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Monday, June 3, 2013

Acar Awak - MFF Penang #2

I love acar  awak.

The one I grew up eating was similar to the one by Rasa Malaysia, that is vegetarian with no belacan and dried shrimp, and consist of only the basic 5 vegetables. I couldn't decide on an exact recipe to follow because a lot of recipes do differ from one to another, but the basic idea is the same, hot and sourish pickled vegetables with lots of peanuts and sesame.

And so I took a bit from here, a bit from there and came up with this recipe, trying to match the flavours that I once ate.
It's not that hard to make. Provided you enjoy cutting vegetables, hehehe.

The end result still isn't spot on, but it still tasted good. I find this recipe not fiery enough... I'll definitely use more chillies the next time.

Acar Awak
by WendyinKK
Reference: Rasa Malaysia, Nyonya Flavours (MPH Publication), Boon's Recipe
Makes about 5-6 cups of Acar

600gm cucumber + 1tsp salt
300gm cabbage
150gm carrots
150gm long beans
200gm pineapple

Blanching liquid
300ml water
300ml rice vinegar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar

Sambal Paste
15gm dried chillies (15pcs), seeds removed, soaked til soft
100gm shallots
15gm galangal
10gm turmeric
2 lemon grass
3 candlenuts
2 tsp salt
100gm sugar (you might need more according to preference, taste your sambal)
40ml rice vinegar

For Sprinkling
150gm skinless peanuts
30gm sesame seeds

1. Core the cucumber and cut into thick sticks. Salt it and let it sit as you cut the other vegetables.
2. Peel carrots and cut into chunks with same length as cucumbers. Half each chunk and slice them.
3. Rinse  cabbage and cut or tear cabbage leaves into fairly large pieces.
4. Break long beans into similar lengths with other vegetables
5. Cut pineapple into small pieces.
6. By now the cucumber should have softened. Rub and squeeze the cucumber to release juices. Rinse with water, rub and squeeze again. Try to squeeze out as much water as you can.
7. Spread out all the vegetables onto a tray, according to each type (line with cloth or baking paper to prevent direct contact with pan). Dry them in the strong sun for 2-3 hours until each vegetable becomes wilted. Mix the vegetables together except pineapple.
8. Grind lemongrass, galangal, turmeric and candlenuts first, until they turn fine, then add in softened chillies, shallots and garlic and grind to a paste. Keep aside, covered.

9. While waiting for the vegetables to sun, toast sesame seeds in wok until they jump and look golden. Dish up. Then add in 1/2 cup oil and on low heat fry the peanuts until they turn lightly golden. Drain the peanuts and let them turn warm before grinding them to a coarse powder. Keep the oil (just leave the wok around)
10. When the vegetables are done sunning, heat the blanching liquid until boiling, then put some of the mixed vegetables into a mini noodle strainer and blanch the vege until the long beans take on a bright green hue (takes less than 1 minute). Remove the vegetables and blanch the rest of the vegetables accordingly. Lastly blanch the pineapple for 3-5 seconds only. Drain.
11. With the retained oil (from frying peanuts)Saute the paste until it turns almost dry and looks very glossy. Add in salt, sugar and rice vinegar and bring back to a boil. Put in the blanched vegetables, peanuts and sesame seeds. Toss well for a few seconds and turn off the heat.
12. Transfer into clean containers (preferably glass or stainless steel) and let it sit 12 hours at room temperature. Keep it chilled after that.

for my mommy dearest :)

 I am submitting this to Malaysian Food Fest Penang Month 


  1. hi wendy, no need to dry the pineapples right?

  2. Wendy, I love this acar too. I can just eat it by itself like a snack. One bottle tak cukup :)

  3. I looking this acar a long time, plain to made this when I free. Thanks!

  4. Super droooooooooling....

  5. No I dont like to cut vegetables! I shall just but this from the aunty from the market:D Meantime, drooling over your photos!

  6. thanks, just looking for nice and yummy acar. will do it when free.

  7. Sharon,
    I dried them too. Hehehe, part of the 'vegetables', haha

  8. Hi Wendy,
    I love this too!
    Must try this too..:p

  9. Thank you for the recipe. I tried it out today after reading many recipes online. Mine looks a bit more watery than yours. Maybe I forgot to dry the pineapples.


  10. Hi wendy, according to your recipe.. it's written grind lemongrass and etc till fine. Then add in shallots..garlic and etc. But i don't find any garlic mentioned in upper recipes..


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