Chinese Rojak Recipe: A Delicious and Easy-to-Make Salad – Seaco Online
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Chinese Rojak Recipe: A Delicious and Easy-to-Make Salad

If you're a fan of Singaporean and Malaysian cuisine, you've probably heard of Chinese rojak. This delicious dish is a type of fruit and vegetable salad that's popular as a hawker or street food. It's a medley of different textures and flavours that come together in a sweet, sour, and spicy sauce.

A table with assorted ingredients: tofu, cucumber, pineapple, and sauce. Bowls, utensils, and a cutting board are scattered around

The origins of Chinese rojak are unclear, but it's believed to have been influenced by Chinese, Malay, and Indian cuisines. The word "rojak" means "mixture" in Malay, which is exactly what this dish is. It's a mix of fruits and vegetables, such as pineapple, cucumber, and bean sprouts, as well as fried dough fritters and tofu puffs. The dressing is made with a blend of shrimp paste, sugar, lime juice, and other spices.

If you're looking to make Chinese rojak at home, it's actually quite easy. You'll need some essential ingredients, such as shrimp paste and roasted peanuts, as well as the fruits and vegetables of your choice. You can even add seafood to the mix, such as prawns or squid, for an extra flavour boost. Once you've prepared the base, it's just a matter of creating the rojak sauce and assembling the dish.

Key Takeaways

  • Chinese rojak is a popular fruit and vegetable salad that's a mix of different textures and flavours.
  • The dish originated in Southeast Asia and is a popular hawker or street food.
  • You can make Chinese rojak at home with essential ingredients and seafood, if desired.

The Origins of Chinese Rojak

A bustling street market with vendors selling fresh fruits, tofu, and various sauces. Customers eagerly mix and match ingredients to create their own Chinese rojak

Chinese rojak is a popular snack food in Singapore and Malaysia. Rojak has its origins in Indonesia where it is called 'rujak'. The Malay word 'rojak' means a mixture or a blend. The dish is a medley of fruits, vegetables, beancurd puffs and dough fritters tossed with a sauce that's sweet, savoury, spicy and nutty. The dish also has a special fragrance from finely minced rojak flower, which is the flower bud of torch ginger.

Cultural Significance

The dish reflects the cultural diversity of Singapore and the region. It incorporates ingredients from different ethnic groups, including Chinese, Malay and Indian. The dish is commonly found in hawker centres, which are open-air food markets that offer a variety of affordable food options.

Seafood can also be added to the recipe to enhance the flavour. You can use prawns or squid to add a seafood twist to the dish. Simply sauté the seafood in a pan with some garlic and ginger, and add it to the rojak mixture before tossing it with the sauce.

In Asia, rojak is not just a dish, it is also a cultural symbol. The dish represents the diversity and harmony of different cultures and ethnic groups. It is a reminder that even though we may have different backgrounds and beliefs, we can still come together and create something beautiful.

Essential Ingredients

A table with a variety of fresh fruits, vegetables, and tofu, along with a bowl of thick, sweet and spicy peanut sauce, and a mortar and pestle for crushing peanuts

When it comes to making a delicious Chinese rojak, there are a few essential ingredients that you simply cannot do without. These include a variety of fruits and vegetables, proteins, and rojak sauce components.

Fruits and Vegetables

The fruits and vegetables used in Chinese rojak are what give this dish its unique flavour and texture. Some of the most common ingredients include cucumber, pineapple, apple, jicama, green mango, and beansprouts. These ingredients are typically cut into bite-sized pieces and tossed together in a bowl.


While not strictly necessary, adding some protein to your Chinese rojak can help make it a more filling and satisfying meal. Some great options include tofu, shrimp, and seafood. If you decide to use seafood, we recommend using fresh prawns or squid for the best flavour.

Rojak Sauce Components

Finally, no Chinese rojak would be complete without a delicious rojak sauce. This sauce is typically made with a combination of ingredients such as tamarind paste, prawn paste, chilli, lime, shrimp paste, sugar, and toasted peanuts. These ingredients are blended together to create a tangy, savoury sauce that perfectly complements the fruits and vegetables in your rojak.

Overall, the key to making a great Chinese rojak is to use fresh, high-quality ingredients and to balance the flavours of your rojak sauce perfectly. With a little practice, you'll be able to create a delicious and satisfying meal that everyone will love.

Preparing the Base

Fresh fruits and vegetables being washed, chopped, and mixed with a sweet and tangy sauce in a large bowl

Peeling and Cutting

To prepare the base of your Chinese rojak, you will need to peel and cut the fruits and vegetables. Start by peeling and removing the trunk from a pineapple. Cut it into bite-sized pieces. Peel a mango and slice it into thin strips. Peel and cut two green apples into bite-sized pieces. Cut two pieces of you tiao and four pieces of tau pok into small pieces.

Mixing Technique

Take a large bowl and add all the fruits and vegetables into it. In a separate mixing bowl, mix the rojak sauce by combining two tablespoons of shrimp paste, three tablespoons of tamarind mix (1tbsp fresh tamarind juice with 2 tbsp warm water), and one tablespoon of brown sugar. Mix well.

Pour the sauce over the fruits and vegetables in the large bowl. Toss everything together until the sauce is evenly distributed. You can use your hands or a pair of tongs to mix everything well.

For an added touch of seafood, you can add prawns or squid to the mix. Cook them separately and toss them in with the rest of the ingredients. Alternatively, you can add some dried shrimp or anchovies to the rojak sauce for an extra umami flavour.

Now that you have prepared the base of your Chinese rojak, you can move on to adding the finishing touches.

Creating the Rojak Sauce

A hand pours a mixture of tamarind, sugar, and chili into a bowl, adding in crushed peanuts and shrimp paste. The ingredients are stirred vigorously, creating a thick, fragrant rojak sauce

To create a delicious Chinese rojak, you need to start with a well-balanced rojak sauce. The sauce should have a perfect blend of sweet, spicy, tangy, and nutty flavours. It should also have a thick and slightly sticky consistency to ensure that it coats the ingredients well.

Balancing Flavours

To achieve the perfect balance of flavours, you will need to combine brown sugar, hot water, lime juice, chilli paste, and shrimp paste in a sauce bowl. You can adjust the amount of each ingredient to suit your taste preferences. If you prefer a sweeter sauce, add more brown sugar. If you want a spicier sauce, add more chilli paste.

For a tangy flavour, you can add tamarind mix to the sauce. Tamarind mix is made by mixing fresh tamarind juice with warm water. You can also add a stalk of chili padi to give the sauce an extra kick.

Consistency and Texture

The consistency and texture of the rojak sauce are crucial to the overall taste of the dish. To achieve the desired consistency, you can add a little bit of hot water to the sauce and mix well. The sauce should be thick enough to coat the ingredients but not too thick that it becomes difficult to mix.

To give the sauce a nutty flavour, you can add toasted peanuts to the sauce. The peanuts should be finely chopped to ensure that they blend well with the other ingredients.

As a suggestion, you can also add seafood to the rojak recipe. Cooked prawns or squid can be a great addition to the dish. You can add them to the sauce or serve them separately on the side. Make sure to use fresh seafood and cook it properly before adding it to the dish.

By following these tips, you can create a delicious Chinese rojak with a well-balanced rojak sauce that will leave your taste buds wanting more.

Assembling and Serving

Ingredients arranged on a table, a person assembling and mixing chinese rojak in a large bowl, then serving it on a plate

Once you have prepared the rojak salad and the sauce, it's time to assemble the dish. Here are some tips to help you add crunch and present the dish perfectly.

Adding Crunch

To add a crispy texture to your rojak salad, you can use you tiao, tau pok, or beancurd puffs. You tiao, also known as dough fritters, can be toasted in the oven or fried to make them crispy. Tau pok, or fried beancurd, can also be used to add some crunch to the dish. Beancurd puffs can be deep-fried until golden brown and crispy.

If you want to add some seafood to your rojak salad, you can use cooked prawns, squid, or crab meat. Simply toss the seafood with the salad and the sauce before serving.

Presentation Tips

To make your rojak salad look more appealing, you can arrange the fruits and vegetables in a colourful pattern on a serving platter. You can also sprinkle some crushed roasted peanuts on top of the salad to add some texture and flavour.

If you want to serve the rojak salad with some laksa or other noodle dishes, you can add some calamansi to the salad. The citrusy flavour of the calamansi will complement the spicy and savoury flavours of the laksa.

Overall, assembling and serving your rojak salad is easy and fun. With a little creativity, you can make a beautiful and delicious dish that everyone will love.

Frequently Asked Questions

A colorful spread of fresh fruits and vegetables, along with various sauces and condiments, arranged on a table for a Chinese rojak recipe

What are the essential ingredients for a classic rojak?

The essential ingredients for a classic rojak dish include fresh fruits such as pineapple, mango, and green apple, as well as vegetables such as cucumber and yam bean. Other key ingredients include tau pok (fried beancurd), you tiao (Chinese dough fritters), and roasted peanuts. The sauce for the dish is usually made from a mixture of prawn paste, sugar, and lime juice.

How do you prepare the sauce for a rojak dish?

To prepare the sauce for a rojak dish, mix together prawn paste, sugar, and lime juice in a bowl. Stir until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is smooth. Adjust the amount of sugar and lime juice to your taste.

What's the secret to a scrumptious rojak?

The secret to a scrumptious rojak is in the sauce. A good rojak sauce should be a balance of sweet, sour, salty, and spicy flavors. It should also have a complex umami taste from the prawn paste. Another important factor is the texture of the dish. The fruits and vegetables should be fresh and crunchy, while the dough fritters and beancurd should be crispy.

Can you suggest a simple way to make rojak at home?

To make rojak at home, start by preparing the fruits and vegetables. Peel and chop them into bite-sized pieces. Fry the dough fritters and beancurd until crispy. Then, mix together the sauce ingredients in a bowl. Toss the fruits, vegetables, and fried items in the sauce until well coated. Serve immediately.

What variations can I add to a traditional rojak recipe?

You can add seafood to a traditional rojak recipe for a unique twist. Try adding boiled prawns, squid, or crab meat to the dish. You can also experiment with different fruits and vegetables, such as dragon fruit, jicama, or starfruit. Be creative and have fun with it!

Is eating rojak beneficial for your health?

Rojak can be a healthy dish if prepared with fresh ingredients and in moderation. Fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber, which are essential for good health. However, the sauce for the dish can be high in sugar and sodium, so it's best to use it sparingly. Adding seafood to the dish can also increase its nutritional value, as seafood is a good source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids.