Friday, August 19, 2011
Rujak Serut - Indonesian Shredded Fruit Salad
The perfect little salad for summer. Ultra refreshing, very appetizing, full of textures and flavors. I love this as an appetizer, side dish, snack or even dessert. Making this does require quite a bit of work shredding the fruits, but the result's totally worth it.
These super cute and adorable rose apples. I love the bit of crunch and spongy texture, its sweetness with a bit of tang, and its adorable shade of pink!
These green mangoes have deep yellow interior. The texture's firmer than the yellow ripe mango, it's very fragrant, it almost has coconutty/floral scent, and it is very sweet. I pretty much gnaw on the thin and small seed to clean up the part of the flesh which I could not shred. The cook's prerogative!
Jicama is a must in many Indonesian fruit salads. It gives the combo a nice crunch, with fresh yet earthy flavor.
I've also used fresh ripe pineapple, which I didn't photograph because I am forgetful. But I am sure everyone has seen pineapples before. Golden deliciousness!
Peel and shred all the fruit into matchsticks (except the rose apples, simple remove the core and chop away). I just used half a jicama, 1 mango, 2 rose apples and half a pineapple.
The combination of fruits is not fixed. Feel free to use anything which are available in your area.
The palm sugar dressing
The majority of the dressing is palm sugar, for its deep, sweet, coconutty, almost caramel-ish flavor; then salt to balance the sweetness; tamarind paste and lime for the sourness; a touch of shrimp paste for that extra savory umami-ness; and bird's eye chillies for the hot slap on the face.
I didn't exactly measure when I made the dressing, I started with a few chunks of palm sugar pieces, a tsp of sea salt, a tiny drop of shrimp paste, 1 tsp tamarind paste, 1 chilli, juice of 1 lime and a bit of hot water. I mix them together and keep adjusting the flavors to achieve the perfect balance of everything. The paste would be thick in the beginning, you can dissolve it by adding more hot water until you reach a thin-ish syrupy consistency (I should be killed for my very unclear "description", I know) and keep adjusting the flavors as you're thinning the dressing.
This is the kind of salad that needs quite a bit of dressing. All the fruits should be able to get just submerged in the dressing to let all the flavors marry.
Pour dressing over all the shredded fruits and refrigerate. The already multi-faceted flavors of the dressing will be combined with all the different juices from the fruits, you can imagine how complex it is, but yet...perfectly balanced. Just before serving, squeeze a bit of lime juice for that final punch.
Serve cold, of you can even add ice. If you wish, top with a bit of roasted nuts for more crunch.
Enjoy...and happy Friday!