Rujak is the first recipe we learned to make in this class. One of Indonesia’s most popular snacks, it is basically a fruit salad, with a sweet and sour sauce, mainly tamarind and chili. Of all the recipes we made that day, I think this one is the simplest to recreate at home, as it does not involve too many exotic ingredients, or a least those common enough that you can find them in a supermarket.
You can use any fruits you like for this, as long as they are crunchy. You can even mix some refreshing cucumber in the mix, as was the case in this salad. One fruit to avoid though is watermelon as it gives too much water to really work with this salad.
The dressing traditionally contains shrimp paste, but as there was a veggie in the class we also made a version without the shrimp paste and I personally liked that one better. But I’ll give you both here.
What do you need?
Dressing: 1 small red chilli – 1 tsp shrimp paste (optional) – 3 tbsp tamarind paste- 4 tbsp palm sugar syrup – sea salt to taste
Fruit salad: 2 apples – 1/2 a pineapple – 1 large cucumber
How to make it?
There is a lot of grinding involved here (and in all Balinese recipes it seems). You can do the grinding in a blender at home but I’ll tell you the recipe as we learned it in the class, with mortar and pestle.
1. The first thing is to open the chili and remove the seeds. Our teacher showed us a cool technique for this. Basically roll your chili on your working surface for a bit. Then shake it and when you open it all the seed should be lose and ready to fall off your chili pepper.
2. Then grind the chili, together with the shrimp paste (if you want some), then add the tamarind, keep mixing to blend together, then add the palm sugar syrup. Check the balance of sweet, sour, salty and spicy. If you think the mix is not salty enough but don’t want to add shrimp paste, or don;t have it at hand, you can use soy sauce or fish sauce.
3. Chop the fruit in thick chunks. And then mix in a large bowl and pour the sauce over it.
This dish is very refreshing, perfect on a hot summer day! I can imagine serving it as a salad for a pic nic, a side for a BBQ, or just as a snack. You can also make the sauce to use as a dip for spring rolls or dumplings, or as a marinade.