Nonya Acar Awak (娘惹泡菜)



I have a post on Acar Timun Sarawak (Sarawak preserved cucumber) usually served together with prawn crackers during Chinese New Year… And that Acar is slightly different from the Nonya Acar Awak that I will share in this post.


The major difference is that Nonya Acar Awak can be eaten after freshly prepare as a side dish or appetizer whereas the Acar Sarawak usually need to marinate for a few days before the desired texture is developed (soft but crunchy). Beside the ingredients that were used in Acar Sarawak (cucumber and carrot), Acar Awak usually have long beans, cabbage, pineapples, cauliflowers etc.. and some even have radishes..

If you want to know about Acar Sarawak and Wikipedia’s definition of Acar, you can refer to this post: Sarawak Pickled Cucumber – Acar Timum Sarawak


I am pleased with this batch of Acar which I have modified from  my Acar Timum Sarawak recipe..It is sour and sweet and very refreshing. I have prepared this as a side dish for my dinner today. I am also not worried if I can’t finish the Acar as it can be kept in fridge for at least on a week. The Acar will be  more flavourful after 1-2 days.


Preparation is not difficult except it was slightly laborious.. But most of the things can done in separate stages. Just a bit of planning is required for churning out this dish .. Every efforts is worth after you took the first bite.



Servings: 8 Adult servings


  • 300 grams of cucumber – Julienned into 1 inch long
  • 150 grams of carrots – Julienned into 1 inch long
  • 150 grams of long beans – cut into 1 cm long
  • 150 grams of pineapple – cut into small pieces
  • 150 grams of cauliflower – cut into small pieces
  • 50 grams of cabbage  – cut into small pieces

Rempah (spice mix)

  • 5 shallots
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 4 bird eye chilli or 2 big chilli
  • 1 inch of ginger
  • 5 candlenuts (buah keras) (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon of dry prawns, soaked
  • 1.5 inches of fresh turmeric or 1 tablespoon of turmeric powder
  • 1 stalk of lemon grass (optional)
  • 1 inch of galangal (optional)


  • 1/4 cup of vegetable oils
  • 1/2 cup of white sugar
  • 1 cup of vinegar
  • 1/4 cup  of sesame seeds
  • 1/2 cup of coarsely grinded peanuts
  • Salt to taste
  • Additional sugar, salt and vinegar for blanching liquid



PicMonkey Collage1

  • Cut the cucumber in about 1 inch long and throw away the centre of the cucumber. Dust about 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 tablespoon of sugar on the julienned cucumber. Toss until evenly coated. Put under the sun for sun dry or in the fridge to air dry for at least one hour. After one hour, you will witness lots of cucumber juices secreted. Squeeze dry the cucumber and set aside. You can either put the cucumber in a muslin cloth and squeeze or use hand to squeeze manually.

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  • In a pot with some water, add about 3-4 tablespoons of vinegar, 1 tablespoon of salt, 2 tablespoons of sugar and bring to boil. Add in the cabbage, long bean, cauliflower and carrot sticks. Blanch the vegetable until soft which took me about 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.

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  • In a blender, put all the rempah ingredients and some water adequate to cover the ingredients. Blend until fine.

  • In a wok, put 2-3 tablespoons of oil, put the blended spice mix, use medium heat to stir fry until the colour of the spice mix darkens and oils start to separate from the rempah. Add 1 cup of vinegar, 1/2 cup of sugar, salt to taste. Bring to boil. Once boiled, off the heat. 

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  • Add the pineapples, marinated cucumber, blanched vegetables followed by sesame seeds and grinded peanuts. Stir until well mixed. It can be served after it was well mixed. However, it is advisable to let it soak for at least one-two hours before serving. If time permits, soaking overnight will yield a more flavourful Acar Awak. Best served as a side dish or appetiser in a Nonya meal.



I loved this dish as it is very appetizing that will wake up my appetite. As this is a savoury recipe and there are many flexibilities. Ingredients quantity listed is a guideline. Feel free to adjust to one that suits your family’s taste bud. Remember that overnight resting is preferred though not necessary. If you cannot finish, just store in the fridge. Provided it was not contaminated with dirty spoons, it can keep up to at least a week in refrigerator since this is a recipe of preserved vegetables.


Hope you like the post today. Cheers and have a nice day.



2 thoughts on “Nonya Acar Awak (娘惹泡菜)

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