Friday, April 30, 2010

Jade: Bitemyrojak

I remember the haze and coxsackie outbreak out '97. My sister and I weren't allowed out of the house for nearly 2 months. While I was perfectly happy not going to school for 6 weeks, the thought of all the street food I was missing out on was pretty damn near unbearable. I would lie in bed at night imagining the smell and taste of my favourite noodles, unable to sleep. Having said that, I think a lot of the food we miss when we're away from home is associated with treasured memories and a sense of longing for days gone by rather than a sole appreciation of the actual flavours involved. For me, teh tarik is less about the sweet tea and more about nights out with boarding school mates at mamak stalls; kampua mee never fails to bring back that buzz of excitement I used to feel when we would load up the car for our yearly trips back to our hometown. So when my pregnant friend's husband brought her jars of rojak sauce from home, I found myself craving for exactly that. Not so much the husband bit, but the pungent, briny smell of prawn paste...takes me right back to when I was 12, waiting for my dad to pick me up from tuition, knowing he's late because he's stopped to get a packet of rojak and ang dao beng for tea :)

Rojak for two

Half a cucumber, pared into chunks
Half a pineapple, cut into chunks [ I got mine ready peeled and cored from Asda]
Half an apple, cored and cut into chunks
Half a block of firm white tofu, cubed and panfried till brown and crisp on the outside

2 big tbsp prawn paste
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp sambal olek
1tsp roasted chilli paste [potent stuff, adjust accordingly]
Juice of half a lime
As much crushed peanuts as you like, reserving a bit to sprinkle on top. I'm very generous with the nuts
* In an ideal world, I'd have ginger flower..but let's be realistic..this is England..

1. While the tofu is frying, whisk together the ingredients for the rojak sauce, tasting and
adjusting as you go along. Helps to add a tiny bit of hot water to break things up a little.
2. Cut up the fruit and veg
3. Spoon over the delicious rojak sauce, sprinkle some crushed peanuts over it, toss to coat and top with even more peanuts..and what you should end up with are juicy, crunchy chunks of fresh fruit cloaked in spicy, salty dressing

*I rather think eating it is an art on its own..I start by eating all the cucumbers because I don't like them..then I start on the apples..then the sweet, sweet pineapples..and finally, I mop up what's left of the rich sauce with soft bits of tofu...sheer rapture :)


  1. this timely surprise really made my day with its spicy kick;)will vouch for the delicious homeliness of this rojak which reminded me of dinners at a particular coffee shop back home where the family would pig out on ban mian/ chicken rice before ending off with a shared rojak and peanut/ dou sa pancakes. THANKS jade:D

  2. Ah! Something from home! Not a fan of this Penang fruit rojak. Would rather have what we call Indian rojak...or something like their pasembur over the other side.