Chicken Rice For SEA Games athletes
Steamed, broiled and bland are some of the words that come to mind when you think of an athlete's diet.
But what about flavour?
It's not a word that is commonly associated with food athletes consume but one chef has proven that it's possible to have dishes that are both healthy and tasty.
Out of the eight dishes unveiled by Chef Kenneth Francisco, the culinary consultant for this year's South-east Asian (SEA) Games at a food tasting event on Tuesday (May 5), Hainanese chicken rice was the most surprising one.
The local favourite is one of the dishes that athletes taking part in the SEA Games will get to enjoy.
While chicken rice is undeniably delicious, it is also considered a very unhealthy dish.
So how exactly do you turn such a fattening dish into one that sportsmen can eat before a big game or race?
Chef Francisco explained: "For 1kg of vegetable paste, you're supposed to use 120ml of melted chicken fat. In this case, we only used 60 ml of canola oil."
A local dish wouldn't be unique without its distinct taste, so he ensured that the quality of the chicken rice would not be compromised.
"You won't get the rice as glossy or as oily as normal (chicken rice) but the flavours and the taste are still there," he added.
Several Singaporean athletes were also invited to sample the dishes that they'll be having during the SEA Games season.
Among them was national swimmer Quah Ting Wen (below).
National swimmer Quah Ting Wen (left) and sprinter Calvin Kang pose with their food at the food tasting event.
The 22-year-old welcomes the idea of having healthy and delicious food.
"I think a lot of people have the misconception that healthy food tastes boring or bland," Quah said.
"I enjoy knowing what I eat and being aware of the different kinds of food and the options out there that are both healthy and that I like and know taste good."
Hainanese Chicken Rice
Less oil doesn't mean less taste.
The sauce does taste different from what we usually have at coffee shops, but the overall flavour of the chicken rice remains intact.
Athletes from the rest of South-east Asia can enjoy this local delight without having to worry about their health.
You won't even be able to tell that this is a healthier version of the popular dish.
The broth tastes fantastic and there are five different condiments to choose from.
This healthy Mee Soto is perfect for those looking for something soupy.
Pan Seared Beef Cubes
The juicy beef cubes and brown sauce are a match made in heaven.
The beef is chewy, but not to the point of being inedible.
Instead of trying to swallow tasteless pieces of steamed meat, athletes can savour this well-done dish.
Baked Tomato with Parmesan Cheese and Chickpeas
Who knew parmesan cheese could make tomatoes could taste this good?
It just takes one bite for you to forget that you're eating a fruit.
The melting of the cheese in your mouth is one sensation you'll never forget.