I then made a bucketload of the sauce, and kept some chopped up fruits and veggies in the fridge. When I felt like having rojak, all it took was 30 seconds. Rojak had never been so good and quick.
The readymade supply didn't last long and soon, I had to whip up another batch. This time, oh boy, it seemed like a lot of work!
Making the tamarind water was a real pain 'cause it was too thick for the strainer, so I had to pick out the seeds one by one . . . by one . . . . I counted up to 127, then started chanting, "Om . . . ."
Meanwhile, the peanuts were roasting away. I had to stir them a couple of times so that they browned evenly. And then I had to rub off all the skins. And then I had to toss 'em high in the air outside the window so that the wind blew the skins away. Luckily, the wind direction was cooperative and nothing flew into the house. A round of vacuuming would have made me go
Finally, I had to get down to the chopping, slicing, measuring, dragging out the mini chopper to give the peanuts a whirl . . . .
I knew exactly what I had to do, so it was rather boring. I need something new!
Since I was, ahem, a veteran rojak maker (with a grand total of two weeks' experience), making a sauce for stuffed tau pok seemed like the natural progression. I made basically the same sauce as for Chinese rojak but added lime juice, kecap manis, and a thin instead of thick tamarind juice. I also added some palm sugar, which made the sweetness more nuanced. Mmmmm . . . . It was nice. Eaten with tau pok stuffed full of cucumber and blanched bean sprouts, the combination was surprisingly different from Chinese rojak. It was lighter and tasted of veggies, in a good way.
I think I'm done with rojak anything for a while. Oooh, what's that coming out of my ears?
|STUFFED TAU POK WITH ROJAK SAUCE|
(Recipe for 4 persons)Sauce – makes about 1½ cups
60 g palm sugar (4 tbsp), mince and steamed till dissolved
2 tbsp sugar
60 g tamarind (4 tbsp; Orchid brand), mix with 90 ml hot water, drain and discard seeds
1½ tbsp chilli powder, or to taste
90 g fermented prawn paste (Two Boys brand)
1½ tbsp rojak flower (aka torch ginger bud)
½ cup peanuts (80 g), toast, rub off skin, and chop/pound roughly
juice and finely minced peel of 1 calamansi lime
2 tbsp kecap manis (ABC brand)
8 pieces tau pok (豆卜, beancurd puffs)
100 g bean sprouts, blanch briefly, drain, and dry with paper towels
100 g cucumber, cut matchstick size, and dry with paper towels
2 pairs you zha kueh (aka Chinese crullers, 油条), separate each pair into two pieces
The sauce is similar to the one for Chinese rojak but it's less thick since it's a dip. And it's got a more rounded sweetness from palm sugar, kecap manis and lime juice. Besides you zha kueh and stuffed tau pok, it's also a great dip for tart fruits like green mangoes.
Mix all ingredients for sauce. Taste and adjust if necessary. Set aside.
Mix cucumber and bean sprouts. Slit one side of beancurd puff in the middle to make a pocket. Stuff with bean sprouts and cucumber.
Place tau pok on a rack if not grilling immediately so that excess water from the bean sprouts and cucumber drains away. Stuffed tau pok should be eaten the day they're made while the veggies are still crisp.
Grill tau pok and dough fritters till crisp. Cut tau pok into 2 or 4 pieces, and you zha kueh into 5. Serve immediately with sauce on the side.
Why not make some Chinese rojak as well? Click here for the recipe.