Malaysian Sambal Petai Prawns Recipe

Not too long ago, a couple of bloggers and their partners (all 18 of us) turned up at Penny’s house to celebrate Malaysia Fest. We weren’t quite sure what to bring at first, as Penny kindly offered to cook up a storm with her Mister. She did know that we were turning up!

However, knowing a few dishes would be aptly missed if I didn’t bring them, I decided that I would make Sambal Petai Prawns. Petai is also known as stinkbean  or bitter bean and resembles broad beans. However, knowing that not everyone would be a fan of the petai, I made sambal prawns without the petai as well 😛 (they really were missing out!)

Remember my basic Rempah recipe? Well with a few spoonfuls of that, heated in the oil, I was good to go!

3-4 tablespoons of home-made spice paste (rempah) with belachan

300 grams medium Prawns, shelled and deveined
50 gram Tamarind pulp, mixed with 125 ml water and strained (keep strained juice and discard pulp)
100 grams of Petai/ Stink Bean (I used the canned petai for this recipe in place of fresh ones)
1 teaspoon of Brown Sugar
Salt to taste

Heat about 5 tablespoons of oil in a wok. Saute the spice paste (rempah) until fragrant.

Add in the prawns and tamarind juice and bring to a boil.

Add in the petai and season with sugar and salt.

Stir-fry until the prawns are cooked and the gravy thickens.

Turn the heat off.

Plate the dish up and serve with rice.

Petai is definitely a bean which is best known for its smell. It is not called stink bean for nothing. Eating it is definitely an acquired taste as it has quite a pervasive note to its scent.

Paired with sambal, the chilli helps mask the scent of the petai adding almost a fragrant note to this piquant bean.

It did take several days for the air to clear in my house, as both the sambal and the beans added a whole new layer of fragrance to my humble abode (much to the Boy’s annoyance).

So tell me my lovelies, do you have similar types of intrusive scented food in your cultures?


    • It’s not crazy.. perfectly normal.. you are crazy 😛

  1. The petai was delicious! Thanks for sharing the recipe. :)
    Bryan recently posted…Friends Of Mine

    • Anytime :)

    • Ahhh I see.. You are right.. but petai is smellier than durian!!!

    • Ooh you lucky thing!

  2. Oh, man. I friggin’ LOVE petai! Unfortunately no one else in my family loves them as much as I do (except my mother) so eating petai dishes (similar to the one you made above) is a very rare occurrence in our house *sad face*

    • If I make an extra batch I’ll send you an email okay?

  3. As much as people may hate petai, I LOVE petai and sambal belacan!! What more if it’s served with fresh juicy prawns! XD

    • That’s it! Petai rocks my socks off :)

    • They taste nothing like broad beans tho! Get Ben to get you some and then you can taste :)

  4. Too easy, I-Hua!! I’ll really have to make a batch of your rempah and stock it up in my fridge so I can whip up a nice satisfying dinner like this as easily as you! Looks sooo delicious yum yum yum… Have a good one, k! =)
    Winston recently posted…Brahim’s Beef Rendang

    • W00t!! It is super delicious!

  5. Oh yum I should totally learn how to make this – I spent sooo many hours as a kid peeling petai for my family! Does the boy not like the smell?! Tsk tsk tsk.
    Vee @ Munching (in) Melbourne recently posted…Recipe: Practical Praline

    • Now you can get canned petai which is all peeled! WIN!

  6. Ooh I’ve never tried Petai before. Where do you get it from? If I cant find it, would maybe broadbeans or edamame be a good sub?
    Nic@diningwithastud recently posted…CafeIsh – Surry Hills

    • You could get them in most Asian groceries and apparently in some Asian markets frozen/canned :) Broadbeans taste nothing like the petai however.

    • And you know what? We DON’T have a single picture of the sago dessert!!! FAIL…

  7. Our local Asian market has frozen petai, this is the perfect recipe for trying them out as I love the spice paste too. Yumm…
    InTolerantChef recently posted…Sweet Pea Soup For Spring

    • Ooo… frozen petai!! I didn’t know they had that… now to hunt for some!

    • But you’re leaving soon!

  8. Petai rocks!! I’m making some tonight!!! Extra pedas version!!


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