit and still has a keen mind. Perhaps mom was right after all and eating fish is good for your brains!


Simmering Chye Bueh

We Teochews are probably most famous for our fresh fish which we cook by simply steaming it or alternatively, boiling it quickly in a cauldron of preserved vegetables (Chye Bueh). If you go at around closing time, the vat of simmering "Chye Bueh" would have been used to as a spa for hundreds of fresh fish and has turned into a really sweet and tangy soup. You can imagine what a bowl of this soup can do for you especially if your boss had just given you a whole stack of work to do in the afternoon!


Teochew Porridge must have the "Mountain and the Sea"

A good bowl of Teochew Porridge has got to have just the right proportion of water and rice. The Teochew Muay connoiseur can tell you immediately if a particular Teochew Muay stall is worth eating at by just eyeing the bowl of porridge. Firstly, what we want to see is the "Swa ga Hai" (Mountain and Sea) which basically means that the porridge is watery but not overly watered down. Secondly, the rice must remain whole and unbroken. The best Teochew Muay places throw away the pot of porridge when the rice breaks.


Lou Nerng (Seasoned Eggs)

If you think that those Japanese Rutan (Seasoned Eggs) with its watery yolks are new to the Singapore food scene, think again. This stall has been selling this style of eggs for over a generation! I don't know why but this is the only Teochew Porridge stall that sells their Lou Nerng (Seasoned eggs) this way. What is commonly seen is the hard boiled version which often has that ugly, smelly green grey ring around it because they have overcooked the yolks. Most of the time stallholders actually buy the eggs already hardboiled and then put them into the braising sauce. So if you love the Japanese Charshu Ramen eggs, then here is where you can get it cheap! 4.25/5



Another must have at any Teochew Porridge place is that vat of braising sauce with various poricine parts stewing in its goodness. A perfectly balanced and fragrant braising sauce is not easy to achieve and once you have it, you could use it for lot of stuff and it would all taste good. I jokingly asked if Ah Pek's braising sauce has remained in the pot for the years that he has been in business and he curtly told me that he washes it out completely at the end of the week. Well, there goes that urban legend! 4.25/5

Conclusion


If you love Teochew Porridge, this is one of those stalls that you just have to visit because you can't really discuss Teochew Porridge if you have not eaten here. It's too bad I got there after 1pm so the steamed fish have all sold out. Many of my kakis tell me those are the die die must try dishes!

Teo Heng Porridge Stall
#01-25 Hong Lim Food Centre

Opens 7am till 2pm

Closed on Sundays

27 comments:

liverpool1965 said...

if you can be there earlier ieat..try their fish cake, duck, and sotong!

soundman said...

Liverpool recommended this to me. The first time I was there, I was quite surprised to find this type of Lou Nerng served there, probably not served in any other muay stalls. The variety of fish available impressed my fishing enthusiast friend too. What's more, they only cook the fish upon order, ensuring freshness.

Derrick said...

wah, looks like i need to pay this place a visit when i am next on leave

ice said...

Certainly one of the best Teochew porridge in Singapore! I think those are duck eggs, but they sell both. The fishcake, tau kwa pau, sotong & yes the steamed fish (boontong he) are also very good. Especially during the CNY season, their peh dou he is a must-try.

Any idea if they're moving to the temporary location when Hong Lim goes under renovation?

smart said...

His brother operates at Amoy Street Hawker Centre. Almost the same dishes and quality. They were at Lau Pa Sat in the 60/70s

fm said...

When I read the address Hong Lim, that reminds me of liverpool cos Hong Lim is his territory. Like Derrick said, must pay visit and find out more and enjoy the food.

suka chiak said...

This one of the few teow chew muay stalls worth queueing up for.

The way I understand it is, the fish is already steamed. They will put the fish into the pot of chye bueh to heat it up (not to cook it as it will take too long a time to do so) as well as to sock up the juice of the chye bueh upon oreder. I don't remember they practised the "socking up" during the days they were at the old lau pa sat.

Besides the fish, their fish balls and the bak ngees are also the must try.

cactuskit said...

Completely agree with the review. One of the best I've eaten too. True pure Teochew stuff.

J2Kfm said...

Interesting, for I prefer my porridge to be completely broken and very smooth. Instead of lumpy rice, and puddles of water.

That's just me. Though most Teochew porridge stalls cook them this way, the Sea and the Mountain.

ieat said...

That's the difference between Teochew porridge and Cantonese porridge!

LiYen said...

Hi, Lou Nerng (Seasoned Eggs)as what you describe... I thought english name should be (Braised Eggs)? because Lou = Braised. Correct me if I am wrong.

zhouzi said...

Had tried this stall and the one at Amoy FC. Food, taste wise is above average. But never did like the fish. The fish served here has flesh that is mushy unlike the one at "Teochew St" over at Kreta Ayer FC. If you like firm and "resilient" flesh, go there but the muay there is not like before when the old man was cooking(mountain and sea).
chaozhouzi

ieat said...

LiYen,

Well you are right in a sense. But in order to get eggs with the yolk runny, you can't braise them ie slowly cook them in a braising sauce. To cook eggs like these, you boil them first then just drop them into the soy sauce mixture. That is why I call them seasoned eggs instead of braised eggs.

The teochew word Lou on the other hand can either be used as a noun or a verb, so in this case it is Lou nerng as in the noun Lou and not the verb.

zhouzi said...

Erh, ieat, I thought the word Lou in this instance should be an adjective as it describe the method used to cook the nerng.
Reference:http://www.gaginang.org/joomla/components/com_joomlawiki/index.php?title=Cooking_Terms
chaozhouzi

ieat said...

But we also refer to the gravy as "lou"

In this case I guess they call it lou nerng but it doesn't describe how the egg was prepared.

Little Nutbrown Hare said...

I'm going to schedule my next flight back so I can get to Changi at 7 a.m. then straight to Hong Lim for a Teochew porridge fix.

Dehui said...

Some error in the surname , it should be Leow. I know cuz thats my grandpa~ haha guy selling at Amoy st is my dad. The giam chye is quite nice and sometime there are secret stash of seafood like crayfish. The tua kua pow is a must try too.

ieat said...

Ah sorry Dehui, your Grandpa said it in Teochew and I can only guess how it is spelt!

Please let him have a look at his photo. I hope he likes it!

Dehui said...

No problem, most people gets it wrong the first time anyway.
will show it to him when i get the change to.
Cheers

Tekko said...

I eat regularly at both stalls. According to the lady, they have stopped using duck egg for a long long time already and now only use chicken egg. How they can it so perfectly done - she said it is a trade secret ha ha

Rosalind said...

I used to frequent this stall when they were at Lau Pa Sat, missed it sooo much!! it's really the best indeed, can't find any stall that can match up to it.
I have to eat the expensive ramen egg at central cos i missed the "lou nerng" so much.
so happy to know the new location.
Can I have the stall name / unit no at Amoy? Thanks!!

Anonymous said...

Any idea if Teo Heng Teochew Porridge has moved to the temporary location, Hong Lim currently undergoes under renovation?

liverpool1965 said...

yes they are at the temporary market anonymous...

James Younghusband said...

a must try for tourist travelers like me thanks for the detailed post

hayeonj said...

have been eating the porridge from this store since young. their fish cake is freshly made and very tasty. the texture is totally different and absolutely yummy, though the size is shrinking so much smaller and the price much higher than what it used to be. their chey buey (aka salty veggie) is another muz try! definitely the best Teochew porridge i've tried thus far!! :))

Sky Tan said...

My standard place for my wife and my 4yr old on every monday, as only there will be fried fish eggs old school style, and they get sold out very fast.
Most of the usual things wont change but will be in for surprise once in a while where there are fresh catch and they prepare it.
Steam Cold Crayfish , Flower Crab, Lobster.

The Prawn Omelette is great but usually kept aside behind the counter for regulars.

:)

Feynman82 said...

The original stall is at Amoy Hawker centre and the hong lim is a branch. The original still taste better!!

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