Saturday, March 20, 2010

Shrimps with Petai aka Stink Beans

Shrimp and stink bean

One little secret here, even though I'm born Indonesian, I really suck at cooking Indonesian food. But I love to eat them because they're so flavorful and mouth watering! But they are really complicated, to make. You need to use a lot of fresh herbs and spices that has to be sliced/minced/ground finely. Since fresh Asian ingredients in Berlin are super expensive, I usually grabbed those packages of ready made spices, use them, and then proudly announced that I cooked rendang (a beef stew that uses tons of spices) or Lodeh (vegetable stew). Needless to say, those dishes made from the instant spices were never good, and I stop cooking those complicated Indonesian food anymore. Until one day, I met a native Indonesian PhD student from Bandung who cook this tasty Shrimps with stink beans. She swears that it's easy, so I decided to trust her and try her recipe.

She was so right, It was simple and it taste really good too. I never know that Indonesian food can be made with so little ingredients! And maybe, just maybe, I will make more Indonesian food in the future. But maybe not so near the future since I don't know when I'm gonna find more easy recipes like this.

On a side note, stink beans are kind of an acquired taste. It requires a serious getting-used to. My sister's boyfriend (he's American) tried one when he was in Indonesia. His first reaction was to crinkle his face really bad (imagine someone who ate a very sour lemon) and he then said that it tasted like "somebody just farted in my mouth". Needles to say he didn't take another one. So for those of you who are scared to try it, just ignore this recipe, but stink beans-lovers, rejoice; for this is the perfect recipe for you.

So for Ms. Riny Paraphat from Bandung, Thank you so much for your recipe!

Shrimp and stink bean

Shrimps with Stink Beans

- 500 gr shrimps skinned
- 1 pack petai (stink beans) slice thinly
- 3 dried chillies (fresh one is even better, but I don't have them handy)
- 3 - 5 lime leaves

- 2 Tbs sambal Oelek (put more if you like your food spicy)
- 5 shallots or 1 big red onion, finely sliced
- some pureed tomato from tin or 1 tomato finely minced
- salt and sugar to taste
- vegetable oil
  • heat vegetable oil and saute shallots. Once the shallots start to brown, put in petai and shrimps. Stir fry until shrimps are cooked
  • put in tomato puree, lime leaves and dried chillies
  • put in salt and sugar to taste
  • if necessary add one cup water and cover
  • let it simmer until sauce is thickened
Bon Appetit!

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