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Entertainment, Food & Beverage

If you love your chicken rice...

You will be happy to know this yummy but calorie-laden dish has a healthier version.
The Straits Times - May 24, 2012
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If you love your chicken rice... At Ke Lai Chicken Rice, both the $2.50 plate of skinless chicken and the $2.30 watercress pork rib soup are served with a mix of brown and white rice. --ST PHOTO: LAU FOOK KONG

Chicken rice can be made more nutritious and less fattening - by mixing brown rice with white rice, using less artery-clogging oil and skinning the chicken.

Ke Lai Chicken Rice in Food King Coffeeshop at Block 233, Bukit Batok East Avenue 5, has been serving this healthier version of chicken rice since February, after it joined the Health Promotion Board's Healthier Hawker Programme.

The coffee shop, which is two bus stops away from Bukit Batok MRT station, is the first coffee shop on board the programme, officially launched about a year ago at Yuhua Hawker Centre at Block 347, Jurong East Avenue 1.

Mr Eddie Lee, 30, who runs the chicken rice stall, switched to a blend of vegetable oil that contains less saturated fat, which can raise the risk of a heart attack when consumed in excess.

He also cut the amount of oil used by about 20 per cent.

Serving the chicken without its skin also cuts the amount of calories in the meat - mainly from fat - by about 55 per cent.

Mr Lee experimented several times before arriving at the ideal ratio of 25 per cent of brown rice to 75 per cent of white rice.

He said: 'I tried using 100 per cent brown rice, but the rice was too hard and the smell was too strong.'

The rice tasted much like conventional chicken rice. It was fragrant and moist despite being cooked with less oil.

The chicken was also moist and tender, even though it was skinless.

The $2.50 dish also came with a generous amount of crunchy cucumber slices and bean sprouts.

Mr Lee serves the same mix of brown and white rice with his watercress pork rib soup, adding another healthier meal to his menu at just $2.30.

The ribs were tender and savoury, unlike similar dishes served elsewhere where the ribs become tough and tasteless because all their flavour has leached into the soup.

Mr Lee's soup was full of hearty flavour from the meat and the watercress.

The healthier dishes from this stall are tasty, nutritious and value for money.

huichieh@sph.com.sg

Mind Your Body paid for the meal.

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