Stinky Beans – Taste Great With Sambal, Get Smelly Later

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stinky beans

What are stinky beans?

Stinky bean (Parkia speciosa), also known as bitter bean, smelly bean, twisted cluster bean, Petai or pete is the seed or bean (green in colour and elliptical in shape) that resides within the long, twisted cluster of seven to eight pods fruit. The stinky bean is a popular culinary ingredient in Southeast Asia countries like Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Burma, Laos, Singapore and Brunei.

Why are they called stink beans?

It is called stink beans because of its strong pervasive smell that lingers in the mouth and body after one consumes it. Stinky bean contains certain amino acids that produce a strong smell to one’s urine. The effect of the pervasive smell of the stink beans can last up to two days after consumption. Just like other beans, stink bean can also cause strong-smelling rectal gas because of its composition of complex carbohydrates.

stink bean in market

What do stink beans taste like?

Stinky bean is a vegetable (bean) with strong taste and aroma. Stink beans have a unique taste that is like a combination of sweet and bitter, best to cook with chili paste with prawns and meat.

Stinky bean Nutrition Information

A service size of 100g stinky bean has 142 calories, with 22g of carbohydrates, 2g of total fats and 10g of proteins. Stinky beans are good source of dietary fiber, iron, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, and various vitamins like vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin C and vitamin E. It also contains amino acid that helps to boost mood and sleep.

Benefits of eating stinky beans

Due to the rich nutrition in stinky beans, there are lots of health benefits consuming it. These include:

  • Improve brain health
  • Help to improve mood
  • Lower high blood pressure
  • Prevent iron deficiency anemia
  • Boost immune system
  • Promote healthy skin and bone
  • Promote weight loss

Is stinky bean good for you?

Yes, consuming stinky bean is good for your health. Eating stink beans can help to strengthen the immune system and it is rich in nutrients and antioxidants. Stinky beans is also known to help improve mood, lower blood sugar and cholesterol, aid weight loss, lower high blood pressure, improve brain power, prevents liver damage, and also helps to prevent cancer.

Stinky bean side effect

Stinky beans are safe and there are no scientifically proven side effects with exception when it is eaten raw. Stinky beans contain a compound called lectin, which can be toxic when found in raw or undercooked stink beans. The side effects of consuming lectins include allergic reactions, nutritional deficiencies, and gastrointestinal distress. So, how to remove lectins from stink beans? To remove lectins from the beans, you need to soak and cook them properly before consumption.

Another side effect of eating stink beans is that their strong smell can be pervasive even after ingestion, hence, you will likely emit an odor of these beans from your mouth or urinate.

How do you eat stink beans?

It is recommended to eat cooked stink beans. Stinky beans taste perfect when it is cooked in chilli paste (sambal) with prawns or meat. Can you eat stink bean raw? You are not recommended to eat raw stink bean (although some people do) because lectins presence in raw beans could be toxic.

Where can I buy stinky beans?

In Southeast Asia countries like Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, and Philippines, you can find and buy freshly plucked stink beans in the fresh market. In other countries where stink beans are not native, you can normally find them in Asian stores in frozen pack.

stinky beans sold on roadside stores

Ways to remove stink beans odour

It is recommended to drink coffee, non-sugary tea, chewing white rice or gargling salt water to help reducing the strong smell of the stink bean after consumption.

How do you eat stink beans?

You can either eat them raw (which is not recommended due to the presence of lectins in raw beans) or cook them. Stinky beans taste perfect when it is cooked in chili paste (sambal) with prawns or meat.

Stinky Beans Recipe

How to cook stink beans? Here are some common stink bean recipes for your reference:

  • Stinky beans pickle (petai jeruk)
  • Stir fried stinky beans with shrimp
  • Thai Stir fried stinky beans with pork
  • Stinky beans fried rice (Nasi goreng pete)
  • Stinky beans in curry

Check out our sambal stink beans with prawn recipe! Hope you will like it.

Sambal Stink Beans with prawns


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