Friday, July 17, 2009

Sambal Tumis Udang Petai - loosely translated to urm Prawns with Petai in Chilli Gravy/Sauce(?)

Today's featured dish is Sambal Tumis Udang Petai - definitely one of my faves. Unfortunately, it is not a dish which I can eat as often as I'd like to due to a few factors:
  1. Prawns are high in cholestrol *cough*... and well it's pricey.
  2. It can sometimes be difficult to get fresh and reasonably-priced petai in KL.
  3. Petai aka parkia speciosa aka "stink bean" gives you bad breath. (Not-so-useful-fact #1: "Petai has a peculiar smell, characterised by some as being similar to that added to methane gas." - Wikipedia) So...
Nevertheless, despite the ... and the acquired taste of the petai beans, this dish ranks high on my "Favourite Lauk List". So, this is how I cook my Sambal Tumis Udang Petai.

Shrimp paste (belacan)
Dried chillis - soak in hot water until soft and puree in food processor until becomes a paste
Tamarind juice
Petai - preferably loads of it
Salt + sugar to taste

To cook:
  1. Heat up your ever-so-useful kuali or wok or whatever and put in about five (maybe six?) tbspoons of cooking oil.
  2. Fry shallots, garlic and onion until slightly coloured.
  3. Add in chilli paste and fry until fragrant (Important: It is essential that your chilli is cooked thoroughly - this would either make or break your sambal. A good way to tell whether the chilli is ready is when you see that the chilli has changed colour - turning a darker shade of red - and it becomes a bit more oily. You can also try smelling the chilli (be careful not to scald yourself in the process), it should smell um... it shouldn't smell raw. I believe the Malay description for this would be "naik minyak".)
  4. Once you're confident that your chilli is thoroughly cooked, add in some tamarind juice, but not too much just yet. You can add in some more and fine-tune the sauce once you've put in the salt and sugar.
  5. Toss in the prawns and cook for a couple of minutes.
  6. Finally, the piece de resistance - put in those precious petai beans into your fiery sambal tumis.
And there you have it. Eat with a plate of steaming hot rice. Pergh...


  1. hello how do u give recipe with out measurements...?? and u expect ppl to "pergh" over ur recipe....