Pickled green beans | Acar buncis

You probably know acar from a jar you can buy at the supermarket (also great by the way) or the homemade one from an Indonesian restaurant, but there are a lot of pickled dishes in Indonesian cuisine, such as this pickled green beans dish. This dish is vegan too.

This recipe is ready in 30 minutes and enough for 2-3 people as a side dish. See other pickled dishes on this site? Follow this link.

Pickled green beans | Acar buncis (Wonosobo) #423 translated from Beb Vuyk’s Groot Indonesisch Kookboek, page 343.


  • 1/2 kg green beans
  • 1 dl broth
  • 2 tablespoons of oil
  • 4 tablespoons of vinegar

Herbs and spices

  • 3 tablespoons chopped onions
  • 5 roasted kemiries (candle nuts)
  • 1 teaspoon of turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger powder
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • salt
  1. Clean the beans, wash them and break them into quarters.
  2. Rub the candle nuts together with sugar, salt, turmeric and ginger powder.
  3. Fry the onions in the oil and when they are golden brown add the ground spices.
  4. Also fry the beans until they become tender.
  5. Add the broth and stew the dish in it until the beans are almost done; then stir in the vinegar.
  6. This acar does not keep for long.

Kemiries (candlenuts in English) are slightly poisonous, so it is important that you roast them before using. This can be done, just like pine nuts, in a pan over low heat. Kemirie nuts ensure that your sauce comes together like corn starch.

For broth, I use regular cubes of vegetable broth. I have some fresh ginger left over so that goes in instead of ginger powder. As vinegar, I use nice wine vinegar.

Beb says in her recipe that the onions are fried separately. I didn’t do that but roughly grinded them in the bumbu of candlenuts.

Now add the beans and the broth to the pan. I let this simmer gently for about 10 minutes until the beans are al dente. Finally, I add the vinegar.

We eat this bean sour as a side dish next to a warm braise of meat or a simple egg dish. Beb says that this pickled green beans dish cannot be stored for long. We eat it in two days, so that is not a problem. Even with that little bit of vinegar, the whole dish tastes pretty acidic and is delicious!

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