Penang Malaysian Food: Acar


One of the popular dishes of Malaysia is Acar. It is a salad that is usually made in Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore. It is prepared from various vegetables such as yard long beans, carrots and cabbage. These vegetables are pickled in dried chilies and vinegar. Then these are tossed with ground peanuts. The dish is easy to make and can be served readily.

There are variations of acar salad such as Nyonya acar, and Malay acar. Nyona acar is usually known as Acar Awak and it is a more elaborated dish containing variety of vegetables such as eggplants and aromatic spices pickled in vinegar.

It is usually served as an appetizer or as a condiment to be eaten with main course. Indonesians make acar in a slight different way. Small chunks of cucumber, carrot, shallot and pineapple, marinated in sour vinegar and sweet sugary solution are added. Lemongrass and ginger are also included to spice up the taste.

This salad is also added in a Thai Cuisine where it is known as ACHAT where it is served with red chillies, red onions, shallots, vinegar, sugar and salt. In Thai Cuisine it is served as a side dish.

As the salad contains the pickle, after some time when it is cooled down it gives its full taste. This can be stored as long as you want whether in an air tight container or in fridge and serve it whenever you like. As the vinegar act as a preserving agent, thus it can be stored as long as you want. The salad can be made sour by adding the vinegar accordingly. Pineapple can be added to make it tastier.
Acar salad is generally prepared by Malay, Chinese and Indians. As the taste of each region is different, it is also observed in their salad. People generally prefer eating salad with their normal course of food. In restaurants, salads and their variety are the most appealing factors. The taste of these salads varies according to the culture of the origin.


The importance of salads in a diet can not be ignored. These are low in calories and too low to be a meal. All the ingredients of the Acar salad are rich in nutrients and healthy. The freshness, delicacy and taste of this salad is irresistible. The success and failure of any salad does not only depend on the ingredients only but on the way its dressing is prepared also. Acar is a complete blend of finest ingredients and a perfect dressing. Malay simply loves it and is one of the popular item that is served with their meals.

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