Malaysian Sweet, Sour & Hot Salad
The Chinese-Malay salad known as rojak is an example of a classic Indonesian dish (called rujak), a dish that has developed as a hybrid somewhere else. This version tantalizes the senses with a brilliant array of hot, sweet, sour, and salty tastes, coupled with an assortment of juicy, slippery, leafy, crunchy, spongy and crispy textures. Really it tastes as good as it sounds.
1/2 large ripe firm pineapple, cut into wedges
1 large green mango peeled, seeded and cut into thin wedges
1 choko (chayote) peeled, slices thin and lightly salted
1 small yam bean (jicama, bangkwang) peeled, and cut into wedges
2 Lebanese cucumbers cut into wedges
100 g fried bean-curd cubes, quartered or oven grilled tofu
Leaves from 1 bunch kangkong (water convolvulus) or 1 bunch watercress
1/2 cup roasted peanuts, coarsely ground
2 tablespoons tamarind pulp, reconstituted in ¼ cup water
2 tablespoons kechap manis (sweet soy sauce)
2 teaspoon sambal oelek or chopped fresh chilies
1 teaspoon sweet chili sauce
1 tablespoon palm sugar, finely ground
1) Combine sauce ingredients in a bowl and stir to dissolve the sugar.
2) Serve by arranging the prepared fruits and vegetables, bean curd and kangkong (watercress) leaves on a platter or in individual serving bowls. Drizzle over the sauce and sprinkle with the chopped peanuts. Alternatively, allow each diner to drizzle their own sauce.
As you may have noticed, there are some rather exotic ingredients in this dish. I would suggest a trip to your local Asian grocery store to stock up. Some things may also be substituted such as the Lebanese cucumber. If you simply cannot find these special cucumbers a regular cucumber would also work but I would suggest removing some of the seeds to cut some of the water.