10 Zi Char Recipes To Recreate at Home, Including Butter Pork Ribs and Crab Tang Hoon

Zi Char Recipes

Zi Char is part of Singaporean food culture. You can love cafe foods or KBBQs — but something about Zi Char dishes makes it timeless, nostalgic, and a staple in the Singaporean diet. We all have our favourite Zi Char spots, but did you know that many of the signature dishes can be prepared at home? Whether you’re a beginner or expert cook, here are 10 delicious Zi Char dishes you can recreate under an hour. 


1. Dry/Wet Stir-Fried Hor Fun


Tender pork slices, crunchy bean sprouts and soft, silky noodles are the ingredients that make Hor Fun so enjoyable! Served either with or without gravy, this Zi Char favourite is comforting, nutritious — and only takes 30 minutes to make with our recipe. Perfect for lunch, dinner, or whenever you have a Hor Fun craving. 


Recipe: https://themeatmen.sg/dry-wet-stir-fried-hor-fun/ 

Preparation Time: 30 minutes. Serves 2 to 3


2. Butter Pork Ribs


We love pork ribs whenever we eat at a Zi Char, don’t we? Juicy and tasty with an incredible mouthfeel, butter pork ribs may seem difficult to recreate, but this recipe featuring a blanket of butter will surely surprise you. It’s an easy 35-minute recipe with super easy seasonings that are probably already in your pantry. Plus, this recipe works really well with chicken too! Your PoPo, Ah Gong, Aunties, Uncles, Mummy, PaPa — everyone — will definitely be impressed. 


Recipe: http://themeatmen.sg/butter-pork-chops/ 

Preparation Time: 35 minutes. Serves 4 


3. Chye Poh Tofu


Fried chye poh, silky tofu, and eggs is such a failproof combination. Other than being a flavour bomb, your tastebuds will surely appreciate the combination of different textures — crispiness from the greens, fried chye poh and outer layer of the tofu, together with the creaminess and silkiness from the tofu and egg. Taking only 15 minutes to make, bookmark this recipe as we’re confident that it’s a superb keepsake.


Recipe: http://themeatmen.sg/chye-poh-tofu/ 

Preparation Time: 15 minutes. Serves 4 


4. Crab Tang Hoon


If you’re feeling fancy or cooking at home to celebrate a special occasion, this Crab Tang Hoon recipe will be one to remember. For homecooks looking to zhng up the dinner table, this dish combines the unique springy texture of tang hoon with the juice of the fresh crab in a true claypot delight.


For this, we used live crabs — it’s definitely worth the extra effort and price, and you can get the fishmonger to butcher the crabs for you. It’s a straightforward recipe that is visually attractive and packed with flavour, making it a good choice to add to your repertoire. 


Recipe: https://themeatmen.sg/crab-tang-hoon/

Preparation Time: 1 hr 15 mins. Serves 4.


5. Marmite Chicken


One can either dislike marmite or love it, but no one can ever deny that this is an absolutely iconic staple in Zi Char eateries. If you are someone who loves to combine sweet and savoury flavours, this dish is for you! 


For a super crispy bite, we recommend double frying. The recipe may call for a little more cook time as compared to the other recipes, but we promise that it is worth every minute. 


Recipe: http://themeatmen.sg/marmite-chicken/ 

Preparation Time: 1 hour. Serves 4 


6. Ginger and Scallion Beef


Doesn’t this dish just hit home? A classic Chinese dish of tender beef slices, served with ginger, spring onion and a piping hot rice bowl, this is a comforting dish that even fussiest of eaters will enjoy. Easily a favourite protein to order,  it is not difficult to figure out why — and the best part is that it only takes 30 minutes and 5 steps to make. 


Recipe: https://themeatmen.sg/stir-fried-ginger-and-scallion-beef/ 

Preparation Time: 30 minutes. Serves 3 to 4


7. Har Cheong Gai


We are super proud of this recipe — it’s definitely AS GOOD AS those outside, or even better (we mean what we say!). In just 20 minutes, you’ll be able to achieve an absolutely awesome HCG, crispy on the outside, and full of juicy flavours on the inside. The pinnacle of crispy chicken perfection for all ages!


Recipe: http://themeatmen.sg/har-cheong-gai/ 

Preparation Time: 20 minutes. Serves 4


8. Hot Plate Tofu


If you’re not sure what to have with rice, Hot plate tofu might just be the answer. Filled with umami, a warm plate of this Zi Char dish never fails to bring us back home. You can expect a mouthful of different textures from the flavourful minced meat, silky tofu, and creamy egg. This recipe calls for minced meat, but feel free to skip it for a lighter taste or if you are vegetarian.


Recipe: https://themeatmen.sg/chinese-home-style-egg-tofu/ 

Preparation Time: 30 minutes. Serves 3 to 4


9. Trio Egg Spinach in Superior Stock


This dish does not have the word ‘superior’ in it for nothing. A combination of three eggs — century, duck, and chicken — you’ll be sure that this dish is a flavour bomb. Simple to make under 30 minutes and a healthy staple, it is no wonder why this dish is an EGGcellent favourite in all Zi Char eateries!


Recipe: http://themeatmen.sg/trio-eggs-spinach-in-superior-stock/

Preparation Time: 25 minutes. Serves 4 


10. Pork Ribs King


This Pork Ribs King recipe is definitely worthy of its title. Rich, umami, and easy to recreate at home, you won’t stop at one! It’s porky and crispy on the outside, yet juicy and tender on the inside. The ketchup plum sauce and rice vinegar balance nicely with the sweetness of the sauce. It’s a simple and sharable dish to make if you want to impress your friends or share some with your neighbours. 


Recipe: http://themeatmen.sg/pork-ribs-king/ 

Preparation Time: 20 minutes. Serves 4 


Zi Char

Zi Char recipes are a ton a plenty, but believe me when I say you have to bookmark these 10 mouthwatering ones! Eating Zi Char is an amazing bonding activity among Singaporean households, what more actually trying out these recipes? If you’ve tried our recipes, be sure to join and share on our Meatmen FB Community




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