Pineapple and Jicama Salad (Rojak)
A refreshing mix of fruits and vegetables in a sweet and salty dressing, this is a popular street snack in Malaysia.
Yield: serves 4
- 1⁄2 tbsp. belacan (Malaysian dried shrimp paste)
- 6 tbsp. gula jawa (Indonesian palm sugar)
- 5 tbsp. kecap manis (Indonesian sweet soy sauce)
- 2 tbsp. fresh lime juice
- 3-6 red thai chiles, stemmed and coarsely chopped
- 2 kirby cucumbers, stemmed and cut into 2" chunks
- 1 medium green mango, peeled, cored, and cut into 2" chunks
- 1 small jicama (about 3⁄4 lb.), peeled and cut into 2" chunks
- 1⁄2 large, ripe pineapple, peeled, cored, and cut into 2" chunks
- 1⁄3 cup unsalted skinned roasted peanuts, finely chopped
- Wrap shrimp paste in a 5"-square piece of aluminum foil to form a package; press down with heel of your hand to flatten paste into a 1⁄4"-thick disk. Heat a gas burner to medium-low or an electric burner to medium-high, place package directly on burner, and toast until paste begins to smoke, about 1 minute. Turn with tongs and cook for 1 minute more. Unwrap disk; let cool.
- Put shrimp paste, sugar, soy sauce, lime juice, chiles, and salt to taste into a blender; pulse to form a smooth paste. Transfer dressing to a large nonreactive bowl, add cucumbers, mango, jicama, and pineapple, and toss to combine. Season with salt to taste. (Alternatively, arrange on a plate and drizzle with dressing.) Transfer salad to a platter, sprinkle with peanuts, and serve immediately.