Sambal Belacan Petai with Prawns
I decided to cook Sambal Belacan Petai with Prawns tonight. The stinky beans Petai is one of those lesser cooked at home and not generally appreciated, but with sambal belacan, it is magically transformed into a delicacy.
The wet market vegetable uncle had a huge supply of Petai that weekend and I had to grab a pack and plan it into my weekly gastronomic journey through the kitchen. One of the things that I enjoy doing these days is quick cooking. That is to come back and quickly whip up dinner dishes for the family in under 30 minutes. It’s a challenge to do it, but I totally look forward to doing it everyday.
So this simple recipe cooked with pre-made sambal belacan will definitely rock your socks off. The key is the cooking time and a non stick pan/wok. Otherwise it is very easy to cook Petai.
1 bag of Petai (stinky beans usually available at the wet market)
1 large tbsp of Sambal Belacan (I got those pre-made ones at the supermarket)
1 large Yellow Onion (quartered)
6 large Glass Prawns (I realised that this type of prawns are perfect for the dish, they are expensive, but no regrets)
2 cloves of Garlic (minced)
2 tbsp Olive Oil
1. Some preparation needs to be done with the Petai beans. You need to split the beans into halves and wash them thoroughly. We split the beans because sometimes there are worms burrows and those need to be discarded.
2. In a non-stick wok, add olive oil and stir fry the onions. You would want a non-stick wok or pan because you would be frying the ingredients over high heat for a while and you generally don’t want the ingredients to char and burn.
3. After frying the onions until they are softened and fragrant, add the Petai to stir fry. You then continue to stir fry until some of the onions begin to brown slightly. These visual milestones are important because cooking equipment and timing may differ.
4. Add the minced garlic and fry till you can smell the fragrance of the garlic. Then add a generous table spoon of Sambal Belacan and continue to stir fry, making sure that the ingredients are coated with the sambal sauce.
5. Once you can smell the fragrance of the chilli paste. Add in the prawns to cook. For this dish, you would want to cook the prawns until they turn into an “O” shape. Although I often say “O” means overcooked, it is permissible for this dish as the direct heat is shared with other ingredients.
6. Once sufficiently cooked, taste that the Petai beans are soft and yummy. Serve with steamed rice.