Bring vinegar, sugar, cumin, and salt to a boil in a 2-quart non-reactive heavy saucepan, then reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes. Add onions and simmer, stirring occasionally, 2 minutes, then transfer to a bowl and cool. Stir in cilantro. Pickled onions can be made 1 week ahead and chilled, covered.
Copyright July 2003, Gourmet magazine. Printed with permission.
When she was 15, all Azalina Eusope wanted to do was leave Malaysia. "I did not want to be a fifth generation of street vendor," she says. After working in six different countries, she ended up in San Francisco, where making and selling Malaysian street food reconnected Eusope with her past.