When you need easy pickled vegetables in a pinch, this Acar recipe is for you! Sweet and tangy, this is guaranteed to whet the appetite.
Acar (achar), also known as pickled vegetables, is a delicious side dish that can elevate any meal. I have an amazing Acar Awak / Acar Timun Nonya recipe right here, and it’s a deliciously spiced, aromatic one… It also takes more steps and time to final product. Herein comes THIS easy Acar recipe!
Bursting with vibrant colors and bold flavors, it’s a delightful addition to your table. What makes acar even better is that it’s incredibly easy to prepare.
This version takes 15 minutes to prep, uses minimal ingredients, and will get you a tangy, sweet Acar in no time at all! I’ll be honest, sometimes I would just make this if I need to have some pickled vegetables on the side… even if I had the time to make Acar Nonya.
Why You’ll LOVE this Acar Recipe:
- Burst of Flavour: Acar is all about the bold, zesty flavours! The combination of pickled vegetables with a sweet and tangy sauce creates a taste explosion in your mouth.
- Versatile: Acar can be served as a side dish, condiment, or even as a topping for various dishes.
- Healthy: This recipe is packed with fresh vegetables, making it a nutritious and low-calorie option for those who are health-conscious. Be sure to watch the salt and sugar content!
- Easy to Prepare: The steps to creating this Acar is SO EASY, making it accessible for both beginners and experienced cooks.
Key Ingredients for Easy Acar
Before we get to the step-by-step instructions, let’s go over the key ingredients you’ll need:
For the Pickled Vegetables:
- 1 cucumber, julienned, and soft, inner core removed.
- 1 carrot, julienned
- 1 cup cabbage, thinly sliced
- 1 cup pineapples, cut in chunks
- 1 red chilli, thinly sliced: This is added more for colour, not so much for spice. If you’re worried this is going to give you a spicy pickle, it won’t!
- Salt, for pickling: Use a coarse grain salt like sea salt or pink salt. Do NOT use table salt, as these are too fine and you may oersalt your vegetables.
In general, the amount of each vegetable (except the red chilli) are about 1 cup’s worth. These are the usual vegetables that are used, but you can include other vegetables too! Harder vegetables will fare well, such as bell peppers and cauliflower. Leafy vegetables CAN actually work too, do note they will not last as long as the harder vegetables.
For the Pickling Juice:
- 1 cup vinegar: Any vinegar will work, I used just white vinegar here.
- 1 cup water
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
Do note you may have more pickling juice that you need for the vegetables used here.
How to Make Easy Acar
Now, let’s dive into the straightforward steps for preparing this delectable pickled vegetable dish:
1: Prepare the Vegetables
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the julienned cucumber, carrots, thinly sliced red bell pepper, onion, and cabbage.
- Sprinkle 1/4 cup of salt over the vegetables and toss to mix. Let it sit for 30 minutes. This will help draw out excess moisture from the vegetables.
2: Rinse and Drain
- After about 30 minutes, rinse the salted vegetables thoroughly under cold water to remove excess salt. Squeeze out any remaining moisture.
- Place vegetables in a colander so that any excess liquid can drain while you make the pickling liquid.
TIP! If you’re making JUST enough for the day – as in you don’t need to pickle these – skip Steps 1 & 2! I usually skip, and make just enough for the meal if I just need quick tangy and sweet veggies.
3: Prepare the Pickling Liquid
- In a separate saucepan, combine the rice vinegar, water, sugar, and salt.
- Heat the mixture over medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Once the sauce comes to a gentle boil, remove it from the heat and let it cool.
4: Mix the Vegetables and Sauce
- Pour the pickling liquid over teh vegetables in a large mixing bowl.
- Toss the vegetables until they are evenly coated with the flavourful sauce.
5: Serve or Let It Pickle
- Acar can be served immediately!
- If you have time, allow the acar to marinate for a couple of hours or, ideally, overnight in the refrigerator. This allows the flavours to meld and develop.
- Once the acar is well-marinated, it’s ready to serve. Enjoy it as a side dish, a condiment, or as an accompaniment to your favourite dishes.
How to Store Acar?
Store acar in a glass or ceramic jar or container. Do not use plastic since we are working with acids.
Place the vegetables in the containers first.
Then scoop the pickling liquid in, making sure the vegetables are submerged. Submerged vegetables will allow it to pickle properly and last longer.
Store in the refrigerator so it lasts longer.
Pickled vegetables can last up to two months in the fridge, and when stored properly. Of course, if it smells off or there is white mold forming, discard immediately.
If you skipped the salting step above (steps 1-2), then your vegetables will not be able to last as long. It will still last long though! I would not keep it beyond 1 week.
More Recipes Like This
- Easy Acar Timun Nonya
- Sambal Kangkong | Stir Fried Water Spinach
- Pickled Green Chillies
- Spicy Cold Smashed Cucumber Salad | Sichuan style!
- How to make Fresh Sweet Kimchi – for those who don’t like sour kimchi
Easy Acar | Pickled VegetablesCourse: Recipes
1 cucumber, julienned
1 carrot, julienned
1 cup cabbage, thinly sliced
1 cup pineapples, cut in chunks
1 red chilli, thinly sliced
1/4 cup salt
1 cup vinegar
1 cup water
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the julienned cucumber, carrot, cabbage, pineapples, and thinly sliced chillies. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of salt over the vegetables and toss to mix. Let it sit for about 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes, rinse the salted vegetables thoroughly under cold water to remove excess salt. Squeeze out any remaining moisture. Place vegetables in a colander and allow any excess liquid to drain while you prepare the pickling liquid.
- In a separate saucepan, combine the vinegar, water, sugar, and salt. Heat the mixture over medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Once the sauce comes to a gentle boil, remove it from the heat and let it cool.
- Place vegetables in a large mixing bowl. Pour over the pickling liquid over the vegetables.
- Toss to coat the vegetables until evenly coated. Serve immediately, or allow to acar to develop flavours further in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before serving.