ASINAN JAKARTA: Indonesian salad with spicy peanuts and tamarind

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In honesty, I found a bit of difficulty in trying to find the right English word that can match the recipe title I’m sharing this time. It is “Asinan” (aah-see-naan).

Although I took liberty in translating the word as salad, it’s actually not the salad that you might understand. 

First of all, you eat the ordinary salad as an appetizer or starter. But this Indonesian crispy salad “asinan” is eaten as a snack at any time of the day. In fact, it’s best to have it as an afternoon snack when you already had your lunch but feel like snacking. 

And if it is served as a part of a party menu, it is usually eaten after the main course.

Anyhow.


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Indonesian salad with peanuts and tamarind sauce - Asinan Jakarta

Asinan literally derives from the word “asin” which means salty. And asinan is typically vegetables or fruits that been preserved in salty water before serving. 

There are many varieties of Asinan. But the one I’m sharing here is made of vegetables and has dressing made of peanuts and tamarind.

Asinan Jakarta ingredients

As for the vegetables, I use cabbages, beansprouts, carrots, round lettuce, and cucumber. Traditionally some people make it with egg noodles and preserved Choi sum as well. But I simplified it because not only I’m myself not keen on having them, also I didn’t have them at home in stock 😄. 

This salad is so refreshing to have on a hot summer day. The crispy veggies marry well with the tangy and spicy sauce. I can never stop having this Asinan once I start. I actually finished the one that I made this time as soon as I was done with taking pictures for this post.

So bad. But it’s okay, isn’t it? Because it’s just veggies 😆.

Asinan Jakarta - crispy salad with peanuts and tamarind sauce

Asinan Jakarta - Crispy salad with peanuts and tamarind sauce

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Rooted in the famous traditional Asinan Jakarta, this crispy salad is delicious to have as a snack on a hot summer day. A perfect choice for chilli lovers who want a bit of zingy taste in their salad.

Ingredients

  • 100 gr./ 3.5 oz. Cabbage.
  • 80 gr./ 2.8 oz. Beansprouts.
  • 50 gr./ 1.7 oz. Carrots.
  • 50 gr./ 1.7 oz. Round lettuce.
  • 80 gr./ 2.6 oz. Cucumber.
  • 100 gr./ 3.5 oz Roasted salted peanuts, crushed and grind with pestle and mortar.
  • 1 clove Garlic, crushed.
  • 1 tsp Dry chilli flakes or 1-2 bird’s eye red chillies, grind into a paste.
  • ½ tsp Salt.
  • 1 tsp Tamarind concentrate.
  • 60 gr./ 4 tbsp Brown sugar.
  • 1 tsp Granulated sugar (optional).
  • 240 ml./ 1 cup Water.
  • Noodle crackers or onion crackers (kerupuk) - optional.

Instructions

  1. Slice the cabbage. Set aside.
  2. Cut the carrots into matchsticks. Set aside.
  3. Slice the lettuce. Set aside.
  4. And cut the cucumber into slices. Set aside
  5. Put all the vegetables, i.e. cabbage, beansprouts, carrots, lettuce, and cucumber in a big mixing bowl. Add the water until all the vegetables soaked in. 
  6. Put one teaspoon of salt in the bowl, stir well, and leave the vegetables soaked for at least a few hours.
  7. In the meantime, make the dressing by mixing crushed peanuts, garlic, chilli flakes/chilli paste, tamarind, brown sugar, and salt in a small cooking pot. Pour in hot water from the kettle. Stir well and cook at medium heat until it reaches boiling point.
  8. Try and taste the sauce, it should taste flavorful of salty, sour, sweet, and spicy.
  9. The challenge with making asinan is to get all these four flavours to come together. So you may have to add in a teaspoon of granulated sugar if it’s not sweet enough, or salt if you can’t taste it. Similarly, you add more the tamarind and the chilli if need to. Feel free to add more each respectively if you think you need it. Although the measure that I did in this recipe has all the flavours. 
  10. Once you’re happy with your dressing sauce, you can set aside.
  11. Now, drain the vegetables, and arrange them in a serving bowl.
  12. Spoon the sauce over the vegetables, and mix well.
  13. Garnish with noodle crackers/ onion crackers if using.
  14. Enjoy.

Notes

  • The crackers are optional. But they give more crunch to your Asinan. If you want, you can use the ready-made prawn crackers from the shop. Because I do that sometimes.
  • If possible, try to use fresh chillies because they give more flavour and spicy aroma.

Nutrition Information
Yield 4 Serving Size 1 Amount Per Serving Calories 284Total Fat 13gSaturated Fat 2gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 10gCholesterol 0mgSodium 430mgCarbohydrates 36gFiber 4gSugar 17gProtein 9g

The nutrition calculation you find here is just a guide provided by online nutrition calculator. You should not use to substitute advice from nutritionists or health practitioners.

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Related posts

I hope you’re tempted to make this Asinan now. Especially since we are entering mid-summer. A perfect time of the year to enjoy this crunchy veggie salad with the spicy peanut and tamarind sauce. 

If you do try the recipe, would you mind sharing what you think of it in the comments below?

Also, feel free to share the post and pin it in your Pinterest. And before you go, don’t forget to check my other Indonesian food recipes that you may equally love.

Thank you and all the best.

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