Parkia speciosa (petai), English: bitter bean, twisted cluster bean, or stink bean, is a plant of the genus Parkia in the family Fabaceae. It bears long, flat edible beans with bright green seeds the size and shape of plump almonds which have a rather peculiar smell, similar to, but stronger than that of the shiitake mushroom, characterised by some as being similar to natural gas.
In Malaysia, petai also commonly served with sambal, or mixed with dried shrimp, chili peppers, red onions, belacan (prawn paste), soy sauce and prawn.
In Thailand it is called sato (Thai: สะตอ), as mu phat sato, stink bean with stir fried pork.
We, the moto-driver and I, are looking for a silk village. We can’t find one, and although there are supposed to be dozens in the area, the locals don’t seem to know where one is either.
We do stumble on a cucumber pickling operation, however.
With every pork-and-rice breakfast in Cambodia comes a little dish of lightly pickled vegetables, so demand is huge.
Here it is being taken out of a brine by two very young children under the supervision of their Mother. (I presumed). The cucumbers are then laid in the sun to dry. How long is each part of the process and what happens next I don’t know.
For there aren’t any English speakers here, and I don’t know Khmer.