Few weeks ago, I visited a vegetable farm selling fresh Japanese cucumber at very reasonable price. Without much hesitating I bought about 2 kg back. Since it is too much to consume as salad I turned it into acar. Acar is type of pickling made from different vegetables in vinegar, chili paste as well as aromatic spices. I'm glad I found this vegetarian version Acar Awak at Kimmy,Cooking Pleasure. I used vegetables that I have, cucumber and carrot in this acar.
I reduce the amount of vinegar in blanching water. Therefore my acar is not sour. It is very spicy due to the heat from the chili paste. The cucumber is crunchy and overall I'm happy with the result.
|Each kg costs RM2|
|After add in salt and keep aside for 20 minutes|
Vegetarian Acar Awak
Reference from Cooking Pleasure
~ Chilli paste mixture
30g lemongrass, sliced (about 3 pieces)
15g galangal, sliced (about 2 thumb size)
10g candlenuts/buah keras (about 3 pieces)
70g chilli paste
1 tablespoon tumeric powder
*Blend lemongrass, galangal and candlenuts till fine. Mix in the chili paste and turmeric powder
~Vegetables and seasoning
1kg cucumber, cut 1 inch length thin strips
100g carrots, cut 1 inch length thin strips
1 each red and green big chili, removed seed and cut into thin strips
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup grounded peanuts
Some toasted sesame seeds
500 ml water and 250 ml white vinegar
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
1. Season cut cucumber with some salt and set aside for 15-20 minutes. Place seasoned cucumber in a muslin bag and squeeze out the water. Do this in several batches. Drier cucumber will make it crunchy when cooked.
*I just squeeze with hands.
2. Bring water to boil in a wok then add in vinegar. Blanch each of the cut vegetables for less than a minute and drain. Do not overcook the vegetables. Discard the water after all the vegetables are blanched.
3. Heat up oil in the wok. Add in the chilli paste mixture and cook till aromatic and oil separates. Add in sugar and salt. Cook for few seconds till melt.
4. Add in all the vegetables (cucumber, carrots and chilies) and stir to combine. Taste the seasoning. The acar need not be too sweet, sour or salty as it tastes better after 1-2 days.
5. Once the chili paste mix well with the vegetables, turn off the heat. Add grounded peanuts and sesame seeds. Mix well and leave to cool before storing in containers. Sprinkle with sesame seeds when serving. Keep well for weeks or more in refrigerator.