Petis is a seasoning paste that’s one of the culinary specialties of the region of Madura. Being coastal, Madura’s cuisine is inextricably linked with the abundant seafood varieties found there. The region has a thriving seafood industry, in which seafood and all its byproducts are used in interesting ways.
Petis is one such creation, and is a byproduct of preserved seafood, usually either fish or prawn. For example, in a preserved fish dish known as pindang ikan or fish pindang (not to be confused with the Palembang dish of the same name), salt is sprinkled on the fish, after which it is boiled for a few hours. The fish is then drained in small bamboo baskets, while the salty fish stock is collected and further processed into a concentrated seasoning paste, or petis.
Petis has a very thick, gooey consistency with a pungent aroma. During the cooking process, spices and palm sugar are added to the stock, and then it’s boiled and reduced into a glue-like paste. It’s often used in Madurese cuisine such as in this dish, telur petis Madura, which is a dish of hard boiled eggs, simmered in spices and petis. Telur petis Madura has a unique pungent flavour from the petis and a refreshing aroma from fingerroots.
There are many types of petis in Indonesia, not just from Madura, but from regions like East Java too. Madurese petis isn’t sweet like the East Javanese variety, and should ideally be used in telur petis Madura. However, it can be hard to come by, so it can be substituted with other types of petis. In Singapore, Javanese petis is sometimes available in Sheng Siong and Tekka Market. Just remember to taste the dish before adding extra sugar to make sure the dish isn’t overly sweet.Print
Telur petis Madura is a unique dish of hard-boiled eggs simmered in a sauce of petis, or preserved fish sauce, coconut milk, chillies, and a ton of herbs and spices.
- 6 Hard boiled eggs, peeled
- 4 curly red chillies (or 3 big red chillies), chopped
- 6 shallots, peeled, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, pelled, chopped
- 2 cm turmeric, peeled, chopped
- 2 cm ginger, peeled, chopped
- 1 lemongrass, use only the white part, bruised, cut into smaller pieces
- 4 fingerroots, thinly sliced
- 2 cm galangal, bruised
- 1 salam leaf
- 2 kaffir lime leaves
- 4 tbsp petis, dilute with a little bit of water, set aside
- 1 tbsp tamarind extract
- 0.5 tsp white pepper powder
- 65 ml instant coconut milk
- 1 tsp palm sugar
- Salt to taste
- 200 ml water
- 2 tbsp cooking oil
- Blend into fine paste: chillies, shallots, garlic, turmeric and ginger. Set aside.
- Heat the cooking oil in a wok over medium high heat, then fry the blended spices for around 2 minutes.
- Add lemongrass, fingerroots, galangal, salam leaf and kaffir lime leaves. Continue frying for another 3 minutes until fragrant.
- Add petis and tamarind extract, stir.
- Add white pepper powder, salt and sugar, then add water.
- Add the hard boiled eggs, mix, and then add the coconut milk, stir well.
- Cook until it boils, then reduce the heat to medium low.
- Continue cooking until the sauce is reduced and thickened, around 15-20 minutes.
- Transfer the dish to a serving bowl and serve immediately.
- Just remember to taste the dish before adding extra sugar to make sure the dish isn’t overly sweet.
Keywords: Spicy, galangal, hard-boiled eggs, lemongrass