For those who have traveled to Southeast Asian countries know far to well of the exotic dishes that greatly distinguish itself from the culinary flavors of Western Cuisine. Food is a way of life, and to most people, it is the backbone of their very heritage. With every spoonful, I had the opportunity to open my heart and experience powerful flavors from the south of Thailand. With one dish in particular, was Stink Bean with Shrimp Paste. Don’t let the name discourage you, just give it a try.
What resembles snow peas on steroids, these edible beans are known by their scientific name Parkia speciosa. In Thailand they call this สะตอ, pronounced Sa-Tor. To some, the mere smell of these beans is enough to deter them from taking a bite, often comparing the aroma as that of methane gas. However, for those whose palettes are accustomed to strong flavors, this ingredient is a winner added another level to their dishes.
When removing the beans from the pods, a white membrane encasing the fleshy green beans are required to be discarded. Beans can either be stir fried as a whole or cut into halves.
- 200 grams Shrimp (Peeled and deveined)
- 8 pcs Garlic cloves
- 4-5 pcs Red and green chili
- 1 bulb Shallots
- 100 grams Stink beans (peeled and cut)
- 1 Tbsp Fermented shrimp paste
- 1 tsp granulated sugar
Creating Your Dish
- In a mortar add garlic, shallots, and chili and pound until ingredients are combined
- With the shrimp paste slowly add room temperature water and stir until no clumps are formed
- Heat pan on high with oil then add mixture from mortar within the pan
- Once aromatic flavors are released add mixture of shrimp paste with granulated sugar with the stink bean and stir constantly.
- As the beans begin to soften, add the shrimp and stir constantly until cooked (shrimp should turn bold red)
- Serve with a scoop of rice and enjoy