Friday, November 10, 2006

Dear Okra, don't try to be funny with me

I never want to handle that okra again. It's not only funny on the outside (resembles a finger, thus a.k.a lady's fingers), it's also funny in the the inside (all that slime...slimy). You gotta know what the slime is up to while you cook it.

Tips to reduce THAT slime include frying the okra in high-heat within a short time, making less cuts to the okra(the more, and smaller you cut, the more SLIME), not introducing moisture while frying okra, and blanching in boiling water-then-plunging in ice-cold water. This is such a "difficult" plant vegetable to work with. It is even suggested that okra should not be cooked in a cast-iron or aluminium pot, to prevent them from turning "black" and thus unappetizing.

I can't handle that high heat! So, to ensure my okra gets cooked in the hot pan within 1 minute, I decided to "cheat" - and blanch them in boiling water first. Now, I can rest assured my okra does not end up uncooked/hard under my frying.

Okra with sambal chilli
-okra; blanch whole okra pods in boiling water for about 4-5 mins; remove with a slotted ladle and cool it in a bowl of ice water or until just tender (but still crisp). When cool, trim off the cap- and tail- ends.
-1tbsp of sambal chilli (GLORY brand Nonya Sambal Chilli); up to 2tbsp if you love HOT spicy
-1tbsp dried shrimps

1.Heat oil at medium-high in frying pan
2.Fry dried shrimps
3.Add in sambal chilli and continue frying for ~1 min, gradually turning on heat to high
4.On high heat, add in okra and fry quickly, just to "coat" the chilli-shrimp mix onto the already cooked okra
5. Dish up and serve

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