Asinan refers to fruits or vegetables brined in a solution of vinegar, sugar and salt. The word asinan itself comes from the word asin, meaning ‘salty’. It’s a pickling process done by locals in Indonesia to preserve vegetables and fruits.
If you go to Bogor, a rainy city close to Jakarta, chances are, you’ll spot asinan along the way. It’s a trademark of Bogor and is available in restaurants, street stalls, and souvenirs shops selling Bogor specialties. A visit to the city would not be complete without trying the local asinan, which comes in two varieties: asinan sayur, or “vegetable asinan”, and asinan buah, or “fruit asinan”.
Making asinan is relatively easy. You only need to prepare fresh produce and make a solution of vinegar, salt and sugar. For asinan buah, you can use any fruit with a firm texture. Try to use both sweet and sour fruits to get a nice balance of flavours. Asinan is best when you keep it in the refrigerator for several hours.
For this recipe, I added roasted shrimp paste to add more depth, but it can be omitted. You can also adjust the taste according to your palate. Feel free to add more sugar, salt or vinegar. Asinan buah should be a refreshing balance of sweet, sour, salty, with a hint of spice. To serve the asinan, scoop the fruits onto a serving bowl and then add a generous amount of the vinegar-salt solution. Finally, slurp on it after you munch on the fruits. This pickled fruit is definitely a summer delight!Print
A specialty of the city of Bogor, West Java, asinan buah is a refreshing snack of fruit brined in vinegar, salt, and sugar. This recipe is easy, and the pickle can be kept in the fridge for a few days.
- 1 small pineapple
- 1 jicama
- 1 unripe mango
- 1 cucumber
- 2 big red chillies
- 2 bird’s eye chillies
- 200 gr sugar
- 0.5 tsp salt or to taste
- 0.5 tsp roasted shrimp paste (optional)
- 5 tbsp vinegar
- 1 lemon
- 1 lt water
- Fried peanuts for garnish
- Peel all the fruits except the cucumber, wash thoroughly and cut into small pieces. Keep it in a container or a big jar and set aside.
- Blend the chillies and the shrimp paste into a fine paste.
- In a medium-sized pot, put the water, sugar, salt and chilli paste. Bring to boil.
- Add the vinegar and continue cooking for around 15 minutes until the sugar has dissolved.
- Strain the liquid and add the lemon juice.
- When the liquid is lukewarm, pour it on the fruit pieces.
- Keep it in the refrigerator at least 2 hours or longer before serving.
- Sprinkle the fruits with fried peanut before serving.
- The roasted shrimp adds depth of flavour, but can be omitted to make it completely vegan.
Keywords: Spicy, Healthy