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Sambal Petal Shrimp


"Sambal" meaning: Chilli based sauce popular in Singapore and other parts of South East Asia. There are several variations of the sambal.

Petai also called the bitter bean or stink bean is a plant of the genus Parkia in the family Fabaceae. It bears long, flat edible beans with bright green seeds the size and shape of plump almonds which have a rather peculiar smell, characterised by some as being similar to that added to methane gas.

It is said that the Petai has lots of goodness; high in fibre & iron, contains vitamin A, B6, B12, rich in potasium, magnesium & other minerals.


  • ½ ounce dried chilies
  • # Garlic
  • # Shallots, peeled
  • ½ Belachan (A Malay-Indonesian sauce made with dried shrimp paste and chili pepper, available in Asian specialty stores or Asian grocers)
  • 10 ½ ounces shrimp, with heads still attached
  • # Petai, peeled if still in shell
  • 1 ounce tamarind
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt, to taste
  • Vegetable oil
  • # Kaffir lime leaf
  • # Lime


Mix dried chillies, garlic, shallots, belachan in a blender. Blend all together into paste. Please note that once you blend this mix in the blender, it is hard to get the smell or color off.

Wash and devein the shrimps.

Peel the Petai.

Mix tamarind pulp with ½ cup of water and strain.

On a medium flame, add in oil in a flat based non-stick pan and sauté the paste you have just blended for approximately 10-15 minutes or till fragrant.

Throw in the shrimp (with heads still on) and strained tamarind juice, and bring it to a boil in approximately 3 minutes.

Add in the petai and shallots and stir fry for another 2-3 min.

Season with sugar and salt.

The Sambal Petai Prawns is ready and serving the dish with steamed rice is the best.