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Friday, October 01, 2004

Recipe File: Sauteed Okra with Roasted Red Peppers

Okra is a delight to eat. This "vegetable" is just as wonderful as a thickening agent in stews such as gumbo (in fact, gumbo is another name for the okra plant) as it is sauteed in oil. The texture differences between the cooking styles are amazing, however. In gumbo, the okra is soft and gooey, almost a slimey texture. When sauteed, okra is crisp and tender. In both cases, it has a wonderful flavor and is complimented by other strong flavors. In this dish, I couple the okra with some spicy jalapeno chiles and the sweet taste of roasted red peppers.

First, place two red peppers on the grill at medium-low heat in order to roast them. If the grill is inconvenient, you can place then under the broiler in the oven. Set it on low if your oven has multiple broiler settings. We're looking for a black charring around the entire pepper with some bubbling on the skin. Rotate the peppers about every five minutes to evenly char the surface.

Start with one pound (450 g) okra, 1/2 jalapeno chile sliced into circles (use whole jalapeno for more spiciness), a minced french shallot, and two cloves of garlic, minced.

Once the peppers are blackened and bubbling, remove from the grill and place in a bowl. Cover the bowl with another bowl or a plate to catch the steam. The steam will help loosen up the charred skin from the roasted pepper. This step of roasting the pepper, really helps to heighten the flavor inherent in the pepper. In this picture, you'll see that I was in a bit of a hurry, so I took the peppers off the flame a bit early. It's okay, they are done, but it's a bit more difficult to get all the skin off if they are not completely charred.

After five minutes, remove the skin from the peppers (using either your fingers or a knife to scrape it off). Then cut into 1/2 inch strips.

Now that all the ingredients have been assembled, heat one tablespoon of oil on a saute pan over medium-high heat. When oil is hot, add minced shallots and jalapeno chile.

Once the shallots have nicely browned, add okra to the pan. Spread the okra out in a single layer. Cook, tossing occassionally, until the okra color as brightened.

Once the okra is bright green (but still crisp), about four minutes, add the roasted peppers and minced garlic.

Saute for another two to three minutes and you're done!

Sauteed Okra with Roasted Red Peppers (serves two)
1 Tbs. oilheatbrownsautesaute
1/2 jalapeno chileslice
1 shallotmince
1 lb. okra
2 red bell peppersroastpeelcut into strips
2 cloves garlic, minced
Copyright Michael Chu 2004

posted by Michael Chu @ 10/1/2004 05:55:40 PM   7 comments
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At 9:46 PM, Alredhead said...

Mmmm...Looks great Mr. Chu!

At 10:16 AM, dweiums said...

too cool. i always hated okra because it was so slimey, but now i've learned to love it raw. This simple recipe rocks.

At 11:05 AM, Anonymous said...

Cool site. Just a suggestion. Instead of using shallots, use garlic. And slice the okra small diagonal pieces. Fry the garlic, jalapeno and a bit of anchovies (the small chinese type)in hot oil on medium heat till the garlic turns a golden colour, throw in the okra. cook as per normal. the anchovies will give it a sweeter taste.

At 4:08 PM, Michael Chu said...

Sounds goood, but that's another dish. :)

At 8:26 AM, Anonymous said...

im from singapore, and over here, we call the okra 'lady's fingers', cause they do look so.
:) just a lil bit of info for this interesting blog.

At 8:24 AM, Anonymous said...

My moms recipe for vendai(okra):
Heat oil and fry the minced onions and garlic.

Wash and cut the (1 pound )okra in to 1 cm pieces and add to pan.
Add cayenne pepper 1/4 spoon or taste.

Fry until okra gets golden brown.
Serve with hot rice.

At 1:04 AM, Anonymous said...

A North Indian recipe:

Slit the okra lengthwise, leaving the okra joint at both ends. Make a paste with chillies, salt, turmeric, coriander powder, dry coconut, powdered lentils/regular flour/chick pea flour and any other seasoning that you like. Stuff this mixture inside the okra almost rubbing it in. Heat oil, fry garlic, shallots/onions and add the okra, cooking till the okra is slightly charred and crispy. For a tastier/fattier version, you can deep-fry the thingies and use garlic+ginger powder in the stuffing.


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