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Petai (Stink Beans) with Shrimp in Chilli Paste Recipe

Monday, August 30, 2010 | Labels: , , , |

Petai or stinky beans cooked in spicy chilli paste is one of my favourite Malaysian dishes.  Despite its' namesake, I don't find these beans stinky at all!  The spicy and aromatic chilli paste goes perfectly with the beans and one usually adds shrimp or anchovies as the second ingredient.  Petai is also known for some nutritional benefits where it is beneficial especially to diabetic patients due to its' natural blood glucose lowering properties.  Petai gives off a very unique flavour, a little pungent but tastes satisfyingly delicious.  Tamarind is also usually added that provides a pleasing sour note, drawing out the natural sweetness of the beans.


Whole petai, pre-cooking

Cooking petai can be a little time-consuming though as one has to remove the tiny seed in each bean as the seed is rather bitter.  I read also that petai is supposed to help with depression, if so - this is definitely a more low calorie way to beat the blues than chocolate!

I am planning to submit this entry to Weekend Herb Blogging event hosted this week by Janet of Tastespace.  Please go to her blog to check out the details if you want to participate.


2 cups of petai (stink beans), split in half, seed removed
1.5 cups of small shrimp, shelled
2 tbsps of tamarind paste dissolved in about 1/2 cup water

For the chilli paste:

12 red chilli peppers
2 shallots



1.  Prepare the chilli paste by either pounding with a mortar and pestle the old fashioned way which I personally prefer (for a better texture and taste) or for convenience just use a food processor.  Set aside.
2.  Blanch the petai in boiling water.  Drain and set aside.  Heat about 2 tbsps of cooking oil in your wok, once hot, place the blanched petai in the wok and stir around for about 1 minute.  Remove from wok and set aside. 
3.  Now, stir-fry the pounded chilli paste in the wok until fragrant.  Add the shrimps and stir around till almost cooked, add in the petai again and finally add the tamarind water into the wok.  Stir well to mix, then dish out and serve with steamed rice.


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Cooking Gallery said...

This is one of my favourite petai dishes, another one is seafood fried rice with petai...YUM!

Carolyn Jung said...

If you paired stinky bean with stinky tofu would you stink up the house? Hah. Sorry, couldn't resist. But then again, some of the most odiferous foods have the greatest flavors of all.

Jen (Tastes of Home) said...

CG - oh yes petai in fried rice is great too!

Carolyn - haha I have no idea as I have yet to make/ cook stinky tofu though perhaps belacan could add to the pungent but fragrant (to me) smells! lol

pigpigscorner said...

Love this! So good with rice!

tigerfish said...

You know what? I don't think I have tried Petai Beans. They look like broad beans though.

janet said...

This looks great. I love a good combination of sweet, sour, spicy and this looks awesome. I can't say I've ever seen stinky beans though!

Jen (Tastes of Home) said...

PPC - yes, you're so right!

TF - really? you should try it sometime, it's nutritious too

Janet - thanks for dropping by! looking forward to the round up :)

noobcook said...

Your version is beautiful. I don't dare to eat this when I was young, but now, seeing beautiful photos of this dish, I'm tempted to try :D

Su Yee said...

Yummy!! Yummy...!! Yummyyy!!!.... Where do you get petai in the US?.... I miss my Petai sambal belachan.... THANKs for the great food blog!

Jen (Tastes of Home) said...

Wiffy, you didn't? hehe must be the pungent smell right..thanks for your kind compliments!

Su Yee - where in the US are you? I found some when I went to the Ranch 99 in Costa Mesa :) I think I couldn't find any in San Diego. Thanks so much for dropping by and your kind words :)

tastesofhomejen said...

hi there, I'm not sure where the Ranch 99 store is in Costa Mesa as there is another one in SD I go to but I remember passing it by on the 805 on my way back to SD. Just google for it I am sure you can find an address. Good luck!

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