Gochujang and Stink Bean Sambal

written by Sarah Michael Griffin November 25, 2017


Walking pass the vegetable section at FishMart( yup, that is where I get my seafoods), a strong whiff of a scent that I am too familiar and fond with filled my nostril. Within seconds, it got me salivating, and my brain went straight to petai sambal with succulent prawns. Welp, since on this day I am having the prawns swimming in my coconut curry, I have to come up with something else. I am not letting go of the pre-peeled petai, left lying to waste on the iced rack – please excuse my melodramatic moment. I’m going to give it a twist of mine with Gochujang paste (Korean Chili Paste) and sweet soy sauce, keeping it hot yet sweet. A mix of few cultures- I just could not resist.

Stink beans are commonly eaten raw along with sambals as ulam, roasted on pods and served with “air asam’ or else the ever favourite and famous sambal udang and petai. I am using generously the term stink bean and petai as I wanted, for this I beg my pardon. They are the same, and also goes by the name ‘ bitter bean’ which baffled me awhile as it tastes nowhere near bitter.

Health-wise, just like our Malabar Spinach, our Petai is rich in iron, vitamin C, and vitamin B2. Good for people suffering from Anemia, Hangovers, Depression, and the ever famous Kidney and Bladder cleaning properties. ( Our Urine will always stink after every meal with Petai- indicator of its presence).

From left to right: Whole Stink Bean, & Sliced Stink Bean

How To Make Gochujang Sambal Petai

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Serves: 4 Prep Time: Cooking Time:


  • 200gram of Stink Bean/ Petai (I have bought the ones that has already been peeled out of its pod- halved and sliced length-wise)
  • 60gram of Dried Shrimps (soaked in hot water for 5 minutes, and refilled again and soaked in hot water, draining it right before cooking)
  • 4 cloves of Garlic (sliced, length-wise)
  • 5 Shallots (sliced cross-wise)
  • 2 tbsp Gochujang Paste
  • 3 tbsp Chili Paste
  • 2 tbsp Sweet Soy Sauce
  • 2 tsp Concentrated Chicken Stock
  • 3 tbsp Oil



Clockwise from right: Sliced Stink bean/Petai, soaked and drained dried shrimps, sliced shallots and garlic.

  1. Heat the wok at high, pour in the oil and heat it up.
  2. Saute the onion till it caramelised.
  3. Add in the dried shrimp and fry till it is crispy.
  4. Next add in garlic and fry till it browns lightly.
  5. Add in the chili paste and Gochujang paste. Stir well, add in a little water about 1 tbsp, and mix- since the Ghochujang paste is thick.
  6. Stir in the sweet soy sauce and the concentrated chicken stock.
  7. Add the stink bean and fry for about 2 minutes, just until it is coated evenly with the sambal. ( We do not want to over cook the stink bean/petai, and at the same time retaining its infamous smell. )



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