Home » Malaysia Cooking » Nonya pickled vegetables with dried prawns Recipe

Nonya pickled vegetables with dried prawns Recipe

Nonya pickled vegetables with dried prawns Recipe

Nonya pickled vegetables with dried prawns Recipe

The Nonya (Straits Chinese) version of achar(a word of Indian origin that means “pickles”) is made with crunchy vegetables marinated in a punchy mixture of vinegar and spices that produce delightful sweet and sour aromas and textures. Served in small bowls as a side dish, this achar goes well with meat dishes.

Ingredients :

    • 400 g (14 oz) green beans, sliced into short lengths
    • 3 baby gherkins or pickling cucumbers, cut into half length wise, cored and sliced into small batons
    • 2 carrots, peeled and sliced into small batons
    • 400 g (3 cups) tiny cauliflower florets
    • 2 cups (500 ml) white vinegar
    • Salt, to taste
    • 3 tablespoons oil
    • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
    • 1 small onion, diced
    • 5 cloves garlic, peeled
    • 2.5 cm (1 in) fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
    • 2 stalks lemongrass, thick bottom part only, outer layers discarded, inner parts sliced
    • 1 teaspoon dried prawn paste (belachan)
    • 1 teaspoon sugar
    • Salt, to taste
    • 2 tablespoons dry-roasted sesame seeds


    • 3 red finger-length chillies
    • 2 tablespoons dried prawns, coarsely ground in a mortar or blender
    • 1 tablespoon Sambal Oelek Chilli Paste or other sweet chilli paste
    • 1 tablespoon shaved palm sugar or dark brown sugar

Method :

    1. Sprinkle each type of vegetable with 1/2 a teaspoon of salt separately and mix well. Allow them to stand for 1 hour, then drain and squeeze out all the liquid from the vegetables. Set aside.
    2. To prepare the Stuffed Chillies, make a slit length-wise on one side of each chilli with a paring knife, but do not cut through. Using a teaspoon, scoop out and discard the pith and seeds from the inside of each chilli to form a pocket for stuffing.
    3. Combine the dried prawns, Sambal Oelek Chilli Paste and sugar in a dish and mix well, then microwave for about 2 minutes until crisp, stopping to stir the mixture every 30 seconds. Stuff 1 teaspoon of the roasted dried prawns mixture into each chilli pepper and set aside.
    4. Bring the vinegar and a little salt to a boil over medium heat in a saucepan and blanch each of the vegetables separately for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Remove from the heat, drain each vegetable and place in a glass bowl together with the Stuffed Chillies. Reserve the vinegar mixture used for blanching the vegetables.
    5. Heat the oil in a wok and stir-fry the ground turmeric over medium heat for 30 seconds. Add the onion, garlic and ginger, and stir-fry until golden brown, 1 – 2 minutes. Stir in the lemongrass and prawn paste and toss until fragrant. Add 1/4 cup (60 ml) of the reserved vinegar mixture and season with the sugar and salt to taste. Bring the vinegar mixture to a boil. The mixture should be reddish yellow and not caramelised. Stir in all the vegetables and Stuffed Chillies and turn off the heat, then toss thoroughly to mix well. Transfer the achar to several clean glass jars and sprinkle about 1 teaspoon of the sesame seeds on top of each jar. Seal and store refrigerated for up to 1 year.

MAKES : 3 cups
PREPARATION TIME : 1 hour + 1 hour for the vegetables to stand
COOKING TIME : 10 mins