Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Steamed Okra with Fried Shallots 蒸羊角豆(秋葵)

When this Chinese okra dish was served recently, some of you left comments about not being a fan of okra. This Chinese okra is no way close to the okra we all know in terms of texture and taste. Chinese okra is more commonly known as Singua around the bay area farmers markets and Asian supermarkets. The Chinese okra tastes mild and has a pillowy texture (when cooked). Importantly, it is NOT SLIMY. I am guessing its longitudinal shape with ridges is the closest bet of Chinese okra sharing similar naming to okra.


So now, I enjoy pillowy Chinese okra and slimy okra. Due to the different taste and texture, both ingredients call for different cooking methods - usually quick-cooking soups (滚烫) and stir-fries for Chinese okra; typically stews, sometimes stir-fries for okra. My go-to when it comes to okra is usually a stew with tomatoes. Okra with spicy sambal belacan  is of course another popular Singapore/Malaysian way to prep. and cook  okra. However, since I tried steaming Chinese okra recently, why not try keeping it simple again.

Steamed okra!!!  Oh yucky yucky did I hear? I am combining one of most detested (by  many) vegetables with one of the most so-called "bland" ways of cooking.

But this time, this even simpler steamed dish heightened by crispy fried shallots! Fried shallots are so so aromatic! If you have not tried them, YOU SHOULD! The most fragrant garnish in my opinion. With fried shallots, a dish such as fried bee hoon can become a different tasty entity. A so-called plain vegetable soup can also turn one of the tastiest with fried shallots.

Steamed Okra with Fried Shallots 蒸羊角豆(秋葵)
Ingredients: 1 shallot, thinly sliced, fried to golden, set aside; 8-10 okra, sliced to halves set aside in a bowl to be steamed; 1 tbsp soy sauce, 1/2 tsp brown sugar

Directions: After frying the shallots, reserve the oil in the heated pan, add the soy sauce (sizzles!) and sugar. When the sauce slightly reduces, turn off heat and set the sauce aside. Prepare the steamer to steam the okra. Steam the okra for 10-12 minutes till tender. Top with fried shallots and ladle the sauce over the steamed okra. Serve immediately.



Really easy and tasty!

Do you like okra? What is your favorite okra dish?

I am sharing Okra with Weekend Herb Blogging #301 hosted by Graziana from Erbe in Cucina (Cooking with Herbs).

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