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Sunday, August 5, 2012

Roti John - MFF Melaka #4

John's Toast. LOL. A Susie yesterday and a John today. Sounds cannabilistic eating these, joking :p

I'm not sure if the person who invented this is named John because there's no information at all on the internet about its origins. Even though we do not know where this toast evolved from, it's a known fact that it's really popular in Melaka, especially in Pantai Puteri,Tanjung Kling, Melaka. Read Vkeong's review on Barkat's Roti John. GPS information is included.

I had roti john once at Barkat, and that was more than 12 years ago. (Patricia TanPS, you were with me!) We were so stuffed from all the food we had through out the day, that when it came to late night supper at Barkat, I could no longer taste the food as I should. You know, when one is full, it's hard to appreciate whatever you put into the mouth. But I do remember it smelled pretty awesome.

Now, I know that roti john is everywhere in Malaysia or Singapore. But there is something special about the version in Melaka, that is, it's served without mayonnaise, cucumber or any other stuff except a dipping chilli sauce. The filling itself is vibrant enough to stand on its own. The secret? Fried anchovies! The fried anchovies lend a special fragrance to the filling, of which is totally different from the pasar malam (night market) versions that you can get.

I managed to get some foot long buns from the mini market nearby and hmmm........ 1ft long. I don't think my pans can fit them. It's ok if you want to cut it up and fry on the pan, but my itchy butt just don't want to do that. I might as well get smaller buns, right? So, I decided to fry them in the oven! Woahahahaha! Ingenius, right? *Excuse my self praise* It's totally ok if you want to use smaller buns, but this crazy woman in me just wants to be as close as possible to the real thing.

Roti John
Recipe source: WendyinKK
Reference: VKeong's description and

1 long bun (11-12 inches)
Some butter or margarine
Oil for greasing

1 Tbsp crispy fried anchovies
1 pc canned sardin + 1 Tbsp of the ketchup
1/2 red chilli
Some sliced onions
1 Tbsp chopped spring onion
1 Tbsp chopped chinese parsley (daun sup)
1 egg
dash of white pepper

Chilli Dipping Sauce
2 Tbsp of chilli sauce
2 Tbsp hot water

1. Grease a baking tray with oil. Put into oven, on the lowest rack and preheat at 200C, bottom heat only.
2. Coarsely blitz anchovies and chilli. Combine with the rest of the filling ingredients.
3. Split the bun and spread the filling onto it. Top with some thin butter slices.
4. Place bun, filling side down into hot baking tray and bake until it smells good, about 5-7 minutes.
5. Slice roti john and serve with chilli dipping sauce.


  1. Didn't even know roti john originated from Melaka. You really know your food well. Another yummy post from you !! Not making this tho' . Going to get it from the bazar ramadhan.

  2. My mom just made this for me for lunch yesterday! Sounds like fun trying to make it in the oven. Any difference in the taste?

  3. wow! looks so crispy, I like! but not a foot long please, that's too much lol!

  4. OMG WENDY!! you have no idea how perfectly timed this is. my friends and I do a supperclub of singapore food here in london, and for our next supperclub, we thought it'd be fun to do roti john because it's such an amusing dish with an amusing/confusing history, but because it's a hawker/pasar malam kind of food, there are hardly any worthy recipes out there. This is like divine intervention.

  5. Wow ... look so yummy. Wendy u r really good. (^^)

  6. Too Mai Lin,
    As said in the post, I don't know if it originated from Melaka, but I only know it's very popular there.
    MFF is not about origins, it's about popular localized food.

    Not much, The bottom heat cooking is just like frying on a pan.

    Hahaha, 1 ft senang saja la.. dun shy shy

    Shu Han,
    Let me imagine that when u said "OMG Wendy", LOL. Wish you'll have a fabulous time cooking for your friends. BTW, is there a history to it?
    Care to share?


  7. I thought Roti John originated from Singapore.
    There even was a documentary on it. Lol.

    Thanks for sharing, yours look so gooood.

    Btw i miss eating Roti John from the 90's. I felt the secret was in the sauce. Any idea how to make it? I'm guessing theres vinegar and sambal involved.

    I hate the version they have nowadays. Mayo?! Seriously? Shoot me dead.

  8. Nora,
    Like I said, I have no idea about its origins, not even found in Wikipedia.
    It's just something popular in Melaka, that's it.

  9. i saw these rotijohn at the ramadhan bazaar, i thought it contains beef cos i saw the fillings were like kind of meat, so maybe it's sardines..i want to buy them and try before the bazaar closes.

  10. Lena,
    Take note that pasar Malam versions might contain beef, ask them.

  11. Now barkat roti john at cheng melaka...when balik kampung must buy atleast 3 roti john...sedap...not like here so many mayo, sos..roti john with daging and ayam...tak sedap..actually first ..i tried when i' m 12 years old ( year 1984) at ' simpang Terendak..just before Kem Terendak)

  12. Wendy,

    Did you use raw egg for this roti john?



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