Chinese Rojak

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Preparation info

  • Serves

    3–4

    • Difficulty

      Easy

Appears in

Chinese Heritage Cooking

Chinese Heritage Cooking

By Christopher Tan and Amy Van

Published 2018

  • About

A descendant of Indonesian rujak, this sweet-savoury-tangy-pungent fruit and vegetable salad has now become a popular dish sold by Chinese food vendors all over Singapore. Some versions also include jambu (water apple), and cuttlefish (joo her) in the mixture. For this dish, the roasted peanuts must be absolutely fresh. It is best to roast and grind your own, as even slightly rancid peanuts can totally ruin a good rojak.

Ingredients

  • Yu tiao (fried crullers) 2
  • Fried bean curd puffs (tau pok) 2
  • Kangkong (water spinach) 8 stalks
  • Green guava or green mango 1, small
  • Torch ginger bud (bunga kantan) 1
  • Ripe pineapple ½, small, skinned, cored and cut into bite-size pieces
  • Local cucumber 1, small, deseeded and cut into bite-size pieces
  • Yam bean ½, small, peeled and cut into bite-size pieces
  • Roasted unsalted peanuts 150 g (5⅓ oz), coarsely ground

Sauce

  • Tamarind pulp 1 Tbsp
  • Black prawn paste (haeko) 3 Tbsp
  • Grated palm sugar (gula melaka) 2–3 Tbsp
  • Salt 1 tsp
  • Freshly-squeezed calamansi lime juice 2 tsp
  • Red chilli 1, deseeded if desired and pounded finely, or 1 tsp dried chilli paste

Method

  1. Prepare sauce. Knead tamarind pulp with 110 ml (3⅔ fl oz) water until pulp dissolves. Strain liquid. Combine all other ingredients for sauce and mix well, then whisk in tamarind liquid. Adjust seasoning to taste. The sauce should be sweet, tangy and salty.
  2. Toast you tiao and bean curd puffs in a toaster oven or under a grill until lightly crispy. Snip both into bite-size pieces with scissors. Set aside.
  3. Blanch kangkong stalks in boiling water for 10 seconds, then drain and rinse with running water to stop cooking. Cut into 5-cm (2-in) lengths.
  4. Peel guava or mango and cut flesh into bite-size pieces. Strip off 6–7 outer petals from torch ginger bud and mince finely.
  5. Set aside a spoonful of ground peanuts for garnish, and toss the rest with the sauce, you tiao, bean curd puffs and all fruit and vegetable ingredients, except the torch ginger bud.
  6. Transfer to a serving dish, sprinkle with reserved peanuts and torch ginger bud and serve immediately.