Rojak means “wild mix” in Malay, and is often used to refer to Singapore’s diverse racial mix. Rojak is a punchy and piquant local salad of fresh fruit and vegetables such as sweet turnips, pineapples, cucumber, bean sprouts and unripe mango. These are cut into bite-sized portions and tossed in a bowl with dried soya bean cakes (called ‘taupok’ by the locals) and fried dough fritters (also known as ‘youtiao’). With deft hand movements, all of this is mixed into a unique dressing of fermented prawn paste, fresh ground chilli, sugar, lime juice and roasted peanuts.
The devil is in the details – the best Rojak stalls include tiny slivers of fresh calamansi rind and wild ginger bud to create an even more aromatic and tasty salad.
There are many places selling Rojak in Penang. You can find the rojak store along Gurney Drive as well as in New World Park.