What the hell is rojak? Rojak is a savory fruit and vegetable salad. You may think that it sounds gross but it isn’t. I love a good rojak is one of the hawker sensation that I must have when I head back to Asia. It is very well known in both Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia. Basically, rojak means “mixed up”. There are many different types of rojak. There are rojak versions that are just fruits as seen in the street carts of Jakarta. In Singapore and Malaysia, there is a verion of Indian rojak. Indian rojak has added eggs, deep fried prawns and uses a different sauce. It is definitely much heavier. The rojak that I crave has loads of fruits and vegetables and smoothered with a sweet, salty and spicy sauce topped with roasted, crushed peanuts.
Why did I decide to make rojak? The nice people of King of Fruit sent me a box of pineapples and other goodies. The first thing that came to mind was rojak. Good rojak is hard to find in Melbourne and some of the interpretations that I find here aren’t too appealing to my tastebuds. It is either too sweet or too sour or just boring. The most recent one that I tried was at Old Town Kopitiam Mamak and I hated it. There is way too much sauce and I can’t taste anything else… maybe just the sour green apple. Sorry but yuck!
I decided to make this while Mister and Anna’s better half was away to the Buller for snowboarding. I was definitely not alone nor did I felt left out. I was in good hands with Anna and Billy keeping me company and Anna baking in my kitchen. And also, Mister made me breakfast and left me a nice note. Many brownie points for this!
Back to the recipe. This is my version. Most likely not authentic but it is according to how I like it. It is super easy to make and you can adjust the sweet and savory according to how you like it. The pineapples were so sweet and just right for this recipe.
- 1 cucumber, sliced
- 1 green mangoes, skinned and julienne
- 1 King of Fruit pineapple, cored and cubed
- 1 small kohlrabi, peeled and cubed
- 50g roasted peanuts, grounded coarsely ( I used hazelnuts and it worked!)
- 4 pieces of instant sizzling rice
- 2 dried Guajillo & 3 dried chipotle, soaked and blended and pounded
- 2½ cm square dried shrimp paste, toasted and ground
- 4 tablespoons tamarind paste mixed with ½ cup water
- 5 tablespoons sugar (Adjust accordingly)
- 1tbsp of dark soy sauce
- 1tbsp of sticky caramel dark sauce
- Put ground ingredients ( dried chillies and toasted dried shrimp paste ) and tamarind juice in a small saucepan and cook over low heat. Stir in sugar, dark soy sauce and sticky caramel sauce and cook until sugar dissolves and sauce is thick. Set aside to cool down
- Prepare the peanuts by lightly pan frying and then ground. Prepare toasted rice by breaking the rice pieces, add a little oil to warm pan and lightly toasting it. Salt accordingly
- Place cucumber, mangoes,pineapple and kohlrabi into a large mixing bowl. Put in cooled rojak sauce and mix well
- Add grounded toasted nuts and rice. Stir well and serve
Mister gave me the thumbs up… awesome!
And this is what Anna baked on that day. It is a special request – the Hokkaido chiffon cake and Billy made the creme patissiere. It is so good that Mister is pestering me to bake some.
My kitchen was definitely humming that day. We even managed to make ourselves dinner! The boys came back quite broken, sore but very happy and still very hungry!
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What is your favourite dish with pineapple?