Pasembur / Malaysian-Indian Salad

February 15, 2013

Malaysian-Indian Salad recipe.

Known as Pasembur (pronounce as Puh-serm- bore) in the Northern States of Malaysia or Rojak (pronounce as Raw-Juck) to the rest...

What is Pasembur?... see below... I cut and paste from Wikipedia to describe it best...

"Pasembur is a Malaysian Indian salad consisting of cucumber (shredded), potatoes, beancurd, turnip, bean sprouts, prawn fritters, spicy fried crab, fried octopus or other seafoods[1] and served with a sweet and spicy nut sauce.
The term Pasembur is peculiar to Northern Peninsular Malaysia. It is especially associated with Penang where Pasembur can be had along Gurney Drive.[2] In other parts of Malaysia, the term Rojak Mamak is commonly used."
It is my favourite food...

Its been many years..since I last had a plate of Pasembur...  the last time I had a plate full of this glorious gorgeous Pasembur was most probably back in 2008, visiting my parents and before my dad's health dwindled.
It was my dad's favourite too...

Occasionally on his way home for lunch, my dad rode his old and trusted Honda Cup (motorbike) to  his favourite Pasembur vendor and bought few packets for his family as a treat... 

Fresh, crisp Malaysian-Indian Salad

I was a school going kid who lived miles away from school, and had to rely on our super efficient (NOT!!) public transport. I reached home from school almost 2.30 pm everyday.

... feeling tired, sweaty, hot and bothered...Plus it was quite a walk from the bus stop to home... everything seems far in the hot weather plus when one was tired from half day using one's brain power and the heavy bag pack!!!

...but all that feeling vanished as soon as I looked under the food cover ... saw a plate of Pasembur... waiting...  'YAY'...
Shower and a change into fresh clean clothes can wait... but my tummy, couldn't!! 

Malaysian-Indian Salad  serve with spicy nutty sauce.

.... not wanting to waste another minute, I  pulled a  nearby stool, sat and ate my share of the freshly made (by the vendor of course...) Pasembur....

~ Happy ~ Satisfied ~ Contented ....

Pasembur rojak

Pasembur is best eaten immediately... the julienne vegetable will wilt and lose its crunch and so are the fritters... its "too BAD... tough Luck" for me if I was to attend the afternoon session school... wilted and soggy Pasembur would be waiting and greet me from under the food cover ... if any left at all!!!

The above photo shows an overview of the many ingredients to make 'Pasembur'... 

psssst....I did not make and include coconut fritters (mix the batter as per Cucur Udang below but substitute chopped prawns with freshly grated coconut, and omit turmeric and shallots)... why? I never like it with my Pasembur anyway... hehehe

Have a great weekend...

Lisa H.xox


Pasembur / Malaysian Indian Salad (with thanks to my sister...)

click to Print 

Fresh Ingredients
4 hard boiled egg
1 Yam bean /sengkuang – julienne
2 Lebanese cucumber – julienne
3 firm bean curd – deep fried
2 carrots – julienne
1 cup of beansprouts (lightly blanch)
3-4 steam potatoes – quartered

Cucur Udang / Non crispy Prawn Fritters
3 shallots – thinly sliced
1 cup plain flour
75 g chopped prawns
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon turmeric
150-200 ml water
2 cups of cooking oil

  1. Mix all the ingredients in a mixing bowl. 
  2. Stir to mix well. 
  3. Batter should be thick. 
  4. Heat oil in a wok until nearly smoking. 
  5. Using a tablespoon, scoop the batter and drop into the hot oil. 
  6. Deep fry until golden in colour. 
  7. Dish out the golden nuggets onto the absorbent kitchen paper. 
  8. Set aside to cool and cut into bite-size
20 dried chillies –washed and soaked overnight and blend with 1 -1 1/2 cups of water*
250 g sweet potato (orange) - blend
250 g roasted peanuts – coarsely grounded
2 cups of golden fried shallots (store-bought from Asian grocer)
4 tablespoon raw sugar
2 tablespoon sesame seeds – roasted
3-4 tablespoon concentrated Tamarind Extract
Salt to taste

  1. Mix the blended chillies and sweet potatoes in a medium size saucepan. 
  2. Bring to boil then simmer on medium heat for 20 minutes. 
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients until the sauce thickens.
  4. Season to taste
Ok... Lets eat the Pasembur
Prepare, julienne and cut into bite size as per photo above. Divide into individual plates. Drizzle the sauce on top.

Note ~ * water - add 1/2 cup water if it is too thick and unable to move the blender blade.


  1. cucuoq kelapa tu memang takleh gi la dari dulu Lisa
    it's taste sometimes bitter if hangit.
    totally cannot gi.
    but the gravy i normally lve both.
    eitehr teh nutty one or the sambal one.
    rojak - rojak.
    pasemboq (penang dialect)
    Chek lapaq la nengok pasemboq hang ni.

    1. Hahaha... sama la kita no :D
      Memang tak leh nak telan pun cucuq nyioq tu ;P

  2. Wow!!!what a wonderful Rojak, yummmy!!!!

  3. A beautiful salad! What a great combination of ingredients. It reminds me a little of Gado-Gado...



  4. This is a new salad to me. Looks exotic and delicious!

    1. Thank you Angie :D
      Its hawker food favourite among Malaysians or Singaporeans :D

  5. Hi Lisa! We call this "Indian Rojak" here in Singapore... The hot, sweet and spicy peanut gravy is the soul of the dish.. oh.. I love the fresh green chili too!

  6. Ooh....rojak is one of my favorites. Now hardly buy from outside. And now looking at yours, it is good and always healthy to make at home. Yum.

  7. ish, syok tak terkata bila nampak your pasemboq!! There's more chance of me menang jackpot millionaire than jumpa sengkuang kat Aberdeen... prolly kena tanam sendiri kot?! x

    1. LOL... kalau Muna menang jackpot, boleh order se guni sengkuang airflown dari Msia ;P

      fresh sengkuang kat sini seasonal... kalau ada pun, mak aiii , mahai, about AUD$15/kg!!
      ni pun I beli satu saja, for show... tak cantik tegha mana pun :(

  8. Omg Lisa I love love love Pasembur! And even if my pasembur only had hard boiled eggs and tofu I'm happy already. Just love the sauce and never realised it's so doable at home. Thanks for sharing this recipe! Maybe I can surprise ppl by asking ppl to "lou hei" with this instead of the traditional one this CNY ;p

    1. LOL...
      cannot lou hei with pasembur ma, no element of 'Ong' hehehe

  9. i always look for salads that are flavorful just like yours! what a vibrant salad with so much goodness :)

  10. How did you manage to get the sengkuang?


    1. From one of the Asian Grocers...
      but they dont stock sengkuang all year round :( and mahai :((

  11. These look decadently yummy! Have a great week

  12. Haiyo my goodness! I felt like having pasembur...and you have it here!!!
    Truly inviting my dear!!!!

  13. Hi Lisa,

    Kalau balik Perlis, mesti makan pasembur di pekan Kodiang, Kedah. Memang tak boleh lepaskan peluang.

  14. Hmmm looks absolutely delicious. It's too bad that I've never had a chance to try this dish. I really love your photography Lisa! I get inspiration every time I come here. :)

  15. Ni memang I suka makan sangat. I suka your cucur udang.. nak try nanti. :)

  16. Apa habag,

    Tengah dok chari respi pasemboq, tengok2 cheh ada pulak bagoih punya senang pulak ni... jadi terjumpalah saudari Lisa punya laman web ni... dok ingat laa kalau ada masa buleh laa buat cucoq udang, tak kalu buat apa yang senang laa gamak nya... nih nak tanya sat, cek ni orang Penang kaa? Kalau iya, tang mana sedap pasemboq Penang? Kalu had Padang Bromm tu dak pernah makan.. :))) Terima kasih buat respi naa...


    1. Cheq oghang Kedah, so makan2 kat Penang cheq tak pandai ;p