Malaysia has a reputation for being a country of passionate gastronomes and of course, a rich cuisine that encompasses an eclectic variety of culinary traditions and cultures.
From the localities’ favourite Asam laksa to the flavoursome char kway teow, to the mouth-watering mid-day snack lor bak and stodgy Mee Goreng, Malaysians have their fair share of street foods. For that matter, a beloved street food staple that deserves a definite mention here is Rojak.
The sweet and savoury mix of Malaysia’s succulent fruits and vegetables served with thick spicy dressing of belacan, chilli and lime juice, Rojak is a Malaysian-style salad dish that brings together desperate ingredients to form a scrumptious blend of flavours. There are basically two varieties of Rojak;
Take cucumber, jicama, bean sprouts, deep-fried tofu, fried dough fritters, prawn fritters, hard boiled eggs, boiled potatoes, and cuttlefish- mix them with spicy peanut sauce and here’s your crispy sweet and salty Rojak Mamak ready to eat.
Rojak Mamak, commonly known as Pasembur, is a common road side food in Penang, Malaysia. To give traditional Pasembur a trace of modern palate, ingredients such as sausages, crabsticks, and fried dumplings are also added to the salad often.
Unlike savoury Pasembur, Rojak buah, also known as fruit Rojak or Penang Rojak, gives sweet and sour taste. Though fruits in Rojak Buah vary by the regions in Malaysia and the different seasons of the year, the common ingredients include cucumber, pineapple, raw mangoes, guava, jambu air, green apples and sweet which are tossed with thick spicy peanut sauce and crushed peanuts.
Malaysia certainly has a lot to offer when it comes to street foods and regional cuisines and Rojak is certainly worth a try. However, being in a non-Malaysian country, it can be difficult to find a store that maintains the same authentic taste and richness in its Rojak.
But don’t worry! You don’t have to scout every nook and cranny to savour the authentic Rojak. Just visit Mamak Restaurant – Malaysian Roti and Satay” in Sydney that not only serves the best Rojak but offers other delicious food staples of Malaysia.