Asinan Buah is the common Indonesian pickled salad that you see in hawker markets and roadside stalls and think to yourself, “Damnnnn, this is tasty stuff! Why can’t I make mine taste authentic at home?” Well, the day of reckoning has come for your mediocre mango pickle. Step it up with this trusty, well-tested recipe that requires less than 10 ingredients, and takes under 15 minutes of prep and cooking time.
Also known by the names of "Rujak Bogor" or "Javanese Pickled Mango," this Indonesian street food classic has tangy green mangoes, cucumbers, and jicama, bathed in a luscious brine that marries the heat of bird's eye chilies, the freshness of garlic, and the subtle sweetness of palm sugar.
Unlike Indian mango pickle, (or hari mirch ka achar, gajar ka achar etc.) this recipe doesn’t require any fermentation time. The flavorful brine will continue to penetrate the fruits as it sits. You can serve it within a couple of hours of preparing it if you are Rushy McRusherson, who mutters “time is money” under your breath while you franticly run around your kitchen with your hair messed up!
So, let’s get right to it, and make this lovely side dish/condiment together!
🥰Why you are going to adore the ever-loving heck outta this recipe
🌱 Vegan AF and GF: Not just completely plant-based, this Asinan Bogor recipe also just happens to be gluten-free.
🌶️ Spicy Symphony: Getting the heart and flavor of chilies just right is critical for authentic-tasting Asian Buah! My recipe uses a blend of bird's eye chilies and Fresno chili in the brine to make it the right “flavorful heat” you are looking for!
✅ Tested and Approved Worldwide: Like all the vegan recipes on my blog, this pickle recipe has been perfected and tested by a large team of receipt testers from all over the world! No matter where you are, be assured that this recipe yields a reliable and delicious outcome every time.
🥭Notable ingredients and substitutions
Known as "Mangga Muda" in Indonesia, green mangoes (sometimes called “raw mangoes”) bring a tangy and firm texture that survives brining nicely. If you have some leftover after making this recipe, take my banh trang tron, or my ensaladang talong recipe for a spin!
Known as "Timun" in Indonesia, cucumbers lend a subtle, mild flavor and a satisfying crunch. I like to make this with Persian cucumber, but ¼ of an English cucumber, Korean cucumber (what you would use to make oi muchim), or a Kirby cucumber can work in its place.
Known as "Bengkoang" in Indonesia, jicama introduces a unique, slightly sweet crunch to the mix. Like I do when I make Filipino Achara, in this recipe, I like to julienne cut the jicama either by hand or with a mandolin.
Bird’s Eye Chilies and Fresno or Cayenne Pepper
These fiery gems bring the heat to the brine, giving the dish its spicy kick. The bird’s eye chilies, or "Cabe Rawit," add the intense heat that dishes like bihun goreng and sambal goreng kentang are famous for, while the fresno chili contributes a milder, fruity flavor that you might recognize from sambal dabu dabu. If you want more heat, swap out the Fresno chili for Cayenne pepper.
The sweetness in the brine comes from natural sugars. Known as "Gula Aren" in Indonesia, palm sugar introduces a caramel-like sweetness that is the star of Indonesian desserts like klepon and kuih dadar. Coconut sugar or brown sugar can be excellent alternatives, providing a mineral-rich, earthy sweetness.
*See the recipe card at the bottom of the page for exact quantities, nutritional info, and detailed cooking directions.
Asinan Buah with Tamarind: Another authentic style of this you will find in Bogor, where the dish originates, is with a splash of tamarind juice or tamarind concentrate in the brine. As it does in urap sayur, the tangy fruitiness of the tamarind helps intensify the flavors in this pickled mango salad. Just add 1½ teaspoons of tamarind concentrate to the brine.
Balinese Buah: In Bali, Indonesia’s Hindu-majority island, this is made a bit more like the famous salad rujak serut by including small, juicy pineapple chunks to the mix. If you like, add a teaspoon of bumbu Bali to the brine to take the flavor up a notch!
📖 How to make perfect Asinan Buah
Nail this pickled mango salad by following these step-by-step instructions with important tips. Or follow along with the easy-to-print recipe card towards the bottom of this page.
Shreddie Van Halen:
Peel and wedge-cut green mangoes, slice (or wedge-cut) the peeled cucumber, and julienne cut (or shred) jicama. Combine in a bowl.
Go on a Blender:
Blend chilies, garlic, sugar, salt, vinegar, and water until smooth. Doing this in a high-speed blender should take about 30 seconds. In a sorta crappy blender, give it a good 2 minutes on high speed.
Fire burn, and Cauldron Bubble:
Transfer the contents of the blender to a saucepan, and bring to a boil over high heat.
Brine B4 You Dine:
Pour brine over fruits and vegetables, ensuring even coating. Gently toss, ensuring that everything is submerged.
Marinate on it:
Let it marinate for 2 hours to cool and infuse. If you will be storing it for longer, pack it into jars and store it under refrigeration.
To enjoy this side dish the traditional way, add fried peanuts, shallots, and cilantro before serving.
Perk up heavily cooked Indonesian dishes with the vibrant colors and flavors Asinan Buah. It’s just as perfect an accompaniment to sayur lodeh over nasi uduk or nasi minyak, as it is to famous Indonesian noodle dishes like bami goreng, mie goreng, and mee rebus!
Feeling like serving it with other healthy cool foods in the summer? Indonesian salads like Asinan Sayur, sambal matah, and ketoprak with lontong, accompanied by the refreshing tang of asinan buah are gonna make you so darn happy!
For a delightful contrast, serve this pickled mango dish alongside sambal goreng tempeh or tahu goreng. The savory and spicy notes will dance harmoniously with the sweet and tangy profile of the Asinan Buah.
- Mango Matters: Don’t muck about here. Only make this with firm, unripe green mangoes for their crisp texture and tangy flavor. This ensures they can withstand the pickling process and contribute a refreshing bite to the Asinan Buah. If unavailable, green papaya can also work as a substitute.
- Spice Control to Major Tom: Tread carefully with the chilies. Adjust the quantity based on your spice tolerance. Remember, it's easier to add more heat later than to tone it down once the brine is prepared. If you already mixed and marinated your ingredients and want to adjust the heat upwards, a small amount of gochugaru (what you would use to make vegan kimchi and Korean bbq sauce) or Kashmiri red chili powder can be mixed into the finished dish to increase the heat.
- Marination Magic: Allow the mixture to marinate for a minimum of 2 hours. It takes longer than you would think for brine to noticeably be absorbed into dense fruits like green mango. Patience is key here – the longer, the better for a more robust taste.
- Serve with Harmony: The cool tanginess of Javanese Asinan Buah especially shines in when served with crispy fried dishes. Whip some up next time you make onion fritters, crispy rice dumplings, or as a side for vegan fried chicken. Thank me later, alligator.
🤷♀️ Recipe FAQs
Store it in a sterilized glass jar in the refrigerator for up to 12 days, allowing the flavors to deepen over time.
Traditionally, firm green mangoes are the principal ingredient, but raw green papaya is a great substitute with a similar flavor and texture.
Asinan Buah traces its roots to Bogor, Indonesia. This traditional dish has variations with and without tamarind and with different chili blends, reflecting the region's diverse culinary influences. The quick-pickling technique of preserving fruits and vegetables in sweet and tangy flavors is common in Southeast Asian cuisine.
What we know about the currently popular style of Asinan Buah found in Bogor, which often also contains Jicama, is that Jicama, also known as bengkoang in Indonesia, is a somewhat recent import to the region.
Jicama, native to Mexico and Central America, is believed to have been first used in cooking by indigenous communities in these areas. Jicama became integrated into Indonesian cuisine over time, contributing its unique texture and slightly sweet flavor to dishes like Javanese Asinan Buah.
✌️My faves to serve with this dish:
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Javanese Asinan Buah (Indonesian Pickled Mango from Bogor)
- 2 green mango unripe mango, peeled and cut into bite-size wedges
- 1 Persian cucumber (or ¼ English cucumber) peeled and sliced, or wedge-cut
- ½ cup jicama peeled and julienne cut
- 2 bird’s eye chilies stem removed
- 1 Fresno chili (or Korean Chili or Cayenne pepper) stem removed
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 tablespoons palm sugar coconut sugar or brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ⅓ cup white vinegar
- 2 cups water
- Fried peanuts
- Fried shallots
- Cilantro leaves
- Begin by preparing the fruits and vegetables: peel and cut 2 unripe green mangoes into bite-size wedges, peel and slice 1 Persian cucumber, and julienne cut jicama. Place them all in a medium bowl.
- In a blender, combine bird’s eye chilies, Fresno chili, garlic, sugar, salt, white vinegar, and water. Blend until the mixture forms a smooth, tangy liquid.
- Place the contents of the blender into a saucepan and bring to a boil.
- Pour the hot brine over the fruits and vegetables, ensuring they are evenly coated. Toss gently to combine.
- Allow the mixture to marinate for at least 2 hours to cool and for the brine to penetrate.
- Just before serving, garnish the Asinan Buah with fried peanuts, fried shallots, and fresh cilantro leaves.