Nyonya Vegetable Pickle
When it comes to Malaysian pickles, I must say that the Nyonya kind are the best, partly due to the richness of the range of ingredients used. There is a good balance of vinegar and spiciness, and an array of beautiful textures and crunchiness from the vegetables and peanuts. You can keep this for up to 4 weeks in the fridge, but the longer you keep it, the more the vegetables will lose their crispness. Eat it as a condiment with rice.
|3 tbsp||vegetable oil|
|1 1/2 tsp||fine sea salt|
|100g||pineapple, cut into 2cm thick wedges|
|150g||peanuts, roasted and coarsely pounded|
|4 tbsp||sesame seeds (ideally 1 tbsp black and 3 tbsp white), roasted|
|2 tbsp||coriander seeds, roasted|
|For the spice paste:|
|1||stalk lemongrass (use the bottom part only)|
|10||dried chillies, soaked in boiling water for 10 minutes|
|4||cloves of garlic|
|2.5cm||fresh galangal (or ginger)|
|1 1/2 tsp||shrimp paste, dry-toasted|
|For the blanching:|
|2 tbsp||white sugar|
|1 tsp||fine sea salt|
|For the vegetables:|
|250g||purple aubergines, cut into 5cm strips|
|300g||white cabbage, cut into 2cm wide pieces|
|100g||cauliflower, cut into small florets|
|100g||carrots, peeled and cut into 5cm strips|
|100g||fine green beans, cut into 5cm pieces|
|500g||cucumber, peeled, deseeded and cut into 5cm long strips|
You will need a food processor.
1. Blitz the spice paste ingredients in a food processor. In a medium saucepan, heat the oil over a medium heat and saute the spice paste for 2 minutes, until fragrant. Add the sugar and salt and cook for 1 minute, until the sugar has dissolved. Add the vinegar and give it a good mix, then turn the heat off and set aside.
2. To blanch the vegetables, bring 600ml of water to the boil in a saucepan and add the vinegar, sugar and salt. Add the vegetables (apart from the cucumber - don't blanch this, as it will lose its crunchiness) and blanch for 10 seconds, until slightly wilted. Scoop out with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper.
3. Put the spice paste, the vegetables including the cucumber, the pineapple, peanuts, and sesame and coriander seeds in a glass bowl. Mix thoroughly, then transfer into a glass jar and refrigerate for 2 hours before serving.