Does it petai?

Puh-tai. A.k.a. ‘sataw’, ‘petai’, ‘stinky bean’. Does it petai?


Petai is one of those things that you either love or you hate. Actually in some cases for me, I love it at first but hate it after (especially a few hours later – those who eat petai will know exactly what i’m talking about!).

So, if something is called ‘stinky bean’, would you eat it? Damn right you would.

This green coloured bean is chewy, earthy and goes great as a stir fry or even just plain by itself, dipped in chili paste. When cooked with prawns or minced pork, it seems to add another dimension for the taste buds to explore. The texture and smell is a great combination. However, a few hours later, when you go to the toilet to do a number 1 or 2, the strong smell of ammonia (courtesy of the petai) can be troublesome. Even when you sweat, there will be a lingering smell of petai. And this goes without saying, BRUSH YOUR TEETH AFTER EATING PETAI. And never eat petai the night before a big meeting! Anyway, back to the eating part.

So that got me thinking, does petai go well with everything? After all, I love it so much, perhaps it might? Guess I’ll give it a try.

Petai on a loaded oven baked tortilla chip with minced pork, bacon, cheese and chili.

First try and it seems i’ve gotten lucky. This combination of petai on a loaded tortilla works. Yummy too. I’ll have a few more. So does it petai? Yes it totally does. And now on to the next one.

Petai with pineapple slices.

The combination of the petai with the sweet, semi crunchy acidic pineapple seemed to kind of work – in a twisted kind of way. The petai toned down the sweetness and added a savoury kind of aspect which is a good thing if you don’t really like eating sweet things. Does it petai? I think it does. And on to the next combination.

Petai with melon slices.

I found this to be a similar experience as with the petai / pineapple combination. In this case, the melon was very sweet so it had a very similar effect in toning down the sweetness. Does it petai? Yes, though the texture of the petai and melon don’t quite go hand in hand. What’s next?

Petai with dragon fruit slices.

No. It was awful. Dragon fruit isn’t really a sweet fruit but what did not make this combination nice at all was the little edible black seeds together with the chewy petai. As i chewed and chewed, the seeds crunched and all I kept thinking about was that I was eating little worms that were trapped inside the petai (for those who don’t know, worms are attracted to petai and it is not uncommon to find them inside a petai bean. That’s why its always good practice to slice the bean in half to make sure!). Does it petai? Hell no. Unless your mental will is strong. Quickly, what’s the final combination for tonight?

Petai with durian.

Here we are with the final pairing. Durian a.k.a. ‘the king of fruits’ is a favourite of mine. The creamy, custardy and sweet flavour of this fruit alone is rather delicious. Though smelly to some, I find the aroma quite nice. However, whilst the petai did quite a nice job in toning down any overly sweet tones from the pineapple and melon slices, I found the petai really degraded the durian experience. Overall, it became a bit too earthy for me. Plus, the creamy texture did not bode well with that of the petai. Not good. Does it petai? Unfortunately not.

Well that brings this blog entry to an end. Perhaps I will try other combinations and see how that fares. Any suggestions? Leave a comment below! Ciao.

Author: sethleong

Hi. My name is Seth and I love taking pictures and writing about food, travels and random stuff.

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