Acar Awak

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Nonya/Peranakan Spicy Mixed Vegetable Pickle

Preparation time:
Cooking time:



500 g cucumber, do not peel the skin
300 g cabbage, cut into 3 cm-thick
100 g carrots, cut into 3cm long strips
100 g long beans (snake beans), cut into 3 cm lengths
100 g French beans, cut into 3cm lengths
100 g pineapple, cut into small pieces

For scalding vegetables:
600 ml water
400 ml vinegar
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons sugar

Spice grind to paste:
50 g dried red chilies (soaked a while until soften)
100 g shallots, peeled
40 g cloves garlic, peeled
15 g fresh turmeric, remove skin
5 g galangal, cut into thin slices
10 g candlenuts
20 g toasted dried shrimp paste (belachan)
1 stalk lemon grass (use only the bottom inner white tender part), cut into thin slices
20 g coriander seeds
100 g peanuts, roasted and pound coarsely
4 tablespoons roasted white sesame seeds
8 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons vinegar

¾ cup cooking oil


Quarter the cucumber lengthways and remove the core. Cut into 3cm-long strips. Knead 1 tablespoon salt into the cucumber slices and leave aside to marinate for 1 hour. Wrap the cucumber slices in a clean towel or muslin cloth and squeeze out as much liquid as you can. Lay the cucumber slices on a tray and sun for 2-3 hours in order to give the cucumber a nice crunch.

For the other vegetables, sun them separately in trays for 1 to 2 hours.

Bring water, vinegar, salt and sugar for scalding vegetables to a rapid boil.

Blanch the sun-dried vegetables, one type at a time. 2 to 3 seconds for the cucumber and cabbage and 8 to 10 seconds for the rest of the vegetables.

Drain vegetables in a colander and leave aside to air dry them while you prepare the paste.

Heat the oil in a wok to fry the spice paste until fragrant and aromatic. Season with the 8 tablespoons of sugar and 2 tablespoons of salt or to taste. Bring to a boil and leave to cool completely before stirring in 2 tablespoons vinegar or to taste.

Add in all the drained vegetables and stir to mix well.

Serve "Nyonya Acar Awak" or Spicy Mixed Vegetable Pickle garnished with a sprinkling of the pounded peanuts and roasted white sesame seeds.

Note: This "acar" or pickle will keep for two weeks in the refrigerator if the ground peanuts has not been mixed in. Best serve "Nyonya Acar Awak" or Spicy Mixed Vegetable Pickle overnight to allow the flavors to develop.

If you would like it more spicy, you can also washed and sun dried some bird's eye chilies to be added together with the vegetables.

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