We had heard of these stinky beans.
And even after traveling to southeast Asian numerous times and eating a bunch of food there…
We had to admit that we had never really tasted stink beans before.
Yes sure, we had seen those shiny bright green almond shaped beans before.
Hey, that is quite the right description.
Stink beans really look like green almonds.
It was only when were watching one of Mark Wiens’ food videos that we hadn’t tried them.
At least not knowingly.
Mark keeps describing stinky beans as “one of his most favorite things to eat in the world”.
See, that sounds like a challenge to us.
Let’s check it out.
We put that on our shopping list and planned a trip to our local Sun Was Asian supermarket.
And there it was: a generous handful of bright green stinky beans in the vegetable fridge.
What are stink beans?
The scientific name of this plant is parka speciosa.
The stink beans grow in large long pods on a tree. You can compare them a little to enormous fresh and flat broad bean pods.
Another name for stink beans is bitter beans.
Or petai, that is the name that we heard a lot in Asia.
Why are they called stink beans?
Do stink beans really stink?
They do have a particular smell, but these beans really don’t smell as pungent and strong as for instance durian. The ’stink’ part actually refers to its smell when you have digested them.
You know, the same happens if you eat asparagus.
What do stink beans taste like?
After we cooked them at home, a friend asked us the same. And we were a bit lost for words, it is quite hard to really find something to compare it to flavorwise.
Mark Wiens found the right word for its flavor: gassy.
Yes, stink beans do taste like gas.
Its flavors lingers in your mouth for quite a while after finishing your meal.
Where can you buy stink beans?
In an Asian supermarket, preferably one that has a fresh veg corner.
Stink beans can also be sold frozen.
Check the freezers or ask an employee.
We can find fresh stinky beans in a couple of Asian grocery shops here in Antwerp near the central station, in a street called Van Wesenbekestraat.
These beans are not cheap though, we paid 5,50 euros for 3,5 oz (100 g) or the amount you see in the picture below.
Not cheap but still worth it!
Are stink beans healthy?
Stink beans contain a bunch or vitamins and minerals.
What to cook with stink beans?
The best way and most popular way to prepare these heavenly flashy green beans is to add them to stir fries.
Because the stink bean flavor are quite present, these beans can perfectly stand up to other very strong flavors.
Such as garlic and chili.
June right here is a huge fan of shrimp paste, bet that shrimp paste is also a worthy match for stink beans.
Or spicy chili pastes.
Whatever you do, don’t be scared to add extra flavor.
So how did we cook our stinky beans?
We made a simple stir fry with minced meat.
A stir fry that in the end is quite similar to a classic Thai basil pork.
Here we go, enjoy!
Thai Stink Bean and Ground Pork Stir Fry
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Servings: 2 people
- 7 oz shelled stink beans (200 g)
- 10,5 oz meat mince (300 g)
- 1 garlic clove, sliced
- 1 tbsp red curry paste
- 2 handfuls fresh Thai basil leaves or mint
- 1 tbsp lime juice
- 1 tbsp fish sauce
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- Pour the vegetable oil in a wok or skillet and place it over medium high heat.
- Add the curry paste once the oil is hot. Stir fry the paste for 2 minutes.
- Add the meat mince and sliced garlic.
- Quickly stir fry the meat for 2 minutes, stir constantly to keep it from burning and to break it up.
- Add the stink beans and turn the heat lower to medium.
- Fry the meat and beans for another 4 to 5 minutes. Stir from time to time.
- In the end add the lime juice, fish sauce and fresh Thai basil leaves.
- Stir fry the mince and beans one last time until the leaves are cooked.
- Scoop the mince and beans onto plates. Serve with rice or roti.
How about you?
Have you ever tasted these stinky beans before?
And did you like them or not?
Anything else we should be adding to this post that people should know?
Let us know in the comments below.
We’d love to hear from you!