Friday, August 19, 2011

Food for Thought -- An Ode to Okra


Hi Meltingpot Readers,

As you can imagine, with a new baby in the house, and two growing boys to feed, dinner time has become a serious issue in the Kinky Gazpacho household. There never seems to be enough time or energy to make a nice meal these days. Not to mention, who has time to grocery shop? Well, I was tickled pink -- or I should say purple -- the other day, because a good friend of mine dropped a big bag of homegrown veggies on my doorstep. Included in the mix? A huge bag of purple okra.

Dear readers, I've never been a huge fan of okra. And el esposo claims he's never seen okra in Spain. Honestly, I really only thought of okra as a necessary ingredient in gumbo. Generally I shied away from it because of its distinctive slimy texture. Recently, I sampled a Malaysian dish, a stir-fry with shrimp and okra, and found it tasty but the slime factor still kind of grossed me out.

So what to do with the big bag of purple okra? I have to admit, they were gorgeous to look at, but that didn't mean I wanted to eat purple slime either. And it was way too hot to make gumbo. So I let my meltingpot mind wander and came up with a delicious recipe instead. I made a shrimp and chicken curry with all that okra.

Basically I sauteed all the okra with onions and green pepper. Added curry powder and some extra spices, threw in chicken breast, cooked that, then added chicken broth and coconut milk, and then tossed in shrimp. Served it all over brown rice and it was delicious!!! Oh, and for a salad I made a cucumber and pineapple salad. So yummy and refreshing.

Now, I'm all about okra. If you cook it long enough the slime goes away and adds a nice thick texture to a curry, for example. My mom also gave me a recipe for okra fritters. I'm going to try those as soon as the heat index comes down, because who wants to smell fried anything in this weather?

I found this website all about okra and am happy to report that okra is also super chock full of nutrients too. And it's so multicultural! So, suffice it to say, okra will definitely be on the menu in this house from now on.

Do you have any okra recipes? Do you even eat okra? Why or why not? I'm listening.

Peace and Sweet Baby Feet.

6 comments:

rhapsodyinbooks said...

I haven't had okra in forever - probably on account of the slime factor - but I didn't know the slime would go away. Love that website - thanks!

Jade @ Tasting Grace said...

I'm all about okra - but only without the slime. Here is one of my favorite recipes: http://www.thaitable.com/thai/recipe/Crispy-Fried-Okra

(But this one is about not OVERcooking it so it doesn't get slimy!)

Itsbugart said...

The only okra available in Sweden (in Ulricehamn at least) is canned. As a South Carolina gal, I've never understood the fear of the "okra slime"!!! :-)

http://carolinafreestate.blogspot.com/2011/07/carolina-foodways-okra-gumbo.html

Okra is a super-veggie btw! Very vitamin rich!

Anonymous said...

I absolutely LOVE okra...slime and all. Mmmm...once I finish off my chicken and vegetable stew, I will definitely be using up the okra I have in my freezer. Thanks for the idea!

alli said...

i just found out okra is good for preventing certain birth defects and cancer in mouth, its good for you, the curry okra is what i did with brown rice, (which i cooked in cocunut milk) it was very good chick and shrimp sounds good too.

the bandit queen said...

Love okra! It was the first plant to truly capture my imagination as a child when I found it in my grandmother's garden in Trinidad. Whenever I get homesick, I go over to a pakistani market and buy them fresh. Purple okra sounds amazing.
xxoo
bgom