Tuesday, September 25, 2012

For the love of Rojak Kucei™

If you like something to quench the palate with fresh crunchy vege (cucumber, jicama and mung bean sprouts) that meets a savory, almost spicy, filling and long lasting meal from protein source of boiled eggs & fried chicken with fried chives fritter, thick slices of fried tofu and a helpful serving of flavorful, fiber-loaded gravy poured over them, then this is the DISH.

Have it for breakfast, lunch or dinner, there is no rule of when you can have them.

In my book, like Subs sandwiches in US, it is all about the bread; in Italy, its all about the sauce for their pasta dishes. The filling goes secondary. Malaysia and Singapore has their own set of ingredients that makes the dish for their endless lists of fabulous food. For Noodles, its all about the gravy. Gravy, Gravy, Gravy.

But one, very particular dish is the Indian Rojak or some call it Rojak Mamak, both famous in Malaysia and Singapore.  Rojak means 'a mix ' and in this entry, it's a vegetable and protein mix dish with THE gravy that actually makes this DISH. Without this Gravy, it's just like any regular Salad.

A local gal I will always be, will bring you to very popular place in Kuching, located at Batu Lintang Hawker Centre (Jalan Batu Lintang), Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia is Rojak Kucei (pronounced Koo-Chay). A place so famous for the Indian Rojak that foodies literally compare all Indian Rojak to Rojak Kucei™ in Kuching. It has become a trademark. A must-go-to place. You need to be fast, as they will never make another batch for the rest of the day.

My reason of adding this entry is, one: my sister with her SOS and two: last July, I saw a friend's post on a social network, Mr Mozz Moss, you know you're at fault :) and my crave of Rojak Kucei were unimaginable that I actually dreamt of having it the night after. The only way to suppress this was to make some. I have never made this dish, ever. No worries. A girl has to do what a girl is craving for :) Search the Web and Cook.

My 'best friend,' the internet, is there to serve and save me. Searching for 'Indian Rojak' or 'Rojak India' as keywords.

My search got refined to these two links. Singapore Indian Rojak and Rojak (ala melayu) - Cucur Udang - Kuah Rojak - Rojak India to start. I was imagining the main ingredients that makes a Rojak India and for my case, Rojak Kucei™ of Kuching. Comparing notes with both sites, I went with the first link for the gravy

The Gravy

450g sweet potatoes
5 cups water
4 tbsp oil
1 ½ tbsp tamarind juice in water (more or less to taste)
100g sugar Salt to taste
6 shallots, pounded finely
3 cloves garlic
2 tbsp chilli paste
1 tsp Chicken stock
100g toasted peanuts, pounded
1 tsp salt
A little dark soya sauce (for colour) * I opt this out

**I added these ingredients below realizing something is missing in the ingredients above

• 1 stalk of lemongrass, crushed
• half an inch of Galangga, (frozen for easy grating) about a teaspoon grated 
• Added about half a teaspoon of chilli flakes to add more spice
  1. Boil the sweet potatoes then blend in separate portions with half amount of water. 
  2. Heat oil in a saucepan and fry ground shallots and garlic, chilli paste and chicken stock. 
  3. Add in blended sweet potatoes and remaining water. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes.
  4. Add tamarind juice, palm sugar and salt to taste. 
  5. • Add in the lemongrass, galangga and chilli flakes
  6. Stir continuously over a gentle heat for 2 to 3 minutes or until sauce is thick. 
  7. Add peanuts [ and a little dark soy sauce for color.]

and the second link for the 'Cucur' or Fritter. I opt to only have the Chives as part of the ingredient and omitting the prawn which was called for in the ingredient.

Chives Fritter
the ingredients may not be much but creates a ton of flavor.

100 g All Purpose Flour
20 g of Rice Flour
** 20 g of Cornflour ( this adds an extra crunch for my batter and soft on the inside)
** 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 egg
1 green Chilli (pepper) - get rid of the seeds and sliced or chopped
1 red Chilli (pepper) - get rid of the seeds and sliced or chopped
15 stalks of Chives  (I used more of these as I like them)
Salt to taste
Oil for Deep frying

1. Mix three types of flours, baking powder and salt

2. Add in eggs, green and red chilli, chives and water and mix well to a soft not to runny nor too solid of a batter.

3. heat up Oil for deep frying. Drop a tablespoonful at a time and fry till golden brown. Take out of the hot oil and cut into halves or quarters when cool.

Tips from the 2nd link chef: For the fritter dough, the eggs soften the batter, it must not be too hard nor too runny so that the fritter is soft. As a general tip, use one egg for every 300 gms of flour. Let the batter rest for 15-20 minutes before frying.

Fried Chicken

1 (1kg/2 lbs) whole Chicken or Chicken breast (cut according to how big or small you'd like them)
1 tablespoon or more of Turmeric
1 teaspoon of Salt
1 teaspoon of Crushed Black Pepper
Oil for deep frying (or use ones after frying the fritter)

Marinate the Chicken well with Turmeric, salt and crushed black pepper.
Fry Chicken till cooked and drained on rack.

Other 'must-haves' ingredients to make the Rojak complete.
  • 200g Bean Sprouts (clean out the root tips, if you like and blanch for a 30 seconds to a minute and put in ice water to stop from cooking further, drain) 
  • 200 gms of Jicama (peeled and julienne)
  •  1 medium size cucumber (julienne or in half inch cubes) 
  • 3 (3x3x1) tofu squares (deep fried and cut into 8 pieces each) 
  • 4 boiled eggs (peeled and cut into halves or quarters)

To Serve

Put all the ingredients in a plate: Chicken, Chives Fritter, Eggs, Cucumber, Tofu, Jicama & Bean Spouts (Romaine lettuce, if any, as in picture) Pour gravy over them. Serve Warm or Cold to your liking. I always like mine warm.

Enjoy! :)

And to my sister who has the SOS out in Kiwiland, here's the recipe to the rescue. Please adjust to your liking :)

To All out there, I thank you for visiting and happy cooking :)


Rashidah Bolhassan said...

danke! love u tons!!! DOT

FreezerNinja said...

Bitteschön :) love you gazillion tons more:)

Ranee Kenyalang said...

Really making me crave for this!