A Quick Thai Recipe
All About สะตอ
Among our many trees we have one which is in season in the summer months which produces large pods containing a green vegetable. This vegetable is called a stink bean in English, but also called a Petai or peteh bean or bitter bean, is named sotor, sataw, or sator (สะตอ) locally. The bright green fresh pods are about the size of a lima bean, though they can also be eaten when the white outer shell begins to darken. They are very commonly used in southern red curry dishes. I also like to preserve them in brine (salted water) and the outside skin can be charred. They can be eaten raw but they have an intense flavor until aging or cooking has mellowed them out a bit. I can’t think of ever seeing them at an Asian food store in the USA though they are very commonly known here in the summer months.
The tree they grow off of is quite tall and they ripen about 40 or 50 feet up on not supportive branches. My husband doesn’t climb it to harvest though sometimes we are able to cut them off with a long bamboo pole. A few days ago a guy came by with his yellow macaque to harvest our tree.
The monkey seriously freaks me out, so this was as close as I was going to get. A monkey attacked me many years ago in Thailand it had grabbed my purse and was throwing all of the contents of my bag on the ground. Thankfully it was a little wussy baby so none of its bites broke skin. I haven’t trusted those bastards since then. Meanwhile there’s pictures of me somewhere eight months pregnant riding a baby elephant and petting free roaming tigers. Anyways I digress. We have sataw, or sotor, or whatever it is called!
These beans have a pretty awesome nutritional profile, being packed with both iron and vitamin C, which are a good combination for absorbing vegetarian iron sources. They also contain an impressive amount of protein. Because of their very sharp flavor they are often combined with spicy and flavorful ingredients. This is our recipe from this morning.
Pork Sataw with Red Curry
200 grams of pork chop, cut into small slices and lightly salted
1 cup of fresh green sataw pods
1 small white onion, chopped
5 kaffir leaves, ripped into pieces
1 tablespoon red curry paste
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon Thai fish sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
Brown the pork in a skillet or wok and add remaining ingredients. My husband sometimes adds one or two tablespoons of water while cooking. Serve over rice.
Since my daughter is vegetarian, I’ll give a quick recipe version that I think would be good for more vegan sensibilities. Replace the pork chop with green jackfruit in water or brine, add half a cup of coconut milk and replace the fish sauce with soy sauce or maggi. Happy eating!
Have you ever tried these curries before? It’s one of the simplest Thai recipes to learn…
Thank you Amy....those pods look sort of like our Mimosa tree pods, which sometimes are pickled as well....Mimosa tree is really in the pea family, not usually a long lived tree, ours is a foot around and splitting, its about 40 years old or so...and a big split along the side, so maybe it will fall down or we will have to cut it down, but i do love the blossoms and so will enjoy them extra this year...bees bees...
Also, the gardner (not me) grew fava beans for some crop cover and we let them go long to get some beans, and they look alot like the ones you show....small favas, I blanched and froze them....i had never had fresh beans before, they are really good...the little husks are supposed to fall off when you blanche them, at the cold water dipping/cooling, which certainly makes them a bit nicer to eat. Way to be connected...and that monkey...looks like he has his own business going on fer sure!!