Rudjak with gooseberries, pineapple, apple and cucumber

Rudjak with gooseberries, pineapple, apple and cucumber

Rudjak is a mix of vegetables and fruits with a sweet, savory and spicy sauce. Rudjak is delicious with Indonesian food. It helps when the other dishes are quite spicy. The sweetness of the sauce helps to diminish the spiciness in other dishes.

If you cannot get pineapple or gooseberries it’s okay, says Beb because all kinds of fruits are used in Indonesia for rudjak. In the pictures below I opt for blackberries and tomato for instance.

This rudjak recipe is enough for 6 people (as a condiment) and done in 30 minutes.

Rudjak # 576 translated from Beb Vuyk’s Groot Indonesisch kookboek, page 447.


  • 1/4 cucumber
  • 2 almost ripe apples
  • 1/2 pineapple
  • 100 grams of gooseberries (not ripe) or 100 grams of redcurrants

For the sauce

  • 2 teaspoons sambal ulek or sambal trassi
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons of grated Javanese sugar
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons of sweet soy sauce (kecap manis)
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons of water
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon kitchen tamarind (asem)
  1. Rub the sambal with the sugar, salt, and tamarind into a paste.
  2. Add at the end the kecap and a bit of water.
  3. Peel the fruits and the cucumber.
  4. Cut them, except for the gooseberries, in pieces and mix them in the sauce.

The fruit variations are infinite in Indonesia. The fruits in this recipe can be varied with half-ripe tomatoes and semi-rich plums.

Rudjak ingredients like blue berries, apples, cucumber, chillies , trassi and gula Jawa

For the kitchen tamarind, I just use the asem (tamarind) I always use for other savory dishes. I think Beb means by ‘kitchen tamarind’ already filtered tamarind that is a bit sweeter than pure tamarind. Because I only have pure tamarind, I add a teaspoon of sugar.

Javanese sugar (gula jawa) can be bought as a granulated sugar or in hard blocks. I cut my sugar blocks of gula Jawa into pieces before adding it to the mortar.

I also buy blueberries. It looks beautiful with the other colors. I add a tomato too.

Rudjak sauce ingredients in the mortar (cobek)

You can use Sambal Ulek or Sambal Trassi (Indonesian chili salsas) through the sauce. I’m definitely going for sambal trassi. Trassi is fermented shrimps. I love the bold flavor 😉 in this rudjak.

I rub the sambal, Javanese sugar and salt well. I have no sambal trassi left, so I chop up a chili and add a piece of trassi (about 1 teaspoon) into my mortar and rub it fine. The sugar starts to melt quickly.

Now the tamarind can be added together with the sweet soy sauce (Kecap Manis ABC).

See how smooth the sauce becomes? I taste a bit to see if the combination salt, sour, sweet is well balanced.

I cut the apples and cucumbers and take off their skins. Now the sauce can be sucked up by the vegetables and fruits.

I scoop the sauce into the pot of fruit and veggies. I make sure it is well distributed.

I use a jar, because I want to keep it in the fridge for tonight and even the rest of the week. With the lid on you can easily shake it a bit for the sauce to go in every corner.

We are eating this rudjak tonight, but tomorrow it is even more delicious.

The combination of blueberries is pretty crazy but tasty. I think the tomato is delicious in a rudjak; sweet and tender. And look how beautiful the colors are together.

We eat the rudjak with an Indonesian fish (mackerel) dish and nasi kuning (yellow rice). Enak sekali!

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2 Responses

  1. Sylvie Williams says:

    What is Javanese sugar? and how is the sweet soy different form the regular soy sauces we get?

    • Pauline Chavannes de Senerpont Domis says:

      Javanese sugar is the same as gala merah or Indonesian Sugar. It is harvest from the nectar of the palm flower. You can buy this kind of sugar in any asian shop. Sweet soy sauce is definitely very sweet. Regular soy sauce is mostly pretty salty. Sweet soy sauce is called ‘kecap manis’.

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