Friday, 29 January 2010

Petai Beans in Sambal Chili

An acquired taste?

Well, Petai Beans as it is known in Malaysia and Singapore are truly for the discerning taste buds.

To some, the taste and smell seems strange and overpowering. Hence, the nickname Stink Beans or Smelly Beans.

To others, like me, it’s pure love of a delicacy. BUT be warned – Once eaten, DO NOT burp!!

For those who know of the durian, you’ll react quite similarly to this – love it or hate it.

Particularly in Malaysia, you’ll find Petai often in the form of Sambal Petai – lots of chili and shrimp. Yummy!!

IMPORTANT: Ensure that you split the beans into two as worms often burrow themselves (photo below) in the flesh. From my bowl of petai beans, I got about 4 beans with worms.


1 rice bowl Petai Beans, halved
½ rice bowl, Dried Shrimp, reconstituted & minced
6 cloves Garlic, minced
½ inch Ginger, minced
1 pcs Red Chilli, sliced
1 tsp Sambal Belacan Paste
Sugar, to taste
Salt, to taste

1. Heat wok with oil.
2. Add Garlic. Stir.
3. Add Ginger. Stir.
4. Add Red Chili. Stir.
5. Add Dried Shrimp. Stir till fragrant and slightly golden.
6. Add Sambal Belacan. Stir.
7. Add Petai. Stir for 2-3 minutes.
8. Add Sugar & Salt to taste.
9. Serve.


  1. Simple and nice! But I always pick out the prawns and sometimes onion bits! I like the smell but don't like eating it, weird ah? Haha!

  2. I've never heard of these! The colors are gorgeous. I will have to see if I can find them in Chicago somewhere.

  3. Yes! I love them! A true Thai dish, too.

  4. Heard of petai beans many times but don't think I have tried it.

  5. I love the colour of this dish. I haven't tried this even when back home. Just wonder how it tastes like. I must give a try when I go back for holidays.

  6. Oh, that IS lovely. I am not crazy about petai, but I can still stomach it. :) Some people run away from them. LOL. You made a wonderful version.