Fruit salad, with a spicy twist

Tabl set me a challenge to create a dessert recipe using Sauceman’s Spicy Kecap Manis. Kecap manis (or kicap manis), resembles sweet soy sauce; not an unfamiliar ingredient in my kitchen but using it in a sweet course has definitely presented me with a challenge.

I’ve always loved mixing contrasting flavours – sweet and sour, spicy and creamy … or sweet and spicy, another favourite of the Asian taste buds.

Sauceman’s kecap manis is different from others that I’ve used in the past. The flavour from the ginger, galangal and chilli gives it that spicy edge, while the garlic, an ingredient used in many asian dishes, adds a familiar kick to the sauce. Another differentiation is the coarse texture of the sauce, from the blend of ingredients, as opposed to the usual smooth and runny consistency.

I love the sauce and can think of many ways of using it in my cooking. However, it took me a while to figure out a dessert recipe that is simple, with easily accessible ingredients and showcases the sauce in all its glory.

The humble fruit salad

Growing up in Malaysia, I’m used to fruit salads with a bit of an edge. It’s called “rojak”. Complicated flavour profile and very moreish! It has a mixture of local fruit, fried bean curd and sometimes Asian crackers for texture. The dressing is sweet, salty, spicy, dark and sticky.

The taste of Sauceman’s kecap manis reminds me of the Malaysian rojak dressing. So, I thought I’d give it a go at recreating something similar with my own little twist…


(Serves 2, as a snack or a side dish)

The dressing

  • 1 1/2 tablespoon sauceman’s kecap manis
  • Juice of a lime
  • 1 tablespoon honey

The fruit

  • 1/4 of a small watermelon – cubed
  • 1/4 a pineapple – cubed
  • 1/2 mango – cubed
  • 1/4 cucumber – cubed
  • 1/2 a pomegranate
  • Spicy papadum (optional)
  • Small pinch of basil or mint (optional)


It’s super easy.

  1. For the dressing, simply mixed all the above sauce ingredients in a bowl. Make sure you tweak the flavour to your liking by adjusting the quantity of the different ingredients.
  2. And for the fruit, just chop them up into 2 to 3cm cubes or bite sized chunks. Mix them up in a serving bowl.
  3. Drizzle the dressing all over the fruit, making sure they are well coated.
  4. Sprinkle over crushed papadums or prawn crackers if you have them.
  5. Garnish with fresh basil or mint leaves for a bit more freshness or just for aesthetic reason 🙂
  6. Serve in individual bowls or a sharing dish.

Note: This recipe is not prescriptive. The quantity of each ingredient for the dressing can be adapted to taste, and so can the type of fruit or vegetables used in the salad.

And there you have it. A different kind of fruit salad. Great on its own or as a dessert after meal. As summer is approaching, I’ll definitely be recommending this as an accompaniment for any barbecue!

It is so easy to make. Just grab yourself a bottle of Sauceman’s kecap manis from and start experimenting!


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