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Asinan Sayur (Indonesian Salad with Peanut Dressing)

Posting Date: 01/10/16

Asinan Sayur (Indonesian Salad with Peanut Dressing)

Asinan Sayur (Indonesian Salad with Peanut Dressing) is 1 of Indonesian salads that can be found and is very popular in Jakarta. This salad is very refreshing for the summer and the crunchiness of the vegetables and the peanut dressing make this salad so different than any other salads you have had. Asinan means fruits or vegetables brined in vinegar and salt solution. Sayur itself means vegetables. So, the ingredients of Asinan Sayur (Indonesian Salad with Peanut Dressing) consist of vegetables rather than fruits. Asinan Sayur uses peanut dressing. There is another Indonesian salad, called Gado-gado, that uses peanut dressing but it is completely different since the vegetables are not brined prior to use. The peanut dressing is also different since it uses terasi (shrimp paste), so it is not completely vegetarian. Asinan Sayur, on the other hand, is completely vegetarian food. Since the dressing uses peanuts, it is not good for people who are allergic to peanuts.

As mentioned before, the original recipe requires the vegetables (carrots, cucumbers, bean sprouts, and cabbage) to be brined. To save time, I normally mix all the vegetables (except lettuce) with the peanut dressing and let it marinade in the fridge for at least 6 hours. The dressing has vinegar and salt and thus, while the vegetables are marinating, they are also being brined. Once I am ready to eat it, I add the lettuce, toss it with the other ingredients, and top it with peanuts.

This salad uses palm sugar. You can find it in Asian stores. If you cannot find it, you can substitute it with brown sugar.


  • 1 palm sugar. The brand of palm sugar I use is sold in a package of several round pieces of solid palm sugar. Each round piece contain 2 smaller disks attached together. I use 1 round piece (2 small disks).
  • 1 cup water
  • 5 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 2.5 tablespoons vinegar
  • 1.5 teaspoon sambal oelek. I use Huy Fong brand for sambal oelek since they don't add shrimp paste or garlic to it and thus, I got the chili pepper I need without any other flavors I don't want.
  • 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 1 cucumber, cut in half and sliced
  • 1/2 cup pickled sour mustard, rinsed several times in cold water to get rid of the salt and vinegar brine, cut to bite size. If you cannot find it in Asian store, you can skip it.
  • 2 carrots, julienned
  • 3/4 cup cabbage, cut into bite size
  • 2 cups bean sprouts, rinsed and drained
  • 2 leaves of Romaine lettuce, cut into bite size
  • 2 tablespoons of peanuts


  1. Fill up small pot with 1 cup of water and place palm sugar in the pot. Let the water boil to dissolve the sugar. Once the sugar dissolves, turn the heat off.
  2. Mix sugar water mixture with peanut butter in a small bowl. Whisk it so that peanut butter becomes less thickened and completely smooth. Add vinegar, sambal oelek, and salt and whisk it. Add more salt if you prefer. If you like it hot, you can add more sambal oelek. Since peanut dressing consistency might be dependent on the brand of peanut butter you use, add 1/2 tablespoon of hot water if the peanut dressing is too thick for your preference. Whisk it. Add more hot water until it reaches the consistency you like.
  3. Combine cucumber, pickled sour mustard, carrots, cabbage, and bean sprouts in a big bowl. Pour the dressing on top of the vegetables. Toss to mix dressing with vegetables. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let vegetables marinate for at least 6 hours.
  4. Once you are ready to eat it, add lettuce in the bowl and toss it well. Top the salad with peanuts.

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