Sweet, sour, salty, spicy. This hot little sauce is an Indonesian wonder and is fantastic as a garnish for salads or drizzled over a bowl of mixed tropical fruits with some apple and cucumber: try adding papaya, pineapple and melon or go crazy and sling in a mixture of everything tropical you can find: mango, lychee, mangosteen, starfruit...
A few notes on ingredients and the like as, delicious and multi-functional though it may be, rujak is very Indonesian and needs a little investment...
Fish or shrimp paste is readily available. To roast it, spread it thinly on the blade of a knife or a flat piece of doubled up kitchen foil and toast it under the grill or over a gas flame until it changes colour and the surface dries, bakes and hardens. It’ll smell pretty rich in the process, be warned! Alternatively, you can use a little (about 1/2 tsp) fish sauce.
Make the tamarind paste by soaking a chunk off a block of tamarind, or tamarind paste, in warm water for a while until the seeds separate from the thick, gooey, flesh. Strain this mixture to get the paste. You'll need to soak about 150g of tamarind paste in about 250ml of hot water.
- 2 birds eye chilis
- 1/2 tsp roasted fish paste
- 3 tbsp tamarind paste
- 4 tbsp palm syrup
The Balinese grind the ingredients lovingly and at great length in the distinctive shallow mortar they use to grind all of their fresh pastes and sauces, but you’re probably best off just whizzing them!