CHEAP, GOOD & HEALTHY

Tasty ban mian and hor fun

Xin Ban Mian's Delicious Ban Mian dish (left) and BP Roasted Delights' Shredded Chicken Hor Fun.
Xin Ban Mian's Delicious Ban Mian dish.ST PHOTO: HEDY KHOO
Xin Ban Mian's Delicious Ban Mian dish (left) and BP Roasted Delights' Shredded Chicken Hor Fun.
BP Roasted Delights' Shredded Chicken Hor Fun.ST PHOTO: HEDY KHOO

In this series brought to you by the Health Promotion Board, find out where to go for healthier food that is tasty and affordable

Fancy healthier hawker eats that are easy on your waistline and wallet?

Save calories and money at Bukit Panjang Hawker Centre, which has stalls serving healthier versions of popular noodle dishes such as ban mian (wheat noodles) and shredded chicken hor fun.

These dishes carry the Health Promotion Board's Healthier Choice Symbol and are labelled Lower In Calories, which means each dish contains 500kcal or fewer.

A typical dine-out meal contains 700 to 800kcal. The recommended daily energy intake is 2,200kcal on average for men and 1,800kcal for women.

Xin Ban Mian punches above its weight with its Delicious Ban Mian ($2.50) delivering the most bang for your buck. The simple-looking bowl of flat wheat noodles in soup packs flavour from premium ingredients such as tee po (dried sole fish) in its lean pork balls.

While most other ban bian stalls serve their noodles in a thick cloudy soup, Xin Ban Mian's soup is clear, but robust.

The slow-simmered soup stock is prepared daily from pork, ikan bilis and purple onion, says Madam Ivy Tan, 48, assistant manager of retail at Food Cheery, a food-and-beverage services company which owns and manages Xin Ban Mian. For seasoning, the chef uses fish sauce, salt and rock sugar with a touch of seafood extract.

Pak bor chye (Chinese endive) takes the soup up a notch with its natural sweetness and refreshing crunchiness. And it is topped off with a carefully poached egg with a runny yolk.

At BP Roasted Delights, the Shredded Chicken Hor Fun ($3) uses roasted chicken instead of the usual steamed or boiled white chicken. Ask for the skin to be removed if you want to cut more calories.

But if you want the roasted chicken skin, you will be surprised at how there is hardly any visible fat on it. The chicken breast is expertly sliced into thin strips instead of being shredded by hand. This allows the diner to better enjoy the tender texture of the roasted chicken, says stall manager Ngiow Chin Shin, 37.

The generous portion of slippery smooth Ipoh hor fun is tossed in light seasoning. The dish gets extra crunch from a liberal portion of chye sim from Cameron Highlands. The chye sim is of the variety with taller stems and larger leaves.

Mr Ngiow says in Mandarin: "We choose this variety of chye sim because it is sweeter and crispier. It costs more, but we want our customers to enjoy healthier eating without sacrificing flavour."

XIN BAN MIAN

Where: 01-16 Bukit Panjang Hawker Centre, 259 Bukit Panjang Ring Road

Open: 7am to 9pm daily

BP ROASTED DELIGHTS

Where: 01-14 Bukit Panjang Hawker Centre

Open: 9am to 8pm daily

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on October 15, 2017, with the headline 'Tasty ban mian and hor fun'. Print Edition | Subscribe