Recipe: Acar Timun (Spicy Warm Cucumber Salad)

Acar timun (spicy cucumber salad)

Acar timun (spicy cucumber salad)

I will certainly try cooking cucumber much more in the future after cooking this dish. Crunchy, fragrant and slightly spicy; I can see why this dish is traditionally paired with beef rending (see recipe here) – its freshness balances out the rich meat dish. This would also be a perfect starter, paired with some prawn crackers or papadum.


3g ginger

1 clove garlic

3 small shallots

5g dried shrimp, soaked to soften

1tbsp flavourless oil

1/2tsp mustard seeds

1 star anise

1 clove

2cm cinnamon stick

pinch of turmeric powder

1tbsp sugar

1 1/2tsp white vinegar

1/2tsp salt

30g carrot, julienned into 3-4cm lengths

2 small garlic cloves, peeled and left whole

2-3 small shallots, peeled and left whole

60g cucumber, centre removed and julienned into 3-4cm lengths

1/2 green chilli, finely sliced

1/2 red chilli, finely sliced

roasted sesame seeds, to garnish



Pestle and mortar

Pestle and mortar


– in a pestle and mortar, pound the ginger, garlic, shallots and dried shrimp until it forms a paste – set aside

Pounded shallots and garlic

Pounded shallots, ginger, dried shrimp and garlic

– in a small frying pan or wok, heat your oil and immediately place in the mustard seeds, star anise, clove and cinnamon – stir-fry until fragrant over a low heat

Fry until fragrant

Fry until fragrant

– add the pounded ingredients and turmeric powder from before and stir-fry to cook

– add in the sugar, vinegar and salt and continue cooking for a few seconds

Add paste

Add paste

Carrots in

Carrots in

Add cucumber and chillies

Add cucumber and chillies

– put in the carrot, whole garlic and shallots and stir-fry for 3-4 minutes

– add in the cucumber and chillies, then continue cooking for 1-2 minutes before turning off the heat and serving garnished with the roasted sesame seeds

(serves 2 as a side dish)

*You might want to warm guests about the clove and star anise hidden within to avoid any unpleasant surprises!

The finished dish; garnished with sesame

The finished dish; garnished with sesame

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One comment

  1. Pingback: Authentic Malaysian Cookery at LaZat Cookery School, KL | Dine&Discover

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