Travel Tips For Eating Economy Rice in Asia

When you visit Asia, you will most Asians eat economy rice or noodles instead of bread.

Here are some travel tips for eating a cheap meal of Economy Rice in Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan, India, and Thailand.

This is not a specific dish but a type of food or a food stall.

This category of cuisine is commonly found in food courts, hawker centers or even street food stalls.

Eat More Greens and Protein with Economy Rice

In Asia, rice is a lunch or dinner staple. Economy Rice stalls are the most popular with office workers and even families who don’t cook their meals at home.

Economy Rice stall provides a better and more nutritious serve of greens and proteins from say eating a noodle dish.

This is a cheaper and better option of eating out.

Economy Rice stalls typically have anything that ranges from 10 – 30 metal troughs of cooked food on display.

There are meats, vegetables, eggs, tofu, and sometimes hot clear soups.

The cooked dishes are in many styles which include salads, raw vegetable dips, deep-frying, braising, steaming, stir-fries and curries.

Go Vegan

In countries like India, where most of the population are vegetarians, the meal sets are mostly dhal based with legumes, beans, vegetable stews and tofu in curries.

Keeping the Dishes Hot

Customers are served a plate of white rice from a huge insulated rice container. They select a combination of the dishes of their choice.

Better quality economy rice stalls invest in electric food warmers to ensure that the food is served hot. Some food courts you will find the food on open stainless steel troughs kept warm in a hot water bath with an electric heater below.

Other smaller business doesn’t bother with these gadgets as they are very popular. The dishes are sold almost immediately when taken out of the kitchen.

So there is no time for the food to even cool down.

Packing Economy Rice Box Home

It is common for Asian families to cater to the cooked dishes and have it delivered to their homes. These are placed in a stainless steel tiffin carrier.

You may find a tiffin carrier hanging on the metal grille doors of apartments just before mealtimes. When the caterer delivers the tiffin lunch, he will take replace the empty tiffin carrier with the one laden with hot food.

Some Simple Rice Meals You Can Buy

Chicken Rice makes an excellent Economy Rice meals that you can pack or eat at the shop. You can also try a Nasi Lemak.

Travel Tips For Eating Economy Rice in Asia

Eating at an Economy Rice stall is a great experience in Asia.

You will get to sample the tasty local and traditional food at a fraction of the price of eating in an air-conditioned restaurant.

  • Do check the hygiene of the stall before you decide to order.
  • Ask before ladling the dishes on your plate of rice.
  • You cannot put the dishes back if you’re unsure.
  • Some dishes may contain chopped nuts. If you have a nut allergy it’s good to stay away from salads which may contain these.
  • Some dishes may contain minced meat like pork or even dried shrimps.

Heat Warning!

Some salads may be very spicy. Look out for the addition of raw red and green Bird’s-eye chilies which are very hot.

Money-Saving Tips for Economy Rice Meals

Most Economy Rice stall charge by the ladle of dishes. So even if you take half a ladle full you may be charged the full price.

If you’re eating with a friend, take about 3 dishes each and share. You get to sample 6 dishes this way.

Doris Lim is a Malaysian content writer,  travel writer, female solo travel blogger and journalist based in Penang. Her stories are published in print & digital media and in-flight and travel magazines.