I have no idea why this is called Singaporean Rice. From what I know, this dish is actually very much a Pakistani invention. It is more of an asian fusion recipe. As the name suggests, it is made with rice, but also a whole lot of noodles. Specifically, spaghetti noodles. There is also ketchup added to the sauce when cooking up the chicken and it is all topped with a spicy garlicky mayo! So it is definitely a true fusion recipe. But I am pretty sure anyone from Singapore is probably very confused by the name of this recipe! 😉
Not entirely sure how it got its name, but one thing is for sure: It is delicious!
If you are a fan of creamy and tangy flavours with loads of garlic and carbs. You will love this!
What is Singaporean Rice?
Singaporean Rice is a Pakistani fusion dish of layers of rice, noodles, chicken and veggies topped with a garlicky spicy mayo sauce. My version has the added crispiness of garlic chips on top and in the pasta layer, to really up that garlic flavour. It makes all the difference in flavour and it looks super impressive when served to guests.
Yes this is carb overload. But in the best way! It is a complete meal in a dish. You can just serve this on its own. Or add a fresh green salad on the side and you are good to go! It is a real crowd pleaser!
I also add more veggies in the form of shredded coleslaw veggies to the chicken mixture. I like to grab a pack of the pre-shredded coleslaw veggies to save time. I figure with the all the carbs and mayo in this dish, a few more veggies can’t hurt 😉 And you barely notice them in there, I promise!
This one is what I call a weekend recipe. Make it when you have a bit of time, and preferably someone else to do the dishes for you… It definitely takes some time and a whole lot of dishes to make. But you do get to make a big batch and can easily enjoy it for days. And honestly I do not tire of eating a big bowlful of this!
It is also a great way to use up leftover rice or pasta that might be kicking around the fridge. So this is also technically a leftover makeover recipe too. 😉
Secrets to make the best Singaporean Rice
Singaporean Rice is all about the garlic flavour to me, so in my version I add garlic in multiple layers: I make garlic chips using loads of sliced garlic and oil. Then the pasta is tossed in the garlic oil and garlic chips. A portion of that garlic oil is also used to flavour the sauce. And I add the crispy garlic chips on top for an extra garlic crunch! Biting into one of those garlic chips makes the flavour of this dish in my opinion! 🙂
Another flavour secret is using ketchup. And not healthy sugar free ketchup, it has to be the basic heinz ketchup loaded with sugar if you want that real authentic flavour! ( I never said this was a healthy recipe!) 😉
Can you make Singaporean Rice Ahead of Time?
If you want to try to make this ahead of time, I would suggest making the individual layers separately (the rice, noodles and chicken). And then re-heat each item separately before layering, topping with the spicy garlic mayo sauce and serving.
It is perfect for entertaining or bringing to a potluck as it is a whole meal deal in one dish.
Also while this recipe definately makes a lot of dishes and does take some time you can save time and energy by taking a few short cuts:
- I recommend you cook the rice in a slow cooker or instant pot so its one less thing to worry about on the stove.
- Use pre shredded veggies for your stir-fry to save time. I personally hate chopping, so I am a big fan of using bagged coleslaw mix in stir fries.
- For the garlic chips, I use a lot and I mean a LOT of garlic. If you can, get the peeled garlic bulbs instead of having to peel your own garlic. It is such a time saver!
- Marinate the chicken and soak the rice first before prepping the other ingredients. That way you can save time when you are ready to cook.
Let me know if you have every tried Singaporean Rice before? Or if you give this a go!
It is a crowd pleaser for sure!
For the Chicken
- 1.5 lbs boneless skinless chicken cut into 1 inch cubes (thigh or breast pieces, or a mix works)
- 4 tbsp soy sauce, divided
- 1 tbsp corn starch (optional)
- 2 tbsp oil
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 1 tbsp minced ginger
- 1-2 green chillies, diced
- 1 large onion, large diced
- 1 tsp kashmiri red chilli powder
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar
- 2 tbsp ketchup
- 1-2 tsp sriracha (or any chilli garlic sauce of choice)
- 2 tbsp water, as needed
- 1 red pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 bag coleslaw mix (approx. 2 cups of shredded cabbage, carrot etc.) – optional
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
For the Noodles & Rice
- 1.5 cup basmati rice
- 6 tbsp cooking oil, divided
- 2-3 black peppercorns
- 1 pkg spaghetti (approx. 450g)
- 1-2 heads garlic, peeled and thinly sliced (approx. 15-20 cloves of garlic)
- pinch red pepper flakes optional
- salt, to taste
For the Spicy Garlic Mayo
- 1 1/2 cup mayo
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- 2-4 tbsp sriracha (or any chilli garlic sauce of choice)
- chopped cilantro or green onions for garnish
Marinate the Chicken
- In a large bowl, add the boneless chicken, 3 tbsp soy sauce and 1 tbsp corn starch, if using. (Corn starch helps the chicken to remain soft and moist while stir frying, and helps to thicken up the sauce a bit). Mix to combine and set aside while you prepare the other layers.
Prepare the Rice, Noodles & Garlic Chips
- Optional, soak the rice for about 20 minutes (soaking helps prevent the rice from becoming mushy when cooked). Wash the rice a few times till the water is starting to run clear. Soak covered in water while you cook the pasta (about 15-20 minutes).
- In a large saucepan bring water to a boil for the pasta. Add salt and noodles and cook according to package direction till al dente (soft but still have a bit of a firm bite). Make sure to reserve about 1 cup of the boiling pasta water for later.
- When the pasta is done, drain and set aside. In the same saucepan heat 5 tbsp oil on medium heat. Add the 1-2 heads of thinly sliced garlic. Once the garlic just starts to turn golden brown. Remove from the heat, and remove about 3/4 of the garlic chips with a slotted spoon. Set them aside in a small bowl. Remove half the garlic flavoured oil (about 2.5 tbsp) into a separate bowl and set aside as well.
- In the same pan with the remaining garlic chips and oil, take it off the heat and add a pinch of red pepper flakes and the cooked pasta in and toss to coat. Add a few splashes of pasta water to make sure the pasta doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan (I tend to use about 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup of pasta water). Stir till well coated in oil and pasta water. Cover and set aside.
- Using a separate saucepan, or in a rice cooker, cook the rice. For the saucepan method: add rice and enough water to just cover the rice. Add salt to taste, 2-3 peppercorns, 1 tbsp of oil and bring to a boil. When the water has been absorbed and the rice develops small craters on the surface, turn heat to low, cover and steam 10 more minutes. Turn off the heat and let sit for another 5-10 minutes. Fluff with a fork, cover and set aside.
Prepare the Chicken & Veggie Stir-fry
- In a large saucepan or wok, heat 2 tbsp oil on medium heat, add the chicken in a single layer and cook undisturbed for 1-2 minutes to get a golden brown on the bottom. Stir fry for a few more minutes till the chicken is just cooked though.
- Add 1 tbsp minced ginger, 1 tbsp minced garlic, green chillies and onion to the chicken. Stir fry for 1 more minute until starting to get fragrant.
- Add 1 tbsp soy sauce, 1 tbsp rice vinegar, 1/2 tsp black pepper, and 1/2 tsp red chilli powder. Stir to combine.
- Add shredded coleslaw veggies and sliced red pepper and stir to combine. About 1 minute.
- Add 2 tbsp ketchup, 1 tsp sriracha and 2 tbsp water. Cook for additional 3-4 minutes till veggies are softened and sauce has come to a boil and is coating all the chicken. Add salt, pepper and more sriracha to taste. Turn off the heat and drizzle sesame oil over top. Mix and set aside.
Make the Spicy Garlic Mayo
- In a small bowl combine 1 1/2 cup mayo with 1/2 cup ketchup and 2 to 4 Tbsp sriracha (depending on the spice level you prefer). Pour in the reserved garlic oil. Mix to combine. Taste and add more sriracha if you want a spicier mayo. Set aside.
Assemble the Singaporean Rice
- Making sure all the ingredients are warm, in a large rectangular serving dish (I like to use a rectangular approx. 8"x10" dish or larger) spread the rice in a single layer on the bottom.
- Add the prepared noodles on top in a single layer.
- Add the chicken mixture, including any sauce at the bottom of the pan. Reserving about 1/4 of the chicken mixture for the top.
- Drizzle an even layer of the spicy garlic mayo mixture. It should cover the whole top layer. You might have a bit of leftover sauce. Serve it on the side for those that like a saucier noodle!
- Add a thin layer of the remaining chicken mixture, and top with the reserved garlic chips.
- Sprinkle with chopped cilantro or green onions and serve immediately. Enjoy!