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.
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.
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!
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
- Grind onions, garlic, sambal, galangal, sugar and salt together into a paste.
- Sauté this in the oil until the onions are yellow.
- Add the shrimps and sauté for a while
- 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.
- 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:
- Add onions, garlic, 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.
- Sauté this mix in the oil
- Add the petai beans the lemongrass, the leaves (jeruk purut and salam) and santen.
- 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).
- Add the frozen prawns or shrimp and the asem (tamarind) and cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally until the prawns turn pink.
- Add the soy beans and serve.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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