Rojak Mamak (Pasembur)

As a colloquial expression, the word rojak is used in Malaysia to describe an assorted mix of something or even someone….we sometimes jokingly say that a person is a rojak if he/she comes from a mixed-parentage! Now that is funny especially since rojak literally refers to a delectable dish (known to originate from Indonesia)!

For the global foodies, rojak is simply a plate of salad (consisting of fruits and vegetables, eggs and fish cakes and sometimes tossed noodles along with many other choices) that is specifically dressed with yummy peanut sauce. You get a dish of rojak when an assortment of ingredients are assembled on a plate and topped with spoonfuls (not just spritzs!) of the creamy peanut dressing.

Actually, there is a wide variety of rojak available according to regions in Malaysia; the type of rojak that I prepared earlier today is also known as pasembur. Here are some of the ingredients I piled up on my plate of homemade rojak: crunchy fritters (prepared separately), fried tofu, seasoned and boiled potatoes, hard-boiled eggs, coarsely shredded cucumber and jicama, a handful of bean sprouts.

I prepared the spicy and sweet peanut sauce after reading a couple of recipes online, more eager to learn some tips and shortcuts :) I remember once watching Rachel Ray preparing this peanut sauce using crunchy peanut butter, a couple of dashes of soy sauce, spicy mustard and maple syrup. I think that would work too but I made my rojak sauce from scratch. Roasting the peanuts and then pounding them gives the sauce a rather distinct flavor.

As satisfying as any homemade dish can be but not enough to satiate my yearning for the rojak served at the mamak stall in Taman Shamelin, Cheras!


  1. Wow! Your South INdian cooking looks really good...must try a few recipes....Good job with the blog!


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