An influence of Western diet and lifestyle factors observed among Singapore Chinese may contribute to the population's marked rise in colorectal cancer incidence over the past two decades. Thus far, however, there is little evidence for individual nutrients and foods as major contributing factors in this population. We evaluated whether patterns of food intake were associated with colorectal cancer in a population-based cohort of 61,321 Singapore Chinese that was established in 1993-98. Two dietary patterns, meat-dim sum and vegetable-fruit-soy, were previously identified by principal components analysis using baseline dietary data from a validated 165-item food frequency questionnaire. As of 31 December 2005, 961 incident colorectal cancer cases were diagnosed. Proportional hazards regression was used to calculate adjusted hazard ratios. Using nearly 10 years of follow-up data, we observed no association with either the meat-dim sum or vegetable-fruit-soy pattern for colorectal cancer. In conclusion, neither individual nutrients or foods nor dietary patterns appear to explain the rise in colorectal cancer among Singapore Chinese population.