• Prep Time 40 minutes
  • Cook Time 20 minutes
  • Serving For 4 people
  • Difficulty Normal

Recipe Description

This recipe is from the Lost Recipes of Malaysia cookbook. Recipes are contributed by chefs teaching at the At 19 Culinary Studio.

This cookbook is available for sale at www.at19culinary.com and major bookstores in Malaysia and Singapore.

Recipe Ingredient

  • 900g cucumber
  • 600g carrot
  • 600g cabbage
  • 300g long beans
  • 4tsp salt
  • 8tbsp sugar
  • 240ml rice vinegar
  • 4tbsp sesame seeds (toasted)
  • 100g peanuts (toasted and coarsely ground)
  • Group A: Spice mix
  • 50g candlenuts
  • 100g shallota (peeled)
  • 30g fresh turmeric (peeled)
  • 100g galangal root (peeled)
  • 5gshrimp paste (toasted)
  • 20g dried chillies (pre-soaked)
  • 125ml cooking oil
  • 250ml rice vinegar
  • 3tbsp sugar (or to tatse)
  • salt (to taste)


  1. To prepare the vegetables: Quarter the cucumbers lengthwise and discard the seeds. Peel the carrots. Then, cut the cucumbers, carrots, cabbage and long beans into 3cm lengths, all similar thickness as the long beans. Marinate the cucumbers and carrots with a teaspoon of salt each and leave aside for 30 minutes. In one bowl, add 60ml of rice vinegar and 2 tablespoons of sugar to the cucumbers and leave to pickle overnight
  2. Repeat the same for the carrots. Blanch the cabbage and long beans in a pot of boiling water for a minute. Drain and marinate the cabbage and long beans with 2 teaspoons of salt and leave aside for 30 minutes. Add 120ml of rice vinegar and 4 tablespoons of sugar to the cabbage and long beans and leave to pickle overnight
  3. To prepare the spice paste: Grind together the candlenuts, shallots, garlic, turmeric, galangal, shrimp paste and dried chillies
  4. To prepare the acar: Heat the oil in a wok and fry the spice paste until fragrant. Add in all the pickled vegetables together with their marinade into the wok. Turn off the heat. Stir in 250ml of vinegar and add salt and sugar to taste. Refrigerate the acar overnight to let the flavour of the spice paste develop. Garnish the acar with the sesame seeds and ground peanuts before serving
  5. Tip: You can also add pineapples, green mangoes or green papaya to make it your own acar recipe. The secret to good acar nyonya is well-portioned vinegar and sugar in the spice mixture. Making sure the vegetables are as dry as possible (use a muslin cloth to wring them dry) is also key to bring the crunchy taste of the vegetables

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3 thoughts on “Nyonya Pickles (Acar Nyonya)”

  1. Jordan - April 24, 2016 at 10:15 am

    Tried once did not measure vinegar, it become too sour, smells good but cannot eat it. Sour teeth.yak!!

  2. Caroline - January 4, 2021 at 6:29 pm

    Thats why you need to mesuare.Its very important.

    • Kuali Cares - January 6, 2021 at 10:09 am

      Thanks Caroline 🙂 As cooking is both an art and science, it is important to follow the ingredients so you can get the desired results, yet you may experiment to find new dishes after you have created the dish a few times. Happy cooking!


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