For Jane: fried okra chinese style
Meal for one
I met my friend Jane about 13 years ago.
She was my client at the agency where I worked. I was her account director. I left the agency over six years ago, and while Jane and I have always lived in different countries, we became and have stayed friends ever since.
We’ve lost touch a few times but have always managed to re-connect again.
It was in fact Jane who convinced me to go for the job where I’m currently working. She’s now a busy working mum with two children and moved to Brazil with her husband some months ago. When I started this blog, she wrote to ask me for recipes for okra and I knew immediately what recipe I’d recommend.
Okra is one of those vegetables that people will either love or hate. I have no idea if Jane will like these flavours but I hope it’ll at least give her some idea of what you can do with okra. Stir frying them this way also means they don’t become slimy – which is what normally puts people off okra (trick is never pour water onto okra!).
So, today’s post is for my friend Jane; lovely lady, I hope you’re loving life over there and I really hope we’ll get a chance to see each other again some day!
This fried okra, chinese-style, is seriously one of my favourite dishes. My mum used to make this and I could never get enough of it. It’s only in recent years that supermarkets in the UK started selling okra. My husband’s not too keen on it so we don’t have it often. But whenever he’s away, this is one of those dishes that I’ll make to have all to myself. My lonely supper-for-one normally consists of a bowl of onion rice, this stir fried okra and three seared scallops. Who says cooking for one can’t be fun?
Fried okra aka my mum’s way (serves 2-3 as a side dish)
200 grams okra, sliced thinly
½ teaspoon of minced/pounded fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced/pounded or finely chopped
2 teaspoons soy sauce
½ teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon vegetable or groundnut oil
Mix the soy sauce and sugar in a dish and set aside.
In a wok or fry pan, heat your oil and then stir fry your minced ginger and garlic until the garlic starts turning golden. Add your okra and stir fry for about a minute, constantly tossing the okra. Pour in your soy sauce mixture and keep stir frying for 2-3 minutes. The sauce will evaporate and the okra will start to caramelise. If you like your okra soft, stir fry for another minute before serving. Season with some white pepper.
Onion rice (serves 3-4)
2 medium brown/red onions, finely chopped
1 tablespoon oil
2 cups of rice
2 teaspoons chicken stock powder
Fry the onions in the oil on a medium to low heat for about 10 minutes until soft and almost translucent. Turn up the heat and fry the onions for another 3-4 minutes, turning the onions constantly so they brown without burning.
Steam your rice the way you would normally but add the 2 teaspoons of chicken stock powder to the water.
After your rice has cooked, add the fried onions and mix well.
Sprinkle sea salt over your scallops and in an oiled pan over a high heat, place your scallops flat side down and leave the scallops to sear for two minutes. Resist the urge to touch or turn the scallops or else they won’t sear properly.
After the two minutes, flip the scallops over and allow it to sear for another minute or two.
Lots of love