Cookbook:Bitter Bean

Bitter Bean

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Fried bitter beans

The bitter bean, also called stink bean, petai, or twisted cluster bean is the fruit of the legume Parkia speciosa. It is closely related to the African locust bean.



Bitter beans grow in long green pods. When mature, the beans are bright green, resembling broad beans,[1] and must be removed from the pod. The mature beans may also be dried for long-term storage,[1] which causes the beans to darken in color.

Bitter beans have a characteristic strong odor due to their sulfur-containing compounds,[1] but they can also have a "nutty" flavor.[2]



Bitter beans are primarily consumed in Southeast Asia. The young tender bean pods may be eaten whole and raw, but they may also be fried or pickled. The mature beans are often used in stir fries and paired with other strongly-flavored ingredients like garlic or shrimp paste.[2][3]




  1. a b c Davidson, Alan (2014-01-01). Jaine, Tom (ed.). The Oxford Companion to Food. Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/acref/9780199677337.001.0001. ISBN 978-0-19-967733-7.
  2. a b "The Delicious Stink Beans of Southeast Asia". Atlas Obscura. Retrieved 2024-01-03.
  3. Wiens, Mark (2012-09-04). "The Stink Bean - A Little Smelly, A Lot of Flavor". Migrationology - Food Travel Blog. Retrieved 2024-01-03.