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Acar hu

‘Acar hu’ translates to ‘fish pickle’ in the Nyonya dialect. Yet this may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of ‘fish pickle’. But this ingenious combination of fried fish and syrupy vinegar makes for a lip-smacking dish to add to the dinner rotation. It keeps very well (see Tips section below), so even if 1kg of fish sounds like a lot, we’re confident you’ll be happily eating it for days after.

Recipe originally appears in Nonya Flavours; shared with permission by author Debbie Teoh.

 

Tableware by Ilham Ceramic Studio.

Acar hu

by Debbie Teoh

‘Acar hu’ translates to ‘fish pickle’ in the Nyonya dialect. Yet this may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of ‘fish pickle’. But this ingenious combination of fried fish and syrupy vinegar makes for a lip-smacking dish to add to the dinner rotation. It keeps very well (see Tips section below), so even if 1kg of fish sounds like a lot, we’re confident you’ll be happily eating it for days after.

Recipe originally appears in Nonya Flavours; shared with permission by author Debbie Teoh.

 

Tableware by Ilham Ceramic Studio.

Servings: 4

Servings: 4

1kg small whole fish (like kembung or selar kuning) or fish fillet (like tenggiri), cleaned and gutted

2 tsp salt, plus more to taste

250ml oil for frying

2″ fresh turmeric root, peeled and sliced thinly

100g / 3″ ginger (preferably young), peeled and sliced into matchsticks

100g / 1 bulb garlic, peeled and sliced thinly

3 red chillies, seeded and quartered

3 green chillies, seeded and quartered

250ml white vinegar

8-10 tbsp granulated sugar

1 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted

  1. Season the fish with 2 tsp salt. Heat oil in a wok over a medium flame. Deep fry the seasoned fish until golden, about 2 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels and set aside.
  2. Remove all but 4 tbsp of oil from the wok, and reduce the flame to medium low. Fry the turmeric slices in until the oil turns yellow. Discard the turmeric.
  3. Using the turmeric oil, fry the ginger and garlic pieces until golden brown. Strain and leave aside to cool, then add the red and green chillies, vinegar, sugar, and salt. Stir to make sure the sugar is dissolved.
  4. Add in the fried fish, turning the fish to coat it evenly in the sugary vinegar sauce. Serve garnished with sesame seeds.

Tips

  • This dish is best served the next day as the flavours will develop overnight. If not consuming immediately, keep it submerged in the vinegar solution in a clean glass jar. It keeps well for about a week at room temperature and longer in the refrigerator.

Ingredients

1kg small whole fish (like kembung or selar kuning) or fish fillet (like tenggiri), cleaned and gutted

2 tsp salt, plus more to taste

250ml oil for frying

2″ fresh turmeric root, peeled and sliced thinly

100g / 3″ ginger (preferably young), peeled and sliced into matchsticks

100g / 1 bulb garlic, peeled and sliced thinly

3 red chillies, seeded and quartered

3 green chillies, seeded and quartered

250ml white vinegar

8-10 tbsp granulated sugar

1 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted

Directions

  1. Season the fish with 2 tsp salt. Heat oil in a wok over a medium flame. Deep fry the seasoned fish until golden, about 2 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels and set aside.
  2. Remove all but 4 tbsp of oil from the wok, and reduce the flame to medium low. Fry the turmeric slices in until the oil turns yellow. Discard the turmeric.
  3. Using the turmeric oil, fry the ginger and garlic pieces until golden brown. Strain and leave aside to cool, then add the red and green chillies, vinegar, sugar, and salt. Stir to make sure the sugar is dissolved.
  4. Add in the fried fish, turning the fish to coat it evenly in the sugary vinegar sauce. Serve garnished with sesame seeds.

Tips

  • This dish is best served the next day as the flavours will develop overnight. If not consuming immediately, keep it submerged in the vinegar solution in a clean glass jar. It keeps well for about a week at room temperature and longer in the refrigerator.

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© Copyright Periuk 2021

© Copyright Periuk 2021

 
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