Acar Ramping from Rembang

Acar Cabbage with Bean Sprouts

Maybe this dish sounds crazy. This acar ramping is a warm and sour cabbage dish with bean sprouts. Believe me, this is really delicious. You could call this cabbage dish a warm acar (pickled Indonesian vegetable dish). Acars are common in Indonesian cuisine. Acar is often served as a cold side dish (condiment). It is regularly made with cucumber, cabbage and onions. 100% vegan too!

Ramping means ‘slim or slender’ in Indonesian. Maybe because this dish doesn’t contain much fat and it is healthy because of the vegetables.

Check out all the lovely homemade acar recipes on this blog here.

This acar cabbage with bean sprouts is not a side dish but you can definitely eat this as your main course. You can simply serve this acar with rice, sambal and some sweet soy sauce and you have a delicious full on dinner.

I replace the carrots with sweet potato slices (I cook until tender but not soft), because my husband is allergic to carrots. The sweet potato works well in this recipe. It sucks up the delicious sauce and because I do not overcook them they almost taste like carrots.

Acar acar ramping (Rembang) # 425 translated from Beb Vuyk’s Groot Indonesich Kookboek, page 344.


  • 100 grams of bean sprouts
  • 200 grams of cabbage (white, green or savoy cabbage)
  • 200 grams of carrots
  • 1 dl of water
  • 4 tablespoons of vinegar


  • 3 tablespoons of chopped onions
  • 3 shredded cloves of garlic
  • 3 lomboks (chilies)
  • 5 roasted kemiries (candle nuts)
  • 1 teaspoon of turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon of ginger powder
  • 2 teaspoons of palm sugar
  • salt
  1. Cut the cabbage and carrots into small pieces.
  2. Remove the inside from the lomboks and cut them into rings.
  3. Rinse the bean sprouts under the cold tap.
  4. Grind onions, garlic, kemiries, kunjit, ginger powder, sugar and salt into a paste.
  5. Bring water to the boil with the vinegar.
  6. Add the carrots, the cabbage and the herb paste and let it all come to a boil.
  7. Stir in the lomboks (chilies) and the bean sprouts and serve the dish as soon as it boils. This acar is short lasting.

Ingredients acar

I cut my sweet potato into strips. Now they look a bit like carrots.

Kemiries or candlenuts are fatty nuts that are often used as thickening agent in Indonesian cuisine. Candlenuts work well in bumbu’s (spice pastes). It will make everything stick together well. Always roast candlenuts before you use them otherwise they are slightly poisonous. I also can buy candlenuts (already grind into a paste) in a jar.

I use Chinese cabbage by the way. It is a slightly more tender cabbage than white or green and is delicious too. Do not cook the cabbage too long. Keep it crunchy.


I start by making the bumbu; herb paste. I add onions, garlic, candlenuts, kunjit, ginger powder, sugar (I use a piece of dark Javanese sugar) and salt in a jug and place my emersion blender on top of it. This makes this bumbu super smooth and that works well in this dish.


I use a teaspoon of salt for this acar but always taste it before serving. A lot of vegetables go in this acar, so salt is necessary to give all the flavors depth.

I bring my bumbu to the boil in water with vinegar.

The potatoes need some more time than the rest so I add them first.

The potatoes need fifteen minutes. The carrots also need more cooking time than my Chinese cabbage, so I if you use carrots, cook them now.

After fifteen minutes of simmering, the sweet potatoes are al dente. The cabbage can be added. I let this simmer with the lid on for 3 minutes. At the very last moment I scoop the bean sprouts through it with the chilli pepper rings. I immediately turn off the gas, otherwise the bean sprouts will become too soft.

I arrange everything in a nice bowl and we are ready to eat! We eat this delicious acar ramping with white rice and an egg dish. Enak sekali.

Want to see more vegan or vegetarian Indonesian recipes? Check out this link.

Or watch my vegan playlist on my youtube channel.

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