Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Dear Phil - the okra show

At the moment I am a little bit in love with okra (not to be confused with being an expert at cooking it (understatement)).

At Mekong Delta, they had okra growing in the garden. I had never seen an okra plant before.  I don't know what I expected it to look like, but not like this.  Maybe a vine along the ground like pumpkins?

Anyway, the real okra plant kind of reminds me of this:

Not that that's a bad thing.

Mekong Lodge does little cooking classes, and one of the things they showed us how to cook was stuffed okra. I haven't got any pictures of the stuffed okra part of the cooking class, because FIRST, they showed us how to make little spring rolls, and my photographer was off 'taste-testing' the spring rolls during the okra stuffing bit.

The stuffed okra were delicious and I have successfully recreated the dish at home since.  Basically, you make a little rectangular hole down the edge of the cleaned okra, rip the guts out and fill it with whatever you want - then shallow fry.  Mekong Lodge's recipe for the filling involved minced fish meat with spices. Mine involved minced pork meat with spices.  Tonight I'm going to try stuffing with rice and egg. I have lots of leftover Indian spiced rice with peas. Waste not, want not!

But I don't think okra is an easy vegetable to cook.  I can do this stuffed okra thing now that I've been shown it - but every time I've tried to cook it as part of a stir-fry or whatever I've ended up with a gooey gluey mess.  So if you have some tips maybe you could put them in the comments? I think perhaps I'm overcooking it.

Finally - the okra here are really big, in comparison with what we can get at home. They are about 10cm long - the ones I used to see at home were closer to 5cm long. It finally makes sense why they were ever called lady fingers.

1 comment:

  1. That's okra for ya. Try to cook it whole so it will be less gluey. Once cut up, it will release the gluey stuff even in its raw form.