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Acar - Indonesian Pickle

Acar, also known as Indonesian raw vegetable pickle, is a very popular accompaniment in many of Indonesian dishes, such as nasi goreng (fried rice), sate, and almost all varieties of soto. It is very easy to prepare at home, the key to a successful acar is to use the freshest ingredients possible.

Acar - Indonesian Pickle

Acar - Indonesian Pickle

Acar - Indonesian Pickle

4.8 from 4 reviews

Author: Anita Jacobson




Prep Time: 20 mins

Cook Time: 10 mins

Total Time: 30 mins

Serves: 3 cups

Print Recipe


  • 2 small cucumber, remove the seeds and cut into cubes
  • 2 small carrot, peeled and cut into cubes
  • 25 Thai chili, remove the stems
  • 15 shallot, peeled and half each shallot
  • 500 ml water
  • 150 gram sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoon vinegar


  1. Wash and drain cucumber, carrot, chili, and shallot. The total amount of vegetable should come to about 2 cups.
  2. Place chopped vegetables in a mixing bowl and sprinkle with salt to make them crispier. Wash and strain after 5 minutes. Set aside.
  3. To prepare the pickling liquid, bring water, sugar, salt, and vinegar to a boil in a sauce pot. Remove from heat when all sugar has dissolved.
  4. Add the vegetables into the pickling liquid and let sit for 10 minutes.
  5. Transfer to glass jars and let them rest for at least 1 hour before the acar is ready to be enjoyed. Store the jars of pickles in refrigerator, it should keep fresh for up to 2 weeks.
Indonesian Pantry
Indonesian Kitchen


  • Yenni B. Yenni B. says:

    I made cucumber-dill pickle last summer, but I miss Acar. I will definitely make this soon. Thank you, and keep the good work! :)

    • Anita Anita says:

      Thanks for the encouragement Yenni, will do :) And yes, I guess to Indonesians, the best pickle will always be acar ♥

  • Dedy@Dentist Chef Dedy@Dentist Chef says:

    You know what Anita, i used to consume this pickle with instant noodle for my breakfast supper too.... slightly reduce my guilty feelling, hehehe

    • Anita Anita says:

      Me too, me too, haha :D

  • kiet trinh kiet trinh says:

    i try to make yours pickle , only thats i add a bit more vinegar , more sugar , , yum !!

    • Anita Anita says:

      Yup, I sometimes tweak the pickling liquid slightly as well, especially if I switch to a difference brand of vinegar :)

  • Ling Ling says:

    Miss Anita, liquid nya Harus nuggu dingin gak? Hehe Thanks yah

    • Anita Anita says:

      Tidak perlu tunggu dingin Ling. Cheers!

      • Ling Ling says:

        Thanks a lot for reply me...appreciate that.

  • JC JC says:

    I lived in Jakarta when I was a child, and am always on the lookout for authentic dishes. This acar recipe was just what I needed to accompany my nasi goreng. Thanks!

    • Anita Anita says:

      I am happy you like the recipe. I also have this with mie goreng, soto betawi, and martabak :)

  • Scott C. Wilmot Scott C. Wilmot says:

    Selamat sore Anita. We had dinner yesterday (April 2 2016) for my mother-in-law - she was 92 and my sister-in-law made us a delicious indonesian curry with sate and acar - I couldn't for the life of me remember the name 'acar' but googled around and your recipe came up. I am glad I found your website - thanks.

    • Anita Anita says:

      You are welcome Scott. And that dinner sounds very lovely :)

  • Rosaline Rosaline says:

    Hey, anita. Just wondering, can I use japanese rice vinegar to make acar? I read it can be use to pickle vegetable, but I'm not quite sure it applies to acar as well.

    • Anita Anita says:

      Hm... rice vinegar is so much milder compared to white vinegar, so even if you want to use it in acar, you will need a rather large amount. I haven't tried rice vinegar to make Indonesian acar before, but I have made other kind of pickles with rice vinegar, such as radish pickle and green chili pickle.

  • Guhan Subramaniam Guhan Subramaniam says:

    Excellent recipe. I would serve this minimum 2 days later as by then the flavours from the shallots, chilli, sugar and vinegar would have infused into the liquid and the vegetables. Thanks for the recipe.

    • Anita Anita says:

      You are welcome Guhan! I too try to wait it out a bit, even in a hurry, I would usually give it an overnight rest in the fridge to develop the flavor.

  • CSB CSB says:

    Is it alright to use normal (finely cut) onions (bawang putih) to replace the shallots?

    • Anita Anita says:

      I have never tried regular yellow onion before, but I have tried using red onion (not shallot). If you can find red onion, I think it would be a better substitute.

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