Nyonya Acar Fish
Whenever I am home in Penang, I make it an effort that I learn our family recipes from my aunt, who is in her late 70’s. Since my late mother passed away some 3 years ago, she is now the only person who knows the recipes of all our much-treasured family dishes—everyday home-cooked recipes, Nyonya food, and kuih (sweet cakes).
This mouthwatering and super delicious Acar Hu, or Nyonya Pickled Fish, is a much celebrated Nyonya recipe. Everyone in my family loves this concoction of deep-fried fish pickled with a turmeric-vinegar base, spiced with garlic, ginger, and chilies…
In my family, we would use a type of fish called “chee ya hu” (silver mullet). However, you can make Acar Fish with fish fillet such as red snapper as silver mullet is not widely available. When my friend Patty Unterman of San Francisco Examiner came to visit Penang, my brother and I introduced her to Penang’s Nyonya food. At the first bite, Patty asked me for the Acar Fish recipe. I am so glad that both my brother CK and I had the opportunity to make this dish together, following my aunt’s instructions as she sat in the kitchen narrating the step-by-step to us. Acar fish is extremely tasty and tantalizing, with the perfect balance of flavors. To learn more about Nyonya food, check out my site.
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