Spicy Chocolate Rojak

This is a long winter and it shows no sign of abating in March. The produce section at the grocery stores is suffering from the prolonged season. Some fruits and vegetables while available are not at their best and prices are high. Most fruits are brought in from the Southern Hemisphere and they ripen in the box, affecting the taste. From what is available, apples, pears, and bananas are the best tasting and prices are more or less the same. Thank God for sweet clementines in January and February!

From my recent posts, you have probably noticed that I am thinking of warmer climate and foods. It is fun rediscovering some of my childhood favorites and introducing them to my boys. They really enjoyed the Pisang Goreng and I had to make a second batch as teenagers have healthy appetites. :) It is also very interesting to watch the expressions on their faces as they take the first bites. Though not every dish is always well accepted, it is definitely a joy when they ask for seconds.

I currently have a list of foods I would like to prepare should I come across the ingredients while grocery shopping. Yesterday presented me with an opportunity to recreate yet another Malaysian favorite that I have not had for a while. I was excited when I saw pineapples being sold at $2.50 each! I eyed some mangoes and jicama on the next isle and quickly made up my mind that I will try making Rojak.

Rojak is a spicy mixed fruit salad consisting mainly of pineapples, green mangoes, jicama, cucumber, and deep fried tofu. The dressing is a thick, dark sauce of chili paste, sugar, dark sweet soy sauce, and shrimp paste. Most Malaysians would agree that shrimp paste, or heh ko as it is known, is a very important ingredient in the sauce. The thought of driving downtown looking for this shrimp paste and not knowing for certain if I will find it was not how I wanted to spent my afternoon. I had to come up with an alternative.

When I make Chili Con Carne, I use chocolate in the sauce. Why not use dark chocolate for this rojak sauce? The color and consistency is right. There is only one way to find out if the taste is right and hence my version of rojak in the west! I can’t be more happy with the results. You have to give this a try.

Spicy Chocolate Rojak
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 4 servings
  • 2 cups pineapples, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 mango, cut into cubes
  • 1 cup jicama, julienned
  • 1 small cucumber, sliced into ¼ inch semi circles
  • 4 deep fried tofu, pan fried to crisp it up and thinly sliced
  • ⅓ cup chopped toasted peanuts
  • 2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
  • ½ cup extra dark chocolate chips
  • 1½ to 2 tbsp Sriracha hot chili sauce, depending on taste
  • 1½ tbsp tamarind soup base
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ cup water
  1. To make the sauce, combine all sauce ingredients in a small saucepan. Cook stirring until chocolate and sugar are melted and a thick smooth sauce forms. Remove and allow to cool slightly.
  2. Place pineapples, mangoes, jicama, and cucumber in a large bowl. Pour in as much sauce as you would like. Toss to coat. Garnish with sliced tofu, chopped peanuts and sesame seeds.
  3. Serve immediately.

Enjoy…..and have a wonderful day! 8)

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  1. says

    What a fabulous dish. I am intrigued! The sauce sounds so exotic with the chocolate and hot sauce! My brother absolutely loves Sriracha. We use it all the time!
    Great post, Biren! Have a beautiful weekend.


  2. says

    This salad is like no other salad I’ve ever seen before. This is simply amazing. A salad made in heaven. Ironically, I don’t eat meat but I don’t like salads either. This is one salad I’d love to chow down on. All the ingredients sound refreshing and wonderful. There’s just something about the Asian salads that really peaks my interest. At first I thought those tofu were deep fried Chinese long doughnuts. I love the substitution you made in this sauce. You sure are a master of creations, Biren. I need to go eat something now. It’s just mean to tease my stomach with this beautiful food and not give it anything :-). Enjoy your weekend.

  3. says

    Hey Biren, this is a very neat version of Rojak, which I believe I have had before. I can’t quite imagine the sriracha and chocolate together, b/c of the garlicky aspect of sriracha. I’m sure that tamarind and sugar help to bring it all together though-funny how some things that sound like they would be strange together can end up being so right;-)
    Yum Yum!

  4. Jeannie says

    Chocolate rojak? This is the first time I heard of this version! Interesting! Now I am imagining the taste of this combination:)

  5. says

    Hey Biren, what an interesting and very creative dish. I would love to try it. Sort of like the chocolate in mole sauce. I love all your ingredients, so why not? I’m sure it was delicious. Have a nice weekend and don’t lose hope for Spring!

  6. says

    I can’t over the ingredients! There’s like chocolate and vegetables…haha, that’s the way to do it! I have never heard of this kind of dish before. Creative.

  7. says

    Wow that sounds delicious. My aunt made me Rojak a few years ago and, even though the flavours were very different from what I’ve experienced before, it was simply amazing!

  8. says

    i think it’s pineapple season, it has been on sale for a couple of weeks now.
    your dish sounds fantastic, love the combo between the hot sauce and chocolate and the fruit veggie selection.
    thanks for sharing Biren

  9. says

    This looks great Biren! When you mentioned adding chocolate I instantly thought of it as the asian version of Mexican mole. Stay warm out there. I just talked to my brother and he was lamenting about the cold temps and impending snow. Bah humbug. It’s time it took a hike imo.

  10. says

    Wow! You have some imagination in the kitchen! The sauce looks like the real thing :) I guess when you are hard pressed, ingenuity is a natural consequence LOL Your rojak looks fantastic! I might try making this with chocolate too because though hay koh is easy to get here, I never really liked the smell 😛

    • Biren says

      Hey Denise, the sauce does taste like the real thing minus the shrimpy smell. That was the one thing that struck me after eating this. Now you can enjoy your rojak and still be… 😉 ROFL!

  11. DongXing says

    Biren, this is such a clever and imaginative alternative to the shrimp paste, which my husband and kids are not fond of at all. I do have a pineapple waiting to be eaten, this would be a wonderful fruit salad to serve. Thanks for sharing!

  12. says

    Your rojak in the West is so unique! The thot of adding dark chocolate to all those fruits thrills me and it’s like eating chocolate fondue! 😉
    I’ll definitely try this out bcoz actually I’m a little allergy to the shrimp paste but I just love rojak! Thks for sharing this unique recipe! 😀


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