I’ve always thought every Singaporean loves Fruit Rojak but I was wrong. My brother is one of those non-Rojak lovers. Till today, I couldn’t understand how anyone does NOT like this sweet, tangy and sour fruit salad? I suspect it could be due to the prawn paste that goes into the dressing, which I admit, could be a little overpowering for some people.
Now if you are clueless about what Fruit Rojak is, it typically consists of cucumber, jicama (bang guang), pineapple, beansprouts, taupok (fried beancurd), youtiao (Chinese crullers) and sometimes, dried cuttlefish. Everything is tossed together in a thick prawn paste dressing that is addictively (in my opinion) sweet and tangy. There are similar versions found in Malaysia and Indonesia but the addition of youtiao and taupok I think is uniquely Singapore style.
Today’s version is all about my favorite item in the rojak – “Youtiao”. In fact, the sole purpose of eating Rojak for me is because of the youtiao. I reckon if I have the choice to make rojak at home, I might as well go all the way and I did! I’ve also added in a handful of bean sprouts for some fibre and texture. If you are not so crazy like me, feel free to include other types of vegetables mentioned above.
4 strips you tiao (Chinese crullers)
Handful of bean sprouts – blanched in hot water for 30 secs
1 stalk ginger flower
1 tbsp prawn paste
2 tbsp tamarind paste
1 ½ tbsp sugar (or more if you like it sweeter)
Juice from 1 small calamansi / lime
1 tsp sambal chilli (optional)
3 tbsp ground peanut
1 calamansi / lime
Serves 3 – 4
Place the youtiao into a preheated oven at 200°C for 5 – 7 mins. This will give them a crispy texture. Alternatively, you could toast them in a griller.
In a large mixing bowl, add in prawn paste, tamarind paste, sugar, chilli (if using) and mix well. Give it a taste and adjust with more tamarind or sugar if necessary. The flavor profile is sweet and tangy.
Using a pair of scissors, snip thin slivers of the ginger flower into the mixture. You’ll need to use only ¼ – ½ of the stalk.
Cut the youtiao into bite size portions (I like to use the scissors) and put them into the bowl.
Add in the bean sprouts, ground peanut and toss everything evenly together.
Transfer onto a large plate and serve immediately.