Rujak (Indonesian Fruit Salad)
This rujak recipe is highly flavorful fruit salad from Indonesia with a slightly spicy twist. It’s perfect as a side dish, party platter or dessert! Super tasty.
We’re making Rujak in the Chili Pepper Madness kitchen, my friends, and it is absolutely delicious. If you are a fan of fruit salad, this new recipe may become your new favorite. It’s a fruit salad with a spicy twist from Indonesia, and it definitely belongs in the recipe collection of any spicy food lover.
This is definitely my favorite fruit salad recipe of all time.
What is Rujak?
Rujak is essentially a fruit and vegetable salad that incorporates a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables tossed with a sweet and spicy sauce made from palm sugar and aromatic spices. It is popular in Indonesia, where it is called “rujak buah” and Singapore and Malaysia, where it is known as “rojak buah”, where it is often served as a street food.
It’s quite easy to make, though you may have trouble finding some of the ingredients. I have a great Asian market near me for imported fruits, vegetables and seasonings, though this can be made with more local fruits and vegetables. The real secret is in the spicy palm sugar dressing, which is just outstanding.
Belecan (dried shrimp paste) can be tough to find, but check the recipe tips and notes section for substitutes and where to buy it online.
Let’s talk about how we make Rujak, shall we?
Rujak (Indonesian Fruit Salad) Ingredients
- Fresh Fruits and Vegetables. I’m using ½ pineapple fruit (nenas), 1 unripe or green mango (mangga muda), 1 small cucumber (timun), 1 green apple, and ½ small papaya (pepaya muda), all peeled, deseeded and sliced. See the Recipe Notes for other possible fruits and vegetables. The combinations are endless.
- FOR THE SAMBAL RUJAK (RUJAK SAUCE)
- ½ cup palm sugar (or use brown sugar)
- 1 cup water, divided
- ¼ cup tamarind juice (or use lime juice)
- 1 teaspoon belacan (dried shrimp paste), dry roasted – See NOTES for substitutes and where to buy it.
- 3-6 bird’s eye peppers (or more, as desired)
- Salt to taste
How to Make Rujak – the Recipe Method
The Fruit. Add all of the fruit to a large bowl.
Make the Sambal Rujak (Rujak Sauce). Add the sugar and ½ cup water to a saucepan. Bring to a boil, the reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes to make a simple syrup. Stir in the remaining ingredients (water, tamarind juice, roasted belacan, whole peppers, salt).
Boil and Simmer the Sambal Rujak. Bring the rujak dressing to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 5 more minutes. Remove from heat and cool.
Strain the Sambal Rujak. Strain, the pour over the fruit. Toss the fruit to cover it in the Rujak sauce. Serve!
Boom! Done! Pretty easy recipe, right? This makes about 1 cup of Sambal Rujak (Rujak sauce) and about 4-5 cups or more of rujak. You can very easily upscale this recipe, and also chop the ingredients down even more as desired.
You can use a food processor to chop the fruit, but I prefer more bite size portions.
Recipe Tips & Notes
- Other Fruits and Vegetables. There are many other popular fruits and also vegetables for making Rujak. The possibilities are truly endless. Some commonly used fruits include starfruit (belimbing), water apple (jambu air), ambarella (kedondong), pomelo (jeruk Bali), jicama (bengkuang), guava (jambu merah), and many, many others.
- Buy Belacan. I found belecan (finally!) at a large Asian market near me in the city, but it’s easier to order online. Buy Belecan Shrimp Paste Here at Amazon.com (affiliate link, my friends!). Great stuff!
- Substitutes for Belacan. If you are unable to find belecan, use dried shrimp, but use double the amount. You can also use salted shrimp. Anther option is 2-3 mashed anchovies with oil. For a vegetarian substitute, try chopped or ground shiitake mushrooms.
- Heat Factor. You’ll get some decent heat with the spicy dressing from the bird’s eye peppers, though not much using only 3 of them. You can easily add in more to your own heat preference. Or, skip them if you’d prefer milder heat.
That’s it, my friends. I hope you enjoy this outstanding spicy fruit salad recipe. Indonesian Rujak! Let me know if you make it. I’d love to hear how it turned out for you. Keep it spicy!
Try Some of My Other Popular Recipes
- Shrimp Ceviche
- Papas Arrugadas
- Spicy Pineapple Salsa
- Tropical Fruit Leather (Fruit Rollups)
- Cowboy Caviar
- Sambal Matah
- This recipe was adapted from “The Food of Indonesia” (affiliate link, my friends!) by Heinz von Holzen and Lother Arsana. Great book! Highly recommended!
Got any questions? Ask away! I’m happy to help. If you enjoy this recipe, I hope you’ll leave a comment with some STARS. Also, please share it on social media. Don’t forget to tag us at #ChiliPepperMadness. I’ll be sure to share! Thanks! — Mike H.
Rujak Recipe (Indonesian Fruit Salad)
- ½ pineapple fruit peeled, cored and sliced
- 1 unripe mango peeled and sliced
- 1 small cucumber peeled, deseeded and sliced
- 1 green apple sliced
- ½ small papaya peeled, deseeded and sliced
FOR THE SAMBAL RUJAK (RUJAK SAUCE)
- ½ cup palm sugar or use brown sugar
- 1 cup water divided
- ¼ cup tamarind juice or use lime juice
- 1 teaspoon belacan dried shrimp paste, dry roasted – See NOTES for substitutes.
- 3-6 bird’s eye peppers or more, as desired
- Salt to taste
- Add all of the fruit to a large bowl.
- For the Sambal Rujak (Rujak Sauce), add the sugar and ½ cup water to a saucepan. Bring to a boil, the reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes to make a simple syrup.
- Stir in the remaining ingredients (water, tamarind juice, roasted belacan, whole peppers, salt).
- Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 5 more minutes. Remove from heat and cool.
- Strain, the pour over the fruit. Toss the fruit to cover it in the Rujak sauce.