Sambal Udang Petai (Prawn and ‘Stink’ Beans Sambal)

Petai, the so called South East Asian Asparagus, has earned its nickname ‘stink bean’ because its strong smell is very pervasive. It lingers in the mouth and body! It looks like broad beans but like asparagus, it contains certain amino acids that give a strong smell to one’s urine, an effect that can be noticed up to two days after consumption. Pushing away all these undesirable facts, they taste awesome! Really! I love sambal petai and I do have to make sure there’s no formal meetings or meet ups before I eat this dish…boy it can cause some commotion! But hey, life’s to short to be ordinary, so why not stink once a while to please your palette! hehe! Petai is usually cooked in sambal or yellow curry, whether with seafood or even chicken. But my favorite is Sambal Udang Petai. The sweetness of the prawns, just give it a balance to this spicy, ‘stinky’ dish.

Serves 4

  • 20 Large Prawns
  • 1 cup of Petai
  • 5 shallots
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 inch Belacan
  • 4 Tbs Chili Paste
  • 1 onion, cut into rings
  • 1 Tbs sweet soy
  • 1 Tbs Sugar
  • 1 Tsp Salt
  • 1/4 Tamarind Juice

How to:

  1. Remove the head of the prawns. Clean and set a side.(you could peel the shells off but I prefer to keep it on the preserve the moisture and flavour of the prawns)
  2. In a food processor, blend shallots, garlic, belacan and chili paste with a little bit of water.
  3. Heat 4 Tbs of oil in a wok and fry the paste blended. Fry for 5-8 minutes until the oil rises on the surface.Add a little water if it’s too dry.
  4. Add petai, tamarind juice and all the other seasonings. Taste and adjust to your likings. Cook for a couple of minutes more until the beans are tender.
  5. Add in the prawns and onion rings and fry for 4 minutes and until it’s well coated.

Note: You could also deep fry the prawns first for until it’s cooked and just stir around in the wok without heat to coat with the sauce. Don’t over cook the prawns as it will make the prawns very chewy.

Serve with hot jasmine rice.