This database contains a collection of Mandarin terms which have cultural, historical or sentimental value unique to Singapore. These terms may be used by Singaporeans in the past or at present. Some of the terms are read in print while others are used in our everyday conversations.
Food / Plants
A local snack made by mixing ingredients such as pineapple, turnip, cucumber, bean sprouts, and fried dough sticks with shrimp paste, chilli, crushed peanuts and other condiments. Also known in Mandarin as "罗惹".
The Mandarin term “罗杂” is a transliteration of the Malay term rojak, which originated from the Indonesian term rudjak.
Rojak originated from Indonesia. The main ingredients of Indonesian rojak are fruits and vegetables.
Rojak was first introduced from Indonesia to Penang. In order to cater to diners from all backgrounds, the local Teochew hawkers there modified Indonesian rojak, which mainly consisted of fruits and vegetables, by adding Nyonya ingredients such as ginger and Chinese ingredients such as dried tofu and fried dough sticks. Rojak was later brought to Singapore, where it gradually went through further changes to suit the local palette.
After World War II, Teochew hawkers in Singapore went around selling iced dishes and sweets. However, due to fierce competition, some hawkers switched to selling rojak as an alternative. As a result, Chinese-style rojak started to gain popularity.
Rojak is made by adding shrimp paste to a large bowl, and adding a few drops of hot water, chilli, tamarind (also known as assam), water and lime juice to soften the paste. After stirring the mixture to form a thick paste, ground peanuts and mashed ginger flowers are added to make the rojak sauce. Cucumber, pineapple, turnip, bean sprouts, water spinach (kang kong), fried dough sticks and dried bean curd are then added to the sauce and mixed thoroughly before serving.
Behind each plate of flavourful rojak that satisfies the taste buds of diners, is a story of the ups and downs faced by Mr Lim Ngak Chew and his son, Stanley over the years. The stall, which has a history of nearly half a century, was voted a Top 10 UHawker stall thanks to a secret recipe that has been passed down from generation to generation. (Lianhe Zaobao, 12/12/2016)
罗惹 (Malaysia, Indonesia)
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