Rujak (Indonesian Fruit Salad)

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Rujak is an Indonesian fruit salad tossed in a homemade spicy dressing. This unique dish is naturally vegan and gluten-free.

A white bowl filled with a colorful fruit salad.

🥭 What is Rujak?

Rujak is a dish with roots in Javanese cuisine. It is traditionally a sliced fresh fruit and vegetable salad with a sweet and spicy palm sugar dressing served primarily as a street food. While most common in Indonesia, versions of this unique salad can be found in Malaysia and Singapore as well. It is also known as rojak or rujak buah.

A white bowl filled with fruit and a dark wooden spoon.

❤️ Why You Will Love This Recipe

  • This spicy fruit salad has a completely unique flavor profile, with both sweet, nutty, and spicy notes.
  • Indonesian rujak makes a great appetizer, side dish, dessert, or even dip.
  • The homemade rujak dressing is delectably sweet, sticky, and spicy.
  • This traditional fruit salad is naturally vegan, dairy-free, soy-free, and gluten-free.
A bright fruit salad in a large white salad bowl.

🥒 Ingredients and Substitutes

Orange: Oranges or any citrus fruit you prefer works well here.

Grapefruit: A grapefruit adds a nice contrast to the sweeter fruits. Pomelo is a more traditional choice and makes a great alternative if you have access to it.

Papaya: Papayas not only add a nice mild flavor but also have a nice creamy texture which adds contrast to this salad.

Mango: The sweetness of the slices of mango elevates this dish. If you do not have mango, use pineapple or other sweet tropical fruits for a similar sweetness level.

Cucumber: You might be wondering why there is a cucumber in this rujak, but cucumber is actually a fruit and it adds a nice refreshing crispness to this salad.

Coconut sugar: Traditionally, palm sugar is used in rujak, but coconut sugar is more readily available and nearly identical in taste. They both come from palm trees, with coconut sugar coming from coconut palms and palm sugar coming from date palms. You can also use brown sugar for a similar flavor profile.

Thai chiles: Crushed dried Thai chiles are a red chili pepper also known as bird-eye chilies. They add all of the heat to spicy sauce in this flavorful salad. If you do not have dried, you can use one fresh chile instead.

Nuts: Both ground peanuts and cashews can be found in traditional rujak recipes, use whichever you most prefer the flavor of. Peanuts offer a stronger flavor, whereas cashews have a more mild flavor.

Salt: A small pinch of salt ties it all together!

Top Pick
Authentic Red Thai Chili Peppers Authentic Red Thai Chili Peppers

These chiles work great in this rujak recipe!

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Close shot of a spicy fruit salad.

🥣 How to Make Rujak

A mortar and pestle filled with crushed nuts.
A mortar and pestle filled with crushed dried red chiles.
A saucepan filled with sugar, nuts and crushed chilies.
A saucepan filled with a simmering liquid.
Colorful sliced fruit in a large white bowl.
A saucepan filled with a sticky looking liquid and a blue spatula.
A fruit salad coated in a brown dressing.
Close shot of a colorful mixed fruit salad.
  1. Place the various fruits into a large bowl.
  2. In a small saucepan over high heat, add the dressing ingredients and bring to a boil.
  3. Once boiling, reduce the dressing to a simmer and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
  4. Pour the dressing over the fruit, then toss to combine.
  5. Enjoy!
Top view of a mixed fruit salad in a large white ceramic bowl.

🔪 Variations

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.
A white bowl filled with a variety of sliced fruit and a wooden spoon.

💭 Top Tip

This salad tastes best with fruit used at peak ripeness. Use fresh organic produce if possible for the best results.

Close shot of a spoonful of fruit salad resting in a white bowl.

🥗 More Delicious Salad Recipes

Korean Cucumber Salad

Tahini Kale Salad

Halloumi Salad

Beet Salad

Mango Salad

A white bowl of tropical fruit salad coated in a spicy looking dressing.

Rujak Recipe

Rujak is an Indonesian fruit salad tossed in a homemade spicy dressing. This unique dish is naturally vegan and gluten-free.
4.99 from 51 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Salad
Cuisine: Indonesian
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Kristen Wood

Ingredients

Fruit Salad

  • 1 mango sliced or chopped
  • 1 grapefruit peeled, broken into sections
  • 1 orange peeled, broken into sections
  • 1 cucumber thinly sliced
  • ½ papaya sliced or chopped

Spicy Dressing

  • 1 cup water
  • ¼ cup coconut sugar or any sweetener you prefer
  • 2 dried Thai chiles crushed
  • 2 tablespoons cashews or peanuts crushed
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Instructions

  • In a large bowl, add the mango, grapefruit, orange, cucumber and papaya. Set aside.
  • In a small saucepan over high heat, add the water, sugar, chiles, nuts, and salt.
  • Bring all to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes stirring frequently, until all has reduced and is syrup-like in consistency.
  • Pour the dressing over the fruit, then toss all to combine.
  • Serve and enjoy!

Notes

I like to use a mortar and pestle to crush the chiles and nuts. If you do not have one, you can pulse them with a food processor or simply chop them finely with a knife.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 160kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 0.5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 174mg | Potassium: 442mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 25g | Vitamin A: 1802IU | Vitamin C: 85mg | Calcium: 55mg | Iron: 1mg

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Recipe Rating




 

5 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    So refreshing and light. I loved the sweetness in the dressing that enhances the flavor from the fruits.

  2. 5 stars
    This spicy dressing is absolutely spectacular! Not only is it delicious on this fruit salad, but it’s really good on a lettuce side salad, too. I’m definitely making this again!

  3. 5 stars
    I love trying ethnic recipes like this, and it didn’t disappoint. It turned out so well that we are adding it to our monthly rotation!

  4. 5 stars
    It was my first time making Indonesian fruit salad and I am so impressed with the outcome! It was packed with amazing flavors that I really love. The spicy dressing is one of the best!