Sunday, May 2, 2010

Recipe: Sambal Petai with Tempeh and Ikan Bilis

Sambal Petai with Tempeh and Ikan Bilis

Sambal petai is a popular Malay/Indonesian side dish, although I can quite happily eat this alone as a main with just rice. Petai or sataw is also nicknamed "stinkbean" for its strong smell, which you can still detect in urine and flatulence (don't ask me about other bodily fluids!) even up to 2 days after consumption. But it's purported to help treat many conditions - diabetes, blood pressure, obesity, anaemia, PMS, depression, constipation, and even hangovers! Sounds like a wonder bean, no?

Here is a simple recipe for sambal petai with tempeh (fermented soybeans) and ikan bilis (dried anchovies). As with most of my recipes, it can very much do with improvement, so feel free to adjust to your taste. I like it with more sambal than beans, but some may prefer it the other way round.

2 shallots
3 garlic cloves
1 tomato, diced
2 fresh chillies
3 tablespoon ground chilli paste
50g belachan
1 cup petai beans, washed, peeled and halved
80g ikan bilis
Tempeh 2 packets (4pcs, sorry next time I will weigh them and update!)
50g gula Melaka/sugar
Oil for frying

1. Slice the tempeh into small pieces.
2. Deep-fry tempeh slices and ikan bilis until crispy. Set aside.
3. Blend the "rempah" (spice base - shallots, garlic, chillies, chili paste, belachan)
and shallow-fry in about about 1-2 tbsp oil.
4. Add diced tomato, salt, gula Melaka/sugar, and rempah. Fry the mixture until it is dry, and add the halved petai beans.
5. Toss in the tempeh and ikan bilis in the final stage of frying (to ensure these retain some crispness), and mix well.
6. Serve with white, fluffy steamed rice.


  1. oooh.. looks yum. but everytime i order this dish at the nasi padang stall... i will pick out the petais! yuck! haha... but ikan bilis cooked like this is yuuum

  2. I *heart* sambal petai!! My mom used to cook it with minced pork and ikan bilis and it was deadly! (And deadly GOOD!)

    Thanks for sharing, dear! :)

  3. Always love sambal petai and tempe. I could eat more warm rice if I had this dish.

  4. You're making me very hungry! hmmm, muz go find some petai n tempeh (my faves) to satisfy my craving :P



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