Sambal Goreng Udang Peteh (petai)

sambal goreng udang peteh/petai

This is one of my favorite Indonesian dishes: Sambal Goreng Udang Petai with means: fried shrimps in chili salsa with stinky beans. The shrimps remain super juicy in this recipe. The petai beans are one of the most special flavors I know.

Stinky beans

Petai beans are amazing. They are also called stinky beans because they have a very specific strong smell. Petai beans smell, strangely enough, like natural gas. The taste is difficult to describe. I would call it ‘extreme umami’; extremely savory. Petai beans make every dish into something completely new.

Petai beans can be used in all kinds of Indonesian dishes with meatvegetables or fish. Petai beans are delicious in a chili salsa (recipe: sambal peteh) too.

Petai beans

Santen or coconut cream

Beb Vuyk (I make all Beb Vuyk’s recipes from her famous cookbook) does not have a sambal goreng udang petai in her book, but there is a sambal goreng udang (shrimp) on page 89.

I use this recipe as a start for my sambal goreng udang petai version but I will add petai beans, extra shrimp and 1/8 of a block of santen too. This coconut cream will make a delicious broth. You can substitute the coconot cream with 100 ml of coconut milk.

Want to see all dishes with petai beans? Here you will find them!

sambal peteh
Sambal Petai

I add to Beb’s recipe:

  • extra 1/4 kg shrimp
  • 3 extra jeruk purut leavees
  • 1 can of petai beans or 200 grams of petai beans from the freezer
  • 100 grams of soy beans (edamame) already cooked
  • 1/8 block of santen (coconut cream)

Sambal goreng shrimp #68 translated from Beb Vuyk’s Groot Indonesisch Kookboek, page 89.


  • 1/4 kg of shrimp
  • 3 tablespoons of sliced ​​onions
  • 1 clove of sliced ​​garlic
  • 1 teaspoon of sambal terasi (or 1 teaspoon sambal ulek and 1/2 teaspoon terasi)
  • 1 teaspoon of laos (galangal)
  • 1 teaspoon of Javanese sugar
  • 1 stalk of sereh
  • 1 salam leave (Asian bay leave)
  • asem the size of a walnut (tamarind)
  • 2 jeruk purut leaves (kaffir lime leaves)
  • 1/8 block santen (coconut cream)
  • 4 tablespoons of oil
  • salt
  1. Grind onions, garlic, sambal, galangal, sugar and salt together into a paste.
  2. Sauté this in the oil until the onions are yellow.
  3. Add the shrimps and sauté for a while
  4. Add the asemwater made from the piece of asem and 3 tablespoons of water, the block of santen, the sereh, the salam and the jeruk purut leaves.
  5. Let the sambal goreng simmer for a while until a layer of oil floats to the top (after about 5 to 6 minutes).

My way of preparing:

  1. Add onionsgarlic, sambal, galangal, sugar, and salt (1 teaspoon) in the blender and mix into a paste. Or rub this into a paste in a mortar. I am out of sambal trassi so I add a teaspoon of trassi (fermented shrimp paste) and half a chili pepper finely chopped.
  2. Sauté this mix in the oil
  3. Add the petai beans the lemongrass, the leaves (jeruk purut and salam) and santen.
  4. Add half a cup of water, bring to a boil and simmer for at least 10 minutes (if you use petai beans from the freezer).
  5. Add the frozen prawns or shrimp and the asem (tamarind) and cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally until the prawns turn pink.
  6. Add the soy beans and serve.
Ingredients sambal goreng udang petai
Ingredients sambal goreng udang peteh

I use frozen, raw shrimps or prawns. I get already peeled shrimps and I do not defrost them in advance. Shrimps from the freezer are as good as fresh. I think shrimps from the freezer are even better for this dish. The frozen layer of water provides extra liquid to the sauce.

I like petai from the freezer better than petai beans sold in a can. The flavor is much more tender. Petai beans from a can are slightly bitter in taste. To balance this out I add some extra sugar (two teaspoons) and an extra teaspoon of asem (tamarind) to the spice mix; this way the bitterness will go.

I buy a block of trassi (fermented shrimps) at the supermarket. Outside Holland you can buy this at an Asian foodstore. Trassi is widely used in Thai cuisine too.

Asem is tamarind. I buy already filtered tamarind. That is so much easier than the beans.

asem or tamarind bean
Fresh tamarind

Blend the bumbu (spice mix)

I sometimes use a blender for the bumbu (spice mix), or when I feel like it, I grab my Indonesian mortar: cobek.

grinding bumbu in mortar

When you leave the santen out of the dish, I recommend to blend the herbs and spices mix extra finely preferably with a machine. This ensures a delicious creamy layer of paste that will cover all the shrimps.

Blending bumbu in machine

Now this bumbu can be sauteed in the pan. When the paste changes in color I add the petai beans, lemongrass and the leaves.

Time for the shrimps! I add them frozen and after some stirring, I add half a cup of water too. I bring this to the boil. Leave this for a few minutes until they turn pink.

You can make this dish with sugar snaps too. Add them about 2 minutes after the shrimps. The sugar snaps need to stay crispy!

sambal goreng udang peteh wiht sugar snaps

I serve my sambal goreng udang peteh with brown rice today. When I serve my dish I leave the herbs in; it looks even more delicious this way. Selamat makan!

Want to see more Indonesian recipes with petai beans? Click and find out here.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *