Grandma Lee’s Fresh Pineapple Pickle (Sambal Nanas)

Grandma Lee’s Fresh Pineapple Pickle (Sambal Nanas)

A tangy pineapple and cucumber salad traditionally served with Fried Hokkien Mee


  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 small pineapple


  • 4 Tbsp dried prawns (shrimps) (udang kering)
  • 2 fresh red chillies
  • 2 tsp prawn (shrimp) paste (belacan)


  • 2 Tbsp Chinese rice vinegar or white vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp calamansi lime (limau kesturi) or lemon juice
  • sugar, to taste
  • salt, to taste


  1. Peel and dice the cucumber and pineapple into small cubes. Place into a large bowl.
  2. Wrap the prawn paste in foil then toast in a dry pan or toaster for about 1–2 min on each side. Remove the foil.
  3. Prepare the rempah. Deseed, if preferred, then roughly chop the chillies. Pound/grind the dried prawns, chillies and toasted prawn paste together.
  4. Prepare the marinade. Stir all the ingredients together until the sugar and salt have dissolved.


  1. Add the mixture to the cucumber and pineapple. Mix thoroughly. Allow to rest for about 15 mins then serve.

Chef's Tips:

  • For a very quick and easy version, substitute the fresh red chillies, rice vinegar, sugar and salt with about 2 Tbsp Cilicuka Original, then add the calamansi lime juice and finely shredded dried prawns.
  • Once the cucumber and pineapple have been sliced, it is not advisable to let it rest in the refrigerator for too long since the juices will be released and it will become soggy.
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