10 Best Street Foods From Around the World

Chicken Rice, Singapore
British chef Gordon Ramsay visits owner Foo Kui Lian of the Tian Tian chicken rice stall at the Maxwell Food Centre in Singapore to learn about the dish in 2013. Nicky Loh/Getty Images

The quickest way to start a fight in Singapore is to ask two or more locals who serves the best chicken rice in town. Also known as Hainanese rice — the original recipe may have come from the tiny Chinese island of Hainan — chicken rice is the unofficial national dish of Singapore, a country whose multicultural cuisine reflects the melting pot of Asian cultures that call it home.

Chicken rice is beautiful in its simplicity. The dish is nothing more than poached chicken served over rice. But the flavors combine to create one of the world's most satisfying breakfasts, lunches or dinners. The chicken is poached on a low simmer in a gingery broth until perfectly cooked, still moist and juicy. The same broth is also used to simmer the jasmine rice, after it's been sautéed in ginger and garlic. Slices of chicken are served over rice with a side of broth, sliced cucumber and hot sauce [source: Ferber].

The best place to enjoy chicken rice is in one of Singapore's ubiquitous open-air "hawker centers," which are like mall food courts, but packed with amazing curried noodle and roti stands instead of Auntie Anne's Pretzels and Orange Julius.