Petai (Parkia speciosa) or 'stink bean' which belongs to the legume family is harvested from tall rainforest trees that can be found in tropical countries like Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines. The name 'Petai' is Malay and it is relatively common in Malay dishes and also can be eaten raw as in a Malay salad.
So, why the name 'stink bean'? Well, after you've eaten them, you'll begin to notice some changes, like your urine and faeces which will bear the unmistakable petai smell!
Barring the offensive smell, the petai has a lot of health benefits. It helps to lower blood sugar in diabetes and reduces cholesterol. Also helps to lower blood pressure and aids digestion. On top of that it's also a good source of minerals, high in calcium, phosphorous, potassium and iron. Also a good source of vitamins C and E. In short, it is one of the most nutritional local vegetable.
Recipe for Sambal Petai Prawns
- 400 gm prawns
- 180 gm petai, shelled, halved.
- 15 shallots
- 6 red chillies
- 6 pips of garlic
- 1/2 inch belacan (shrimp paste)
- 1 onion, sliced
- 2 stalks of lemon grass, crushed
- 1 Tbsp tamarind pulp + 2 Tbsp water, strain
- Salt and sugar to taste
- Oil for frying
- Clean and devein the prawns, season with some salt and sugar, set aside.
- Blend the shallots, red chillies, garlic and the belacan.
- In a wok, pan fry the petai for a while till they're puffed up. Dish out and set aside.
- Add some oil in the wok, fry the crushed lemon grass till fragrant. Add in the chilli paste and fry till the oil surfaces.
- Toss in the prawns, stir fry, add in the onion slices. Add in the prefried petai and the tamarind juice. Add salt and sugar to taste.
- Dish out and serve with white rice.