Who doesn’t love a pipping hot serving of oyster omelette or as we call it, oh chien.

The beauty of the dish lies in its simplicity. Made with fresh oysters and an egg and starch batter, its fried over high heat, which gives the dish a smoky flavour and crispy texture. Origins of the dish can be traced back to the city of Chaozhou in the Fujian province of China, and little has been said about how it came to be.

The humble dish has become a signature of the Hokkien-Chinese diaspora in Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, and the Philippines, with each country crafting up its own version of the dish. In Thailand, for instance, oysters have been mostly substituted for mussels, while in Taiwan you’ll frequently find versions that come with a ladle of sauce poured atop the plate.

Here in Singapore, the oyster omelette is served with a Southeast Asian touch: a serving of chilli sauce that’s been spiked with lime for touch of acidity to cut through the grease.

Truth be told, the oyster omelette isn’t associated with gram-worthy food content in this day and age. To the untrained eye, it looks like chaos on a plate; nothing more than a haphazard arrangement of charred eggs and a disorderly mess of oysters thrown to the mix.

It’s far from the well-plated dishes we’re used to these days. Yet, for hawker aficionados, there are few dishes less satisfying than a good plate of oyster omelette, its greasy, savoury bites washed down with a mug of ice-cold sugarcane juice.

Drooling yet? We don’t blame you. Read on for our recommendations in Singapore.

(Hero and featured image credit: @pepelupasay and @mightyfoodie via Instagram)

Where to get the best oyster omelette in Singapore:

01
Hougang Oyster Omelette & Fried Kway Teow
435A Hougang Ave 8, Singapore 531435
Hougang Oyster Omelette & Fried Kway Teow

If you’re a fan of crispier oyster omelettes, you’re in luck. Here at Hougang Oyster Omelette & Fried Kway Teow, you’ll catch the 64-year old veteran whipping up every order with nothing but a plate and a spatula, complete with plump oysters and a generous serving of coriander for extra fragrance.

(Image credit: @shootandspoon via Instagram)

02
Lim's Fried Oyster
166 Jln Besar, #01-32 Berseh Food Centre, Singapore 208877
Lim's Fried Oyster

Starchy oyster omelette lovers, here’s one for you. We love heading to Lim’s Fried Oyster for a piece of their aromatic plates. Think a good mix of egg and starch batter fried in garlic infused oil, topped with succulent oysters and charred to perfection. Dress the dish with some of that spicy, sour chilli mix and you’re good to go.

(Image credit: @littlefoodsteps via Instagram)

03
Hup Kee Fried Oyster Omelette
500 Clemenceau Ave N, Newton Circus, #01-73 Food Centre, 229495
Hup Kee Fried Oyster Omelette

We’re not sure why Nick Young brought Rachel Chu to Newton Food Centre for its satay when he could’ve introduced her to the wonders of Hup Kee Fried Oyster Omelette instead. The 45-minute wait (pre-covid times of course) is worth it: each omelette is fried to a crisp with just the right amount of starch and a smattering of oysters. The stall’s original owner — who is well into his 80s — has retired, and the humble locale has been run by his wife and his son with the same recipe and passion for the dish.

(Image credit: @mightyfoodie via Instagram)

04
Green Sky Fried Kway Teow
Bedok Food Centre. No. 1, Bedok Road, #01-14, Singapore 469572
Green Sky Fried Kway Teow

We need you to sit down for this one because Green Sky Fried Kway Teow serves up one of the crispiest, if not the crispiest egg battered oyster omelettes in town, period. Every bite produces a crunch worth recording an ASMR video for, and is elevated by a decadent amount of creamy, briny oysters — dreamy mouthfuls we seriously can’t stop thinking about.

(Image credit: @ryhanhusin via Instagram)

05
Xing Li Cooked Food
51 Old Airport Rd, #01-28, Singapore 390051
Xing Li Cooked Food

Perhaps you belong to camp fluffy oyster omelettes instead. If this sounds like you, then a trip to Xing Li Cooked Food is what you’ll need. The freshly-made, pillowy pieces are laced with the subtle brininess of the oyster, and studded with big, plump oysters. The stall is manned by an elderly uncle who works on his own, so a little patience while waiting is more than appreciated.

(Image credit: @stellapapago via Instagram)

06
Huat Heng Fried Oyster
90/91 Whampoa Drive 90, 320091, Singapore
Huat Heng Fried Oyster

Huat Heng Fried Oyster is one of the most popular names in Singapore, especially since it’s been featured as a Michelin Plate stall. Here, you won’t find your regular chunky pieces of egg batter. Instead, everything is chopped up with a spatula to create smaller bites for guests to pick on. To say we’re addicted to the chilli here is an understatement; the tangy lime-laden concoction really cuts through the greasiness of the dish and elevates the brininess of the oysters.

This article first appeared in Lifestyle Asia Singapore

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