Nyonya Vegetable Pickle

If you love pickles and condiments, this simple Asian recipe from Norman Musa is for you. Packed with flavours of Malaysia, this superb vegetable pickle is vinegary, spicy and crunchy.

Amazing Malaysian
From the book Amazing Malaysian
By Norman Musa
Buy on Amazon / Hive / Waterstones

Introduction

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. 

Serves 4-6
Easy

Ingredients

3 tbsp vegetable oil
100g white sugar
1 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
150ml rice vinegar
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
3 shallots
4 cloves of garlic
2.5cm fresh turmeric
2.5cm fresh galangal (or ginger)
4 macadamia nuts
1 1/2 tsp shrimp paste, dry-toasted
For the blanching:
200ml vinegar
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
6 bird's-eye chillies
500g cucumber, peeled, deseeded and cut into 5cm long strips

Essential kit

You will need a food processor.

Instructions

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. 

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