Roti John

This is an iconic street food in Singapore. It is a very simple omelette baguette sandwich. It all started in the 60s when there are still British soldiers in Singapore. They would visit this Union Jack Club in North Bridge Road just behind Capitol Cinema. Almost everyone of them will pick up this omelette baguette sandwich from this Malay stall. It is like their supper or snack before or after some few drinks. So much so that when the owner, Abdul, whenever he saw a British guy, he would ask, "Roti (bread in Malay language) John (which is a very common British soldier's name)?" So that's how a question became the name of this sandwich.

It is traditionally just plain eggs omelette baguette sandwich. Even the baguette they used are those similar to the Vietnamese's Banh Mi. Over the years and generations, Roti John had been handcrafted to suit the modernized tastebuds. The most famous version is the one with ground chicken and smeared with mayo, BBQ and chili sauce. I decided to make my own spicy BBQ sauce. I made a tomato ketchup based BBQ sauce with a simple sambal, then mixed with Kewpie mayo. Everything tastes better with Kewpie.

I did not use the usual baguette, but rather, I used a fancy baguette from one of my favorite bakeries in Singapore, Motherdough. This sandwich is usually served sliced into bite size pieces. But who eats a sandwich with a fork and knife? I actually made a pizza version with the same concept before. You can check it out here. In closing, I hope you will give this iconic street food a try and have a bite of Singapore's heritage.


(Serve 4)

  • Simple Sambal:

  • Dried Chilies, 10g

  • Shallots Coarsely Chopped, 10g

  • Red Onion Coarsely Chopped, 1/2

  • Garlic, 3 Cloves

  • Ginger, 1/2 Inch

  • Candle Nut / Macadamia Nut, 1

  • Belachan, 1 TBSP

  • Tamarind Paste, 1 TBSP

  • Sea Salt, Pinch

  • Palm Sugar, 1 TBSP Adjust To Preference

  • BBQ Sambal Sauce:

  • Green Bell Pepper, 1

  • Canola / Peanut / Vegetable Oil, 2 TBSP

  • Red Onion Sliced, 1/2

  • Celery Coarsely Sliced, 2 Ribs

  • Garlic Coarsely Sliced, 3 Cloves

  • Palm Sugar, 1/8 Cup

  • Bay Leaf, 1

  • Dijion Mustard, 1 TBSP

  • Simple Sambal, 2 TBSP Adjust To Preference

  • Tomato Ketchup, 1.5 Cup

  • Worcestershire Sauce, 1 TSP

  • Pure Honey, 1/8 Cup

  • Balsamic Vinegar, 1/8 Cup

  • Kashmiri Chili Powder, 1/2 TSP Adjust To Preference

  • Roti John:

  • Chicken Thigh Ground, 300g

  • Eggs, 3

  • Madras Curry Powder, 1 TSP

  • Sambal, 1 TBSP Adjust To Preference

  • Sea Salt, Pinch

  • White Pepper, Pinch

  • Canola / Peanut / Vegetable Oil, For Toasting

  • Good Quality Baguette, 2

  • Kewpie Mayo, For Spreading


  • Blender

  • Cast Iron Skillet / Pan


  1. Please visit my “My Pizza Fritta: The Kare Panzerotto" page for the madras curry powder recipe.

  2. Prepare sambal.

  3. Soak dried chilies in a bowl of hot water until softened.

  4. Deseed the chilies. You can leave the seeds on to your preference.

  5. Transfer into a blender.

  6. Add in shallots, onion, garlic, ginger and candle nut.

  7. Blitz until smooth paste forms.

  8. In a skillet over medium heat, add belachan.

  9. Break it into pieces.

  10. Toast until aromatic.

  11. Add in the chili paste.

  12. *You can add about 1/2 cup of water into the blender and blitz up all the leftover nooks and crannies. Add into the skillet.*

  13. Stir to combine well.

  14. Add in tamarind. Season with salt and sugar.

  15. Stir to combine well.

  16. Keep stirring and cooking until most of the liquid has evaporated and the color has darkened.

  17. Taste and adjust for seasoning with salt and sugar.

  18. Remove from heat and set aside.

  19. Prepare sambal BBQ sauce.

  20. Preheat oven to broil.

  21. Cut the bell pepper into quarters.

  22. Transfer into a baking tray lined with parchment paper.

  23. Wack into the oven and bake until charred.

  24. Remove from oven and transfer into a bowl.

  25. Cover with cling film and set aside to cool.

  26. Once cooled enuff to handle, peel and discard the charred skin.

  27. Coarsely slice and set aside.

  28. In a skillet over medium heat, add oil.

  29. Once oil is heated up, add onion and garlic.

  30. Sauce until translucent.

  31. Add in the roasted bell pepper, garlic and sugar.

  32. Sauce until well combined.

  33. Transfer into a blender.

  34. *Be careful as it is extremely hot.*

  35. Blitz until smooth paste forms.

  36. Transfer back into the skillet over medium heat.

  37. Add in bay leaf, mustard, sambal, ketchup, Worcestershire, honey, vinegar and chili powder.

  38. Stir to combine well.

  39. Bring it up to a slow simmer.

  40. Turn the heat down to low.

  41. Cover and simmer for 15 mins.

  42. After 15 mins, the sauce should be reduced slightly and most of the liquid has evaporated.

  43. Taste and adjust for seasonings with salt, sugar or sambal.

  44. Remove from heat and set aside until ready to use.

  45. *It can be kept in the fridge for 7 days.*

  46. Prepare the Roti John.

  47. In a bowl, add chicken, eggs, curry powder, sambal, salt and pepper.

  48. Stir to combine well.

  49. Slice baguette into halves.

  50. Slice lengthwise into halves, but not all the way thru.

  51. In a cast iron skillet over medium-low heat, add oil.

  52. Once oil is heated up, add in the egg mixture.

  53. Try to form the egg mixture into the size of your baguette.

  54. Place the baguette onto the egg mixture.

  55. Press the baguette to adhere to the egg mixture.

  56. Cook until brown.

  57. Flip and toast the baguette.

  58. Repeat the steps for the remaining baguette.

  59. In a bowl, add 1 TBSP of the sambal BBQ sauce and 1 TBSP of Kewpie mayo.

  60. Mix to combine well.

  61. Spread that mayo sambal BBQ sauce onto the baguette.

  62. Close and sandwich.

  63. Serve immediately.

#rotijohn #streetfood #anythinginbetween #singapore

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