Penang Pickled Veggies
Recipe type: pickles
Cuisine: Malaysian
Adapted from The Spice Merchant's Daughter, Christina Arokiasamy
  • 1 hothouse cucumber
  • ½ t salt
  • 8 oz carrots, cut into 2 inch long pieces and sliced vertically if super thick
  • 1 cup sliced Napa cabbage
  • 1 sweet bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 red onion, thickly sliced
  • fresh red chile peppers, to taste (she suggests 3-4, I used 1 jalapeno seeded), seeded and chopped
  • 8 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
  • 4 T sugar, or more to taste
  • additional ½ t salt
  • 1 cup roasted, salted peanuts
  • 4 T sesame seeds
  • 3½ T oil
  • 1½ cups white distilled vinegar
  1. Slice the cucumber into quarters lengthwise and then slice into 2-inch pieces. Do not remove the skin. Place in a colander and sprinkle with the ½-teaspoon salt. Set aside.
  2. Bring the vinegar to a boil with an additional 1 cup of water. Press as much water as possible from the cucumber pieces, then add them to the pot. Blanche them for 2 minutes and then remove from the water with a slotted spoon. Place in a large colander to drain further.
  3. Bring the vinegar mixture back a boil and repeat the blanching process with the remainder of your veggies. Blanch the cabbage and pepper for 2 minutes each; blanch the carrots for 3 minutes. Place all veggies on top of each other to drain in the large colander.
  4. Combine the garlic, chile pepper(s), sugar and ½-teaspoon salt in a small food processor and blend to a paste. Scrape out into a bowl. Add the peanuts to the food processor--do not bother cleaning it--and process the peanuts to a fine mince. Do not let them turn into butter. Set aside in a separate bowl.
  5. Heat the oil in a small pan over medium heat (nonstick will make your life easier). Add the spice paste and cook for 10 minutes, until oil appears on the surface. Stir occasionally. Add the peanuts with ⅓-cup water. Cook until the mixture thickens and seems glazed. Taste for more sugar (she recommends if it is too spicy, which will depend on the chile peppers you've used). Remove from the heat.
  6. Transfer the blanched veggies to a large bowl. Add the hot peanut mixture and the sesame seeds. Toss to coat the veggies evenly. Let the mixture cool completely. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Serve at room temperature or a little cool from the fridge. The longer the pickles sit, the stronger and therefore tastier they will get.
Recipe by The Spiced Life at