September 2, 2010

Sambal Edamame with Shrimp

Sometimes prepackaged sauces are a blessing in disguise (oh course I say this in the most secular way possible). Sambal is a fragrant mixture of fried chillies and spices. Commonly used in Malaysian cuisine, sambal can be eaten as condiment or built into a dish as sauce. One popular sambal dish in grandma's household is the Sambal Petai with Shrimp. Petai beans come from the Parkia speciosa plant and are eaten throughout Southeast Asia. Unfortunately, petai contains certain amino acids that makes your urine stinks (much like eating asparagus) and complex carbohydrates (like most beans)  that causes flatulence. Petai can now be found in the frozen aisle in most Chinese groceries that cater to Southeast Asian customers.

But why edamame in this recipe? To tell you the truth, I couldn't find frozen petai today and thought edamame would make an interesting substitute. They look kinda the same, although obviously edamame wouldn't impart a reminder that I ate it for dinner. I use frozen edamame beans (without the pods). I'm happy to say that it tasted as tasty as petai. PLUS I can make a vegetarian version for Vance (who grimaced at the beginning when he saw the edamame, which he thought was petai). Of course, you can always use petai instead of edamame.

This is what I used for my sambal (left). You can also use other types sambal (right). It's the right kind if you see petai beans on the package :)

2 cups edamame (or petai)
1 lb. shrimp (shelled and deveined)
1 bottle of sambal with shrimp (see above)
(if using Sambal Tumis without shrimp) 1/2 cup dried shrimp, soaked in hot water for 10 minutes then chopped
1 tablespoon oil
some water (if too dry)

Add oil to wok or pan over medium heat. Add in shrimp and cook until it starts to turn pink. Add in edamame. If you are using a sambal that has no dried shrimp in it, this is the time to add in the chopped dried shrimp. Cook for about 5 minutes.

Add in sambal and mix well. Cook for another 2 minutes. If it gets too dry, add in some water. Serve warm with rice.

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