Acar Timun: The Indonesian Cucumber Salad

Refreshing, crunchy, and slightly spicy are what you get from Acar Timun. This Indonesian cucumber salad is the most popular simple salad in a food spread. 

Acar Timun - Indonesian cucumber salad.

What is Acar Timun

Acar Timun means pickled cucumber. This crispy, tangy, and spicy salad is made with cucumber, carrot, chilies, and shallot. This easy and simple salad is the most commonly served at any Indonesian food spread using white vinegar, sugar, and salt for flavoring.

Acar Timun - Indonesian pickled cucumber.

If you go to restaurants, cafes, or even food stalls and food gawkers, chances are you see them serving this Indonesian cucumber salad.

It is so classic that it is almost a must for any Indonesian to make it as a side dish.

And when you try this pickle, you’ll know why it is well-sought after. 

The salad has a crunchy texture, flavorful tang, salt, sweetness, and spicy chili. It is refreshingly tasty to have alongside your meal. 

Ingredients for Indonesian cucumber salad 

There are only eight items you need to make Acar Timun. They are cucumber, carrot, red onion, chilies, sugar, salt, white vinegar, and water.

For the onion, you can also use brown onion if that’s what you have. Shallots are also good. In fact, in Indonesia, we put red shallots.

When it comes to chilies, you can also use green chilies. And feel free to use however many you want. Because every chili gives a different level of heat. So use them according to how spicy you like your cucumber salad.

As for vinegar, rice vinegar is also a good choice. 

Ingredients for Acar Timun.

How to make Acar Timun

Like making most fresh vegetable salads, you only need to prepare your veggies and mix them with dressing ingredients to make this Indonesian cucumber salad.

The traditional way of making this Acar is by cutting your cucumber and carrot into small cubes. And you roughly chop the onion and chili.

As for the dressing, you don’t have to mix it separately before adding it to the salad. You can add your dressing ingredients to the prepared vegetables and mix them.

Tips to make the best Acar

  • Make sure you use fresh produce from your vegetables. Especially the cucumber and carrot. So they will have a crispy texture.
  • Try to cut your vegetables in a similar size.
  • Check the taste after you add the dressing ingredients. Your final salad should taste tangy, salty, sweet, and spicy. 
  • If you use lime juice, taste it before putting it in the salad. Because some lime doesn’t taste tangy enough and can be bland sometimes. If this is the case, you may use white or rice vinegar instead.
  • Some chilies don’t have spicy heat at all. Try it a little bit before adding it to the salad. This way, you will know how much chili you want to put in your salad according to your taste.
  • Leave the salad at least 15-20 minutes before serving to let the flavor develop.
Indonesian pickled cucumber.

Foods to enjoy with Indonesian pickled cucumber

Traditionally, Acar Timun is served with many Indonesian dishes. There seems no limit to what you can have it with.

However, meat dishes such as Sate Ayam (chicken satay), lamb satay, Sop Buntut (oxtail soup), or lamb tongseng are popular choices for the pickled cucumber.

On special occasions like weddings and gatherings, this simple cucumber pickle is often served along with Kari Ayam (chicken curry), Mie Goreng (stir-fried noodles), or Soto Betawi (beef stew from the Jakarta region).

Having said that, don’t limit yourself to Indonesian food only. You can serve this simple pickle with western slider like this old fashioned sloppy joes recipe by Thyme For The Table.

Storing matter

This salad keeps well for three days at room temperature. The only thing is that the texture of the veggies will be softer and not as crunchy. But the flavor will be more intense; lots of people prefer it. 

In fact, they make it at least a day in Indonesia before they want to serve it. 

Indonesian cucumber salad.

More Indonesian salad recipes

Suppose you need some inspiration for more Indonesian salad recipes. You can try this Gado gado, Asinan Jakarta, Rujak Serut (Indonesian sweet potato slaw with tamarind dressing), or Cucumber and tomato salad with spicy dressing.

Thank you for checking out this Acar Timun recipe. When you try making this Indonesian cucumber salad, please share your thoughts in the comments below. I appreciate it. 

Lastly, please follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. To sneak a look at what’s cooking in my kitchen. 

Take care and all the best.

Acar Timun - Indonesian cucumber salad.
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5 from 42 votes

Acar Timun recipe

Refreshing, crunchy, and slightly spicy are what you get from Acar Timun. This Indonesian cucumber salad is the most popular simple salad in a food spread.
Author: Devy Dar
Prep Time15 minutes
Total Time15 minutes
Course: Salad
Cuisine: Indonesian
Servings: 3 portions


  • Chopping board
  • Kitchen knife
  • Mixing bowls.
  • Wooden spoon


  • ½ cucumber
  • 1 medium carrot
  • ½ red onion
  • 2 red chilies
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice or white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup water


  • Dice the cucumber and carrot into small cubes.
  • Chop the red onion and chilies.
  • Place all the vegetables in a bowl and add sugar, vinegar, salt, and water.
  • Stir and mix well. Check the taste and add more salt or sugar if necessary.
  • Let it rest for at least 15-20 minutes before serving.


  • You can use brown onion or shallot if you prefer.
    As for lime juice, you can substitute it with vinegar or rice vinegar.


Serving: 100grams | Calories: 67kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 0.3g | Saturated Fat: 0.03g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.01g | Sodium: 795mg | Potassium: 268mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 3724IU | Vitamin C: 50mg | Calcium: 25mg | Iron: 1mg


Nutritional info in this recipe is only estimate using online calculator. You should refer to it as a guide only. Please verify with your own data if you seek an accurate info.

Author: Devy Dar

Title: Food Writer, Recipe Developer, and Digital Content Creator.


Devy Dar founded So Yummy Recipes and Drizzling Flavor to share her love of food after exploring various cultures and cuisines for more than two decades. Her mission is to help others easily recreate traditional and non-traditional food with readily available ingredients. Her works have been featured in Reader’s Digest, Al Jazeera, MSN, Yahoo, Bon Appetit, and more. 

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