Achar (Peranakan Pickles)

Achar adds a refreshing and zesty element to any meal, complementing a wide range of dishes, from traditional Nonya cuisine to barbecued meats and rice dishes. The vegetables are sliced and marinated, allowing them to soak up the rich flavors and develop a delightful balance of sweet, sour, and savory notes.

  • 60min

    cook time

  • 26



  • Vegetables
  • 2 Cucumbers, cut into batons
  • 2 Carrots, cut into batons
  • 1/2 Cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1/2 Chinese Cabbage, cut into 2cm squares
  • 4 Long Beans, cut into 3cm batons
  • 4 Red Chillis, sliced
  • Blanching water
  • 1.5 L Water
  • 500 ml Rice Vinegar
  • 2 1/2 tbsp or 30g Castor Sugar
  • 1 tbsp or 13g Salt
  • Rempah (Spice Paste)
  • 5 tbsp or 80g Peanut or Canola oil
  • 1/3 cup or 30g, McCormick® Onion Powder
  • 1 tsp or 3g, McCormick® Garlic Powder
  • 5 Candle Nuts
  • 1 stalk Lemongrass, thinly sliced
  • 110 g Fresh Red Chilli
  • 30 g, McCormick® Chili Powder
  • 20 g Dried Shrimps (soaked and chopped)
  • 20 g Shrimp Paste (belachan)
  • 1/4 tsp, McCormick® Turmeric, Ground
  • 150 g Rice Vinegar
  • 1 tbsp or 13g Salt
  • 8 tbsp or 100g Castor Sugar
  • 250 g Toasted Ground Peanuts
  • 50 g Fried Crispy Shallots
  • 40 g Toasted White Sesame

Nutrition information (per serving)


  • Combine the ingredients for blanching water, bring to a boil and blanch all the vegetables except chilli until cooked but crunchy. Cool and set aside to dry.

  • To make the spice paste (rempah), blend the shallots, garlic, candlenuts, lemongrass, fresh chilli, chilli powder and turmeric powder until a coarse paste is formed.

  • Heat up the oil in a pan over medium-low heat and sauté the belachan until pungent and aromatic.

  • Add in the soaked dried shrimps and continue cooking until aromatic.

  • Add in the spice paste and continue cooking until the colour darkens and flavour develops. Spice paste should reduce by at least 20% to 30% in volume.

  • Remove from heat and add the vinegar, salt and castor sugar. Mix well, cool thoroughly.

  • Add the vegetables into the spice mix and mix thoroughly.

  • Keep in an airtight container and pickle in the refrigerator for at least 1 day, if not a maximum of 3 days.

  • Once pickled, fold in the peanuts, shallots, and white sesame.

  • Achar can be kept refrigerated for up to 2 weeks chilled.