The dish I was probably looking the most forward to eating in Malaysia is rojak, a type of fruit salad with a thick, intense dressing that practically screams Southeast Asia. I didn’t come across any in KL, but from previous trips to Penang, I knew that I needed to head for Georgetown’s busy Gurney Driver hawker market:
There, Ah Chye, a lauded and busy stall, does the Penang version of the dish, which I’ve been told is particular about the inclusion of rose apples (the tiny pink kind known in Thai as mamiaw) and squid. Ah Chye’s rojak also has crunchy guava, jicama and cucumber, bits of crispy deep-fried dough, sweet mangoes and tart chunks of pineapple. These disparate ingredients come together with the help of a virtually mud-thick sweet/fishy/sour/spicy dressing made from shrimp paste and sugar (Ah Chye’s dressing is so popular, it’s available in take-away tubs). And as if there wasn’t already enough going on, the dish is garnished with ground peanuts and sesame.
Excellent, but I want more. Penangites/Georgetownians: Where do you like to get your rojak on?
Gurney Drive Hakwer Stalls, Georgetown, Penang, Malaysia
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