Rujak Indonesian Fruit Salad with Chilli Dressing

A fruit salad that is mixed in a handmade spicy dressing, rujak is a traditional Indonesian dish. This one-of-a-kind recipe is naturally devoid of gluten and vegan ingredients.

My Indonesian meal plan was quickly updated to include rujak as soon as I learned about it. All of the things that I adore about south-east Asian cuisine are present in this dish: it is vibrantly colored, fresh, and infused with chilli. However, I must confess that I did cheat a little bit. I am aware of how bad I feel. The trouble is, however, that I just so happened to discover a jar in my cabinet that had been sitting in the back corner for a considerable amount of time without being opened. It was even given the name Sambal Rujak! Not only does it make my life easier, but it also helps me use up one of the many jars that I have in my overstuffed pantry.

Rujak Indonesian Fruit Salad with Chilli Dressing

Despite this, it still feels like cheating, and I am aware that this may be an ingredient that is unavailable to a significant number of people. I have provided a recipe for the sambal rujak that comes from the excellent SBS Feast Magazine. This magazine also contains a gorgeous recipe for Rujak in its October edition. For those individuals who do not have an Asian grocery store in their immediate vicinity, I have included this recipe. Because I am certain that preparing a homemade sauce is a lot more enjoyable than taking it out of a jar, I will have to give it a shot myself at some point in the future whenever I have the opportunity.

In spite of the fact that there are numerous recipes and references for rujak that can be found on the internet, not a single one of them mentions the typical serving time for this meal. What is it, a dessert or a dinner? Or perhaps just a little snack. It is possible for it to go either way, in my opinion; the fruit gives it a light and sweet flavor that is suitable for dessert, and the chili sauce gives it a flavor that is more savory. Due to the fact that I was unable to locate an explanation, I decided to offer it among my savory dishes at my Indonesian feast. If there are any Indonesians who happen to read this, do let me know!

What is Rujak?

Rujak is simply a fruit and vegetable salad that is comprised of a wide range of colorful fruits and vegetables that are tossed with a sweet and spicy sauce that is created from palm sugar and aromatic spices. It is highly regarded in Indonesia, where it is referred to as “rujak buah,” as well as in Singapore and Malaysia, where it is referred to as “rojak buah,” and where it is frequently served as a traditional street snack.

However, you could have problems locating some of the components, despite the fact that it is relatively simple to prepare. There is a wonderful Asian market in my neighborhood that sells imported fruits, veggies, and seasonings; but, this dish can be prepared with more fruits and vegetables that are grown locally. The amazing spicy palm sugar dressing is where the actual secret lies; it is the perfect complement to the dish.

Why You Will Love This Recipe

  • This spicy fruit salad has a flavor profile that is absolutely distinct, with components that are sweet, nutty, and spicy all at the same time.
  • As an appetizer, a side dish, a dessert, or even a dip, Indonesian rujak proves to be an excellent choice.
  • The rujak dressing that you make at home happens to be deliciously sweet, sticky, and spicy.
  • In addition to being naturally vegan, dairy-free, soy-free, and gluten-free, this traditional fruit salad is also vegan.

Rujak Indonesian Fruit Salad with Chilli Dressing

Ingredients and Substitutes

Orange: You can use oranges or any other citrus fruit that you like the most for this.

Grapefruit: In contrast to the fruits that are sweeter, a grapefruit is a good addition. Pomelo is a more conventional option that, if you have access to it, is an excellent alternative to consider purchasing.

Papaya: Not only do papayas contribute a pleasant, mild flavor to this salad, but they also have a pleasant, creamy texture, which provides a contrast to the dish.

Mango: It is the sweetness of the mango slices that brings this meal to a higher level. If you do not have mango, you can utilize pineapple or other tropical fruits that are sweet to achieve a sweetness level that is comparable.

Cucumber: It is possible that you are perplexed as to why there is a cucumber included in this rujak; nevertheless, cucumbers are essentially fruits, and they contribute a flavorful and refreshing crispness to this salad.

Coconut sugar: Coconut sugar is more widely available and has a flavor that is almost equal to that of palm sugar, which is traditionally used in the preparation of rujak. Both coconut sugar and palm sugar originate from palm trees; coconut sugar is derived from coconut palms, while palm sugar is derived from date palms. Brown sugar is another option for achieving a flavor profile that is comparable.

Thai chiles: Thai chilies, which are also known as bird-eye chilies, are a type of red chili pepper that is crushed and dried. By adding all of the heat to the spicy sauce, they make this salad even more delectable. You can substitute one fresh chile for the dried one if you do not have any available.

Nuts: Ground peanuts and cashews are both ingredients that may be found in traditional rujak recipes; however, you should pick the one that flavor you love the most. In comparison to cashews, peanuts have a more robust flavor, whereas cashews have a more subtle flavor.

Salt: To put it all together, just a little bit of salt is great!

Rujak Indonesian Fruit Salad with Chilli Dressing

How to Make Rujak

1. Mango, grapefruit, orange, cucumber, and papaya should be placed in a large dish and mixed together. Put aside for later.

2. Take the water, sugar, chiles, almonds, and salt and place them in a small saucepan. Place the saucepan over high heat.

3. After bringing everything to a boil, decrease the heat to a simmer. Simmer for ten minutes, swirling the mixture often, until all of the liquid has reduced      and the viscosity is similar to that of syrup.

4. After pouring the dressing over the fruit, toss everything together to blend it.

5. Serve and take pleasure in it!


Here are some other additions that work well with this spicy salad when you’re ready to mix it up:

  • Jicama.
  • Green mango.
  • Guava.
  • Air-fried tofu
  • Shallots.
  • Green apples like Granny Smith apples.
  • Rice noodles.
  • Pineapple.
  • Roasted sweet potatoes.
  • Instead of making the sauce, use sambal oelek for the dressing instead.
  • Add a dollop of tamarind paste or tamarind juice for a nice touch of tanginess.Rujak Indonesian Fruit Salad with Chilli Dressing

Recipe Tips & Notes

  • Other Fruits and Vegetables. The preparation of Rujak can also be done with a wide variety of other well-liked fruits and vegetables. There are a virtually infinite number of options. The starfruit (also known as belimbing), water apple (also known as jambu air), ambarella (also known as kedondong), pomelo (also known as jeruk Bali), jicama (also known as bengkuang), guava (also known as jambu merah), and a great number of other fruits are frequently consumed.
  • Buy Belacan. I was eventually able to locate belacan at a huge Asian store in the city that is close to me; nonetheless, it is more convenient to place an order online. Here is where you can purchase Belacan Shrimp Paste on (this is an affiliate link, my friends!). What a fantastic piece! “Trassi” and “terasi” are two more names for the drug belecan.
  • Substitutes for Belacan. In the event that you are unable to locate belecan, you can substitute dried shrimp, but be sure you use twice as much. You might also use shrimp that has been salted. Two to three crushed anchovies with oil is yet another alternative. As a vegetarian alternative, you may try using shiitake mushrooms that have been chopped or ground.
  • Heat Factor. As a result of using only three bird’s eye peppers, the spicy dressing will provide you with a reasonable amount of heat, although it will not be very satisfying. You are able to effortlessly add extra to suit your own personal desire for heat. Alternately, if you would rather have a lower heat, you can skip them.

Storage & Leftovers

It is possible that you will be able to keep the leftovers of your Rujak for up to one to two days if you put it in the refrigerator in an airtight container. It is imperative that you instantly place it in the refrigerator in order to extend its shelf life.


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