Nyonya loves pickled vegetables of all kinds. So, there is no surprise that my family in Penang is partial to pickled or preserved foods—vegetables, fish stomach (perut ikan), and cincaluk (preserved baby shrimp). Grandmother was a huge fan of pickled Nyonya dishes. I grew up watching her and my aunt making lots of acar (also called acar awak) or pickled mixed vegetables in a spicy and sour “pickle” sauce.
My aunt who in her 70’s now still makes acar religiously for celebrations or prayers to our ancestors. After I told her on the phone that I launched a Nyonya food blog, she made a big serving of acar for the purpose of this blog. Too bad I am based in the United States, but my siblings are the lucky ones who got to savor her fabulous acar…
Because of the appetizing, sour and spicy great taste, acar is always a popular and high-demand “commodity” in my family. Here is my aunt’s recipe for acar (acar awak). Do try it out as Nyonya pickles offer layers of flavors unlike other pickles. Just the color alone is enough to set my stomach rumbling and mouth watering.
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