I must’ve been looking at this recipe for quite sometime now. Looking and droolin. Droolin coz there’s no where I can get all the ingredients like it should be, drooling coz I can’t just fly back now to order this at the famous rojak stall and droolin coz I have never tried it out this way before … until today.
Bam! And it hit me.
If i was siting in front of the stall, I would be ordering seconds for help. But since it was my own kitchen, I couldn’t help but just get seconds and third helpings. (*blush ) Yeah, there’s no eu char kuey, no bean sprouts today, no sweet turnip (ban-kwang) at this time yet (3 weeks too early from the harvest)…and I have no ready made Hae Ko. BUT where there’s a will, there’s a way.
This is the original recipe with credits to Bern’s aunty Margaret. (Thank you Auntie for the inspirations!) I have modified it a little, and noted it right at the end. Of course, it probably can’t beat those “famous” rojak stalls, but I’m pretty satisfied with my results. There are so many variations which you can do. It is usually a vegetarien salad made up of differant vegetables and tropical sour fruits, or some uses sea food to go with it. Whatever the variation, the most important thing that has to be correct is the rojak sauce itself. If it doesn’t taste right, your rojak is not going to make you happy. Rojak is usually a snack eaten at any time of the day. It’s a little sweet and sour with a little fishy spur at the end. I used to take it home from the stall after school hours to lift up my taste buds. There’s indian rojak, malay rojak, penang rojak. Back home, we’ve been pretty particular about the cleanliness of the stalls. A bad rojak can give you a real bad stomach if not carefull. A shame I wasn’t able to get eu char kuay for this. Better planning for me, the next time round.
So here goes:
Part A – Sauce
- 2 tbsp *Hae Ko (petis udang or thick sweet black prawn paste)
- Tamarind juice – (4cmx8cm piece soaked in 100ml hot water until thick, then remove seeds)
- 80g Sugar
- 60g Gula Melaka
- Salt to taste
- 3 Garlic – crushed
- Dried Chillies (blend, or use chilly powder)
Part B – Main Items
- 1/2 Cucumber
- English Spinach (or kangkong, or long beans as a substitute) – 2x bundles
- Bean sprouts (optional)
- Tofu – brown/dried type – cut in pieces
- Eu Char Kway
- Handfull crushed Peanuts
- Bang-kwang (sweet turnip)- optionally if you’re creative, use nashi pears
- 3 slices fresh Pineapple, cubed (or from the can :-/)
- Assam fruit (Jambu, etc)
- 1 green mango, sliced
- Sesame seeds
Making the Rojak sauce:
As a substitution to the sweet black prawn paste sauce that can be bought in the asian supermarkets, I made the sauce myself, and used instead of Part A:
2 tbsp. Hoisin sauce,
1tbsp black bean sauce,
2 tsp. belachan,
120g Gula Melaka,
1 Tbsp cornstarch (Mondamin)
3 dried red chillies, grinded
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1. In a pot, fry belachan, garlic, Hoisin sauce, until the mixture is thick. Add tamarind juice and simmer very lightly. Add gula melaka and continue simmering for another 5 minutes. Add as much chilly powder to taste. Use 1 tbsp cornstarch, dissolve it in a little hot water or (from the mixture), then mix in to the sauce and continue to simmer for another 5 mins. Once the gravy is thick and goooiy, take the pot away from the fire. Allow to cool. (Normally, you don’t cook the sauce. But I preferred this method as it makes the sauce smoother and it’s easier to melt the block of gula melaka)
2. In the mean time, roast the peanuts till light brown. Remove immediately from the pan and allow to cool. Once cool, pound it to make crushed peanuts.
3. Blanch the spinach / kangkung / or long beans
Making your rojak:
4. Add all ingredients in a bowl. Use as much sauce necessary only to cover all the ingredients. Mix vigourously in a big bowl together with some crushed roasted peanuts and sesame seeds.
5. Serve and garnish with the rest of the peanuts and enjoy this in your own kitchen!