Friday, November 12, 2010
Or stink me in the night
I don’t mind you stinking me
As long as you stink me right
Petai (Parkia speciosa), or stink beans is an acquired taste. Hate it or love it. It’s odd that we South East Asians love stinky fruits. Durian and petai. Although petai is eaten like a veggie, but it’s a fruit from the Petai tree, just like any other beans.
If you haven’t seen a petai tree, let me tell you it’s HUGE!!!! I’ve seen one at my student’s house back in Selancar and it’s HUMONGOUS!! Taller than the house, it’s even taller than a durian tree. No wonder it’s so expensive, takes a lot of effort to pluck these precious stinkies.
If you’ve never heard or eaten this before… taste wise, it’s slightly bitter and pungent. But it’s the washroom experience that irks the non eaters. If one has eaten petai, the person doesn’t need to tell you. If you entered after this person came out, please hold your breath!!!
If eating asparagus gives you stinky urine, think of this 10X worse. The smell is similiar but haha, much much stronger.
Despite the bad washroom results, why do people still want to eat this? Read the lengthy reasons to know why.
According to a recent survey undertaken by MIND among people suffering from depression, many felt much better after eating petai. This is because petai contains tryptophan, a type of protein that the body converts into serotonin, known to make you relax, improve your mood and generally make you feel happier.
PMS (premenstrual syndrome):
Forget the pills - eat petai. The vitamin B6 it contains regulates blood glucose levels, which can affect your mood.
High in iron, petai can stimulate the production of haemoglobin in the blood and so helps in cases of anaemia.
This unique tropical fruit is extremely high in potassium yet low in salt, making it perfect to beat blood pressure. So much so, the US Food and Drug Administration has just allowed the petai industry to make official claims for the fruit's ability to reduce the risk of blood pressure and stroke.
200 students at a Twickenham (Middlesex) school were helped through their exams this year by eating petai at breakfast, break, and lunch in a bid to boost their brain power. Research has shown that the potassium-packed fruit can assist learning by making pupils more alert.
High in fiber, including petai in the diet can help restore normal bowel action, helping to overcome the problem without resorting to laxatives.
There are 2 types of petai regularly seen sold. Petai Papan and Petai Padi. How to differentiate?
Petai Papan is bigger, flatter and and tastes slightly harder than Petai Padi.
Petai Padi is smaller, has a taller hump and gives a lighter crunch than Petai Papan.
I personally prefer petai padi, but it’s harder to get in peeled form. Petai padi usually comes unpeeled, sold by Malay or aboriginal vendors. I bought mine this time RM2 for a bunch of 5 long pods and I bought 3 bunches to peel them myself.
Kitchen tip: Some people find that peeled petai bought from wet markets tend to smell “green”. I was told that it is because the beans were soaked in water to increase its weight. And even rinsing the beans won’t make it taste good. So, after peeling, do not wash, and let it be exposed to air overnight. This way, the eating experience is nicer. It produces a nice stinky bean that is not too stinky on the nose, and is pliable and crunchy.
Usually people will cook petai with fiery sambal (chilli spice paste), but today I’m doing it slightly different, by using much less chilli and using a lot of minced meat. My FIL has to cut down on spicy food, so I changed the regular petai cooking method to this.
Petai with Minced Meat
Recipe Source: Wendyywy
150gm petai (stink beans), about 1 cup
200gm minced meat (pork or chicken)
1 red chilli
1 large clove garlic
¾ tsp salt
1 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp light soy sauce
3 Tbsp oil
1 tsp corn starch
1/3 cup water
1. Pound or mill chilli, shallot and garlic.
2. On high heat, heat a wok and put in 3 Tbsp of oil.
3. Put in pounded ingredients and sauté until slightly golden.
4. Put in minced meat and cook until it turn opaque, put in salt.
5. Continue to cook until the meat is no longer releasing juices, but seem to be drying up.
6. Turn heat to medium and put in sugar and soy sauce and cook until the meat seems dry and fragrant.
7. Put in split petai beans and cook for 20- 30 seconds.
8. Mix cornstarch with water and pour in bit by bit, tossing all the time until the liquid is all absorbed.