Acar is evidence of tiny Singapore’s prominent position at the cross road of the spice trade. Both the country and its cuisine reflect the influences of centuries of visitors, neighbors, and invaders. Britain, India, China, and Malaysia have all left a powerful stamp on Singapore. Acar has a little bit of everyone in it.
Acar – Pickled Vegetables
- Saucepan, colander
- Food processor or mortar & pestle
- 1 quart jar with screw top lid
- 1¼ cups White vinegar
- 1 large Cucumber, halved, seeded, cut into 1½-inch matchsticks
- 3 medium Carrots, peeled and cut into 1½-inch matchsticks
- 10 Chinese long beans, halved longways, cut into 1½-inch lengths. (20 regular green beans may be used)
- ½ lb Napa cabbage, cored and cut into 1½-inch shreds
- ½ lb Cauliflower, cut into small florets
- 3 small Fresh red chili peppers, halved, seeded and chopped
- 6 medium Dried red chili peppers, softened in hot water for 5 minutes
- 1 small Red onion, roughly chopped
- 4 cloves Garlic, chopped
- 5 Macadamia nuts
- 1½ tsp Turmeric powder
- 1 inch Fresh ginger, sliced thin
- 5 tbsp Vegetable oil
- ¾ cup Sugar
- 1 tsp Salt
- ¾ cup Coarsely ground dry-roasted peanuts
- Blanch Vegetables – Bring 1½ cups water and ¾ cups of vinegar to a boil. Have a slotted spoon or spider out, cut vegetables, and have the pickling jar nearby.Blanch each vegetable in boiling liquid for 2-3 minutes. Transfer each to the colander to drain and then put in jar. Repeat until each of the cucumber, carrots, green beans, cabbage, and cabbage have been blanched. Empty liquid from saucepan.
- Prepare Pickling Liquid – In a food processor, roughly chop peanuts. Reserve.Process chili pepper, onion, garlic, and macadamias into a paste. Add turmeric and laos powder, if using. Heat vegetable oil in the saucepan over medium heat. Stir for 3 minutes. Pour in remaining vinegar, sugar, and salt. Stir in peanuts and remove from heat to cool. Pour slightly cooled mixture over the vegetables in the jar. Twist on cover and shake vigorously. Refrigerate overnight for flavors to meld.
- Acar can be stored in the refrigerator for 2-3 months.