Fruit Rojak – Spicy Fruit Salad

Fruit Rojak Video with Caroline Artiss

A viewer sent me a box of snacks and pantry items from Kuala Lumpur. My friend and fellow YouTube chef Caroline Artiss is half Malaysian, so I asked her to help me determine what to do with it all. Among the strange and beautiful delicacies was a jar of sambal rojak.

A sambal is a paste — you make be familiar with sambal oelek, the chili paste — and sambal rojak is a sweet and spicy paste made to dress fruit salads. It’s base is tamarind (also used in this pad thai recipe) with a bit of chili and sugar and belachan. Belachan is shrimp paste, but don’t be put off! If you can find some sambal rojak, give it a try. I promise it’s delicious. I found this sambal rojak on Amazon. It’s a different brand than the one we used in the video, but if you can’t find it locally, at least you can order it by magic.

sambal rojak

Firm, bland fruits and vegetables work best for this fruit salad, since the dressing is pretty intense. Things like apples, asian pears, cucumbers, radishes, guava and pineapple are commonly used. But explore! Experiment! We added strawberries and they were wonderful.

Fruit Rojak Recipe


Sambal Rojak – Spicy Fruit Salad

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5 from 1 review

  • Author: Hilah Johnson
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 8-12 1x


  • 4 pounds fresh fruit
  • sambal rojak
  • 1/4 cup roasted salted peanuts, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 red chili pepper, thinly sliced


  1. Cut the fruit into bite-sized pieces, no bigger than 1 inch cubes. Place in a large bowl and add 2-4 tablespoons sambal rojak and mix gently until it’s all coated.
  2. Spread onto a plate and sprinkle with peanuts, sesame seeds and sliced chili pepper. Serve with toothpicks or forks.
  3. Leftover salad keeps in the fridge for about 24 hours.

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Watch the video we made together tasting all the things in the box of Malaysian foods!

sambal rojak malaysian fruit salad


  1. Diane on September 19, 2015 at 10:26 am

    Now I’m off to Amazon to place an order. That looks wonderful. And am I crazy to think the sambal rojak would be good on noodles with cucumber and peanuts?

    • Hilah on September 20, 2015 at 5:18 pm

      I think that sounds delightful!

  2. The Other Randy on September 19, 2015 at 7:27 pm

    One of my very favorite TV cooks/cookbook authors, Rachel Khoo, happens to also be half-Malaysian and raised in London. I finally got around to watching her episode of A Cook Abroad where she goes to Malaysia (it took me most of the show to realize what KL meant) and was fascinated by the food. I immediately subscribed to Caroline’s YouTube channel. I’ve only eaten maybe 4 Malaysian dishes and want to eat a lot more.

    • Hilah on September 20, 2015 at 5:20 pm

      I hope you find lots of recipes to try! I want to find a Malay restaurant. You’d think in a city as big as LA, it should be easy.

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