Recipe: Sambal Petai (Stink Beans) Prawns Topped With Crispy Ikan Billis

When we were living in Malaysia, Petai (stink beans/smelly beans) was a common sight in the wet market or at most nasi lemak stalls. Back then, the price of Petai was cheap but now a pack 150g of Petai is selling for SGD4.00 in the wet market!!

These beans have a very pungent smell because of the high concentration of amino acids in them.  To be honest, it was not love at first sight!! After realising there is a wealth of healthy nutrients in them, this dish is now one of our regular favourite home dishes. They have been proven to aid in everything from lowering blood pressure to relieving stress and warding off heartburn.

This is an irresistible and simple dish to prepare and the smell is so strong but the taste is so good!!

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Serves 3 to 4 persons


50g Ikan Billis/Dried Anchovies

250g Prawns, shelled

150g Petai, halved

2 to 3 tablespoons homemade sambal/store bought

1 tablespoon Fish Sauce

Cooking Oil


Preparation for the Ikan Billis:

  1. Wash and drain the ikan billis.
  2. Pat dry.
  3. Heat up 2 to 3 tablespoons of oil in a pan.
  4. Add in the ikan billis and stir till it is golden brown and crispy.
  5. Remove from pan and set aside.

Preparation for the Petai:

  1. Split the petai into half.
  2. Remove any petai that has worms in them.
  3. Soak the petai in water for 5 minutes. Then drain and set aside.

Final Touches of the Dish:

  1. Heat a pan with 2 tablespoons of oil.
  2. Add in the prawns and fry for 30 seconds.
  3. Then stir in the beans for a minute.
  4. Add 1 tablespoon of sambal and stir till prawns and beans are well coated.
  5. If you want it spicier, add 1 or 2 teaspoons of sambal and continue frying.
  6. Season with the fish sauce.
  7. Add some water if it is too dry and cook for another 3 minutes.
  8. Adjust taste by adding some sugar or salt.
  9. Dish out on serving plate and sprinkle the crispy ikan billis on top. Serve immediately with steamed rice.

Enjoy a spicy meal!!

Mummy's Kitchen

Hi! My name is Josephine Go. I blog at in a segment called Mummy’s Kitchen. I love to use fresh and natural ingredients in my cooking to promote healthy eating. Some of my recipes may not be in line with the traditional methods of cooking to the extent that some of the ingredients are different, but hopefully new recipes are being created in my style. I certainly hope that what I do will help guide kitchen first-timers on how to cook their first meal as well as further equip kitchen veterans with new recipes. My loving husband and two wonderful children are my best guinea pigs and critics. They have enjoyed (or endured) the food that has been served to them for all these years. Mind you, I did not know how to cook or ever knew that I could cook till I got married. So there is hope for everyone. If I can cook, you can cook. You will not know how good or talented you are until you put your hand in the plough.

2 thoughts on “Recipe: Sambal Petai (Stink Beans) Prawns Topped With Crispy Ikan Billis

  1. may i asked where you bought the Kingfisher brand fish sauce?

    1. Hi Meng,

      We bought ours from the Chong Boon Wet Market. Hope this helps. 🙂

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