Acar – Sweet, sour and spicy all at the same time! This Nyonya pickled vegetables are so crunchy it almost felt like tons of flavours exploding in your mouth on every bite.

Acar can be served immediately right after cooking. But the best result is to refrigerate overnight (up to a month) in an airtight container to let all flavours seep into the vegetables. You can eat it on its own, or serve as a condiment for nasi lemak or satay.

One big tip for extra crunchiness – Make sure all vegetables are very, very dry before mixing with the chilli paste.

How to make Acar


up to 6 servings

Main ingredients

  • 100 g carrot, cut into 2-inch batons
  • 300 g cucumber, cut into 2-inch batons
  • 150 g long bean, cut into 2-inch lengths
  • 200 g cabbage, cut into pieces
  • 100 g roasted peanut, crushed
  • 1 tbsp salt

Chilli paste

  • 100 g red chilli, deseeded and chopped
  • 50 g dried red chill, soaked and deseeded
  • 8 shallots
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, chopped
  • 5 candlenuts
  • 15 g turmeric
  • 20 g belacan, toasted
  • 200 ml tamarind juice
  • 4 tbsp cooking oil
  • Sugar to taste


  • Toasted white sesame seeds


  1. Mix carrots and cucumbers with 1 tbsp of salt. Set aside for at least 20 minutes.
  2. Squeeze out as much water as possible from carrots and cucumbers using cloth. Set aside and let dry.
  3. Blanch long beans and cabbage for 30 seconds. Pat dry. Set aside and let dry.
  4. Blend together red chillies, dried red chillies, shallots, garlic, lemongrass, turmeric and belacan into fine paste. Add oil if too dry.
  5. Heat cooking oil on medium-low.
  6. Add chilli paste. Saute for about 5 to 7 minutes or until super fragrance and darken.
  7. Add tamarind juice and sugar to taste. Saute for a few more minutes until boiling.
  8. Off heat.
  9. Immediately add all vegetables and crushed peanuts. Mix until all vegetables are well coated with chilli paste and peanuts.
  10. You can serve immediately. But for best result, store in an airtight container and refrigerate overnight to let all flavours seep into the vegetables. Enjoy!