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Culinary Creations - Rojak Flower

  • The rojak flower, found in fruit rojak in sunny Singapore, is sure to catch your eye. A head of spirally overlapping bracts (modified leaves that are at times mistaken for petals) in fiery red, pink, or white sits on top of a tall green stem; this may serve to attract pollinators to the true flowers that are tucked between the bracts. Resembling a flaming torch shooting straight up from the ground, it is no wonder it has also earned the common name, torch ginger flower.

     


    Rojak flower or torch ginger flower

     

    Widely cultivated as an ornamental plant in gardens in tropical regions, it is also treasured locally and in Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia, for its waxy flower buds that possess a unique fragrance and taste. Thinly sliced or shredded, it serves as a spice in many salads and sauces. It is also an indispensable ingredient in laksa, curries and seafood stews, with the power to mask strong fishy tastes!


  • Rojak flower buds

     

    Wrap your taste buds around the appetising flavour of rojak flowers in a Mango Kerabu Salad! Kerabu is a Malaysian tropical fruit salad with a spicy sambal sauce that leaves your tongue tingling. The following recipe is milder, with a gentler dressing of chilli lime.


  • Recipe extracted from Season with Spice

     

    Mango Kerabu Salad

      Ingredients:
    1 torch ginger flower bud – remove petals and slice thinly
    1 raw or semi-ripe green mango, shredded
    4 shallots, thinly sliced
    Handful of mint leaves, thinly sliced
    Red chilli, thinly sliced (optional)
      Dressing:
    2 tbsp calamansi lime juice (or pineapple juice)
    ⅓ tbsp sugar
    Dash of salt
      Method:
    Combine all the ingredients together in a bowl and mix well with the dressing.
  • This article is part of our Culinary Creations series.


Written by: Debbie Chen, Assistant Director (Education, Programming)
Debbie is an ardent reader who often finds herself nose-deep in a dystopian novel. She has been involved in education since graduating from university, and enjoys bringing information to people in an engaging way that helps them see things in a new light.

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