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Suvir Saran

Okra

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When the onions are just starting to go soft throw in 1 lb. of okra and 4 or 5 cloves of garlic (resist yelling BAM! at this point)

Add 2 large ripe tomatoes and about 1/2 cup chicken stock

Cover and simmer for about twenty minutes.

Mayhaw Man: sorry to ask a perhaps silly question, but how are the okra prepped (if at all)?

whole small pods?

sliced?

does frozen okra make a passable version or should wait for fresh?

Thanks!


"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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Yikes. Sorry about that.

Slice okra into 1/2 inch segments (discard tops)

Actually, frozen okra will work as will good quality canned tomatoes, but it is not nearly as good. We can usually get it here this time of year fresh, but even if the farmers market does not have it, the chain groceries usually have the fresh stuff from MX (Walmart always does).

You asked about small or large. There is NOTHING that yu can do with large okra. It is hard, tough, and cooks about like shoe leather. The smaller pods (less than 4 or 5 inches) are the best.


Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

There's a train everyday, leaving either way...

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I like okra and while I will be the first to admit it is not exactly the Swiss Army knife of vegetables, it can be used in a number of tasty and family impressing recipes (just don't ever cook any if Fifi is coming over, she is immovable in her dislike of okra-Texans just dig in and are kind of hard to deal with sometimes :wink: ).

Fifi;

Say it isn't so! We seem so akin in tastes (BBQ, hot links, etc.) that I'm stunned. How very narrow minded of you :laugh:. I too am a native Texan, but I love okra - breaded and fried, in tomatoes and onions, in gumbos, whatever. My favorite aunt raised registered Angus in Comanche County to pay the bills, but she always planted okra every year in her vegetable garden, and we used to eat it by the bowlful when we went to see her. Perhaps you've just not been exposed enough? No, I guess not - not if you've tasted it prepared by Mayhaw. How very sad :sad:. But we can still be friends anyway :laugh:.

THW


"My only regret in life is that I did not drink more Champagne." John Maynard Keynes

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Slice okra into 1/2 inch segments (discard tops)

Actually, frozen okra will work as will good quality canned tomatoes, but it is not nearly as good. We can usually get it here this time of year fresh, but even if the farmers market does not have it, the chain groceries usually have the fresh stuff from MX (Walmart always does).

You asked about small or large. There is NOTHING that yu can do with large okra. It is hard, tough, and cooks about like shoe leather. The smaller pods (less than 4 or 5 inches) are the best.

Thanks Mayhaw Man. I've just flirted with eating okra (despite living in N. Cackalacky for 5 years) and would like to get over it. It's great to have the classic "O & T" recipe and hints from a master. :smile:


"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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And then you have your pickled okra. Mainstay of well stocked holiday relish trays across the South. You will find it in most groceries in the pickle section (better quality stores anyway :wink: ).

A couple of pods of pickled okra in a well made Bloody Mary will make you go into your ice box and heave all of the celery and pickled green beans into the compost heap.

I also often put thinly chopped okra into cornbread (long time readers will remember the exciting and witty repartee between esteemed food writer Joyce White and myself concerning okra, during the course of which she claims:

You couldn't love okra anymore that I do. It is one of my favorite vegetables; and full of nutrients too.
.

For cornbread he okra needs to be sliced thinly and put into the cornbread (uncooked) at the rate of about 1/2 cup per recipe of cornbread. It adds a great flavor and is decidedly ungoopy when cooked this way.


Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

There's a train everyday, leaving either way...

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Brooks, I have to admit I've never had pickled okra. I'm wondering where it might be available in New York. Is pickled okra something that's sold in most any food store in Louisiana, or/and is it mostly a home-made item?


Michael aka "Pan

 

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Okra is an indispensible ingredient in pakbet, a savory Filipino vegetable-based stew. Different versions abound -- the one my family likes has okra, eggplant, bitter melon (ampalaya), tomatoes, onion, garlic, string beans, dried shrimp, bagoong alamang (shrimp paste), patis (fish sauce) and sometimes, pork (either minced pork or crispy pork belly). We prefer to leave the okra pods whole.

Pakbet is also called pinakbet, although moreso if you hail from the northern provinces in the Philippines.

Okra figures in several other Filipino dishes, one of which is ginisang mongo (mung beans, stewed with pork, garlic, onion, tomatoes, eggplant, okra and sweet potato greens). This is absolutely wonderful, especially when chicarrones are mixed in. Sometimes served with bagoong ginamos (fermented anchovy paste, stir-fried with TONS of garlic).

Soba

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Pan,

It is pretty common here. There are a number of brands, but Trappey's seems to be the most common. I make it from scratch using a basic dill pickle recipe and add a jalapeno to the jar for a little zip. I really do like it and it is great in bloodies.

It is a fun plant to grow as it grows fruit like crazy and you get to pick some everyday. In fact, the stuff grows so fast that if you don't pick it everyday it gets big and tough in no time. The more you pick the more you get it seems, and okra lasts through the hot summer down here pretty well. It will still be producing long after the cukes and toms have gone ten toes up.


Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

There's a train everyday, leaving either way...

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Now I am curious, hathor. Fresh okra this time of year? Is it greenhouse grown? Okra is a hot summertime climate vegetable.

Pickled okra...comes in a jar in the pickle section.

I just thought if there was a lot of it in the market, I could give it a try.

serendipity of sorts--went to the dentist in between visiting this thread and browsed the November issue of Gourmet mag there while waiting. They had a recipe in there for pickeled okra! (they post some of their recipes online so it may be worth a look).

:smile:


"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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One of the best dishes I had while staying at an Indian friend's home was stuffed and baked okra.

I think it was stuffed with a mixture of ginger, onion, and the secret blend of spices. I imagine it was something of a general garam masala, but I could be horribly wrong.

Suvir?

Ben


Gimme what cha got for a pork chop!

-Freakmaster

I have two words for America... Meat Crust.

-Mario

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Brooks, I have to admit I've never had pickled okra. I'm wondering where it might be available in New York. Is pickled okra something that's sold in most any food store in Louisiana, or/and is it mostly a home-made item?

When I lived in Boston I found it at Stop and Shop. Talk O' Texas is nationally distributed -- it's in my local CA grocery store and it's great. They have a spicy version, too, which makes them winners in my book. One complaint, though, is that there are usually a few tough pods in the jar. You can also get it on some mail order sites.

My warmest okra memory: My folks made pickled okra when I was a kid because my dad had a garden full of it. We lived in TX, but my parents are both Hoosiers and okra was new to them. Dad didn't know that okra plants are, um, prolific, so they had to put some up.

The first time they made it was almost the last. In order to cull the tough pods, they thought it would be a good idea to prick each one with a fork. Makes sense, since you don't really know until you bite or cut into it whether you'll be able to chew it. Anyway, the pincushion okra pods produced okra pickles so slimy that it was like an industrial accident. You could pull one out of the jar and raise it at arm's length and the slime would extend for upwards of three feet.

Fortunately they tried it again and made some yummy pickled okra.

My worst okra memory: Picking the stuff. This was before dad discovered Clemson Spineless, and after the fire ants discovered Texas. God, was okra picking hot and miserable.


amanda

Googlista

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I hate fire ants! :shock:

But what I want to know is how your folks changed their pickling procedure in such a way as to minimize the slime.


Michael aka "Pan

 

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But what I want to know is how your folks changed their pickling procedure in such a way as to minimize the slime.

They eliminated the poking.

I have my own personal okra rule that I know many won't agree with. Here it is. Controversy awaits.

An okra pod whose skin has been even slightly cut, nicked, pierced, or otherwise compromised should never, ever touch liquid until it's cooked. (Hot oil is okay, though.) So if I add okra to anything wet -- tomatoes, stew, anything -- I flour and pan fry it first. For some this might equal overcooking, but it eliminates the slime.

I hate fire ants! :shock:

Interesting okra fact: Fire ants love okra plants. I don't know if it's the sappy stuff or the flowers or the pods themselves, but they love 'em. I have memories -- possibly imagined -- of fire ants coming out of the pods after they've been picked.


amanda

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Talk O' Texas is nationally distributed

Talk o' Texas is the brand that Sam's Wholesale carries in the gallon jars. It is very good, but more dilly than spicy.


Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

There's a train everyday, leaving either way...

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Ah, Mudpuppie. The memories of okra slime. When I was young, my dad started on his pickling adventures. Since the okra was erum... abundant (we were covered up with the stuff) he decided to pickle some. Being an okra pickle newbie, he thought it would be a good idea to cut those tough old caps and stems off. The okra snot was unbelievable. :laugh:


Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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I have a question: when frying or 'crisping', does that eliminate the mucilagenous (sp??) factor? Should it be very high heat, quick fry, serve immediately or it turns to mush?

The fried okra will get a little squishy if the oil's not hot enough when you start frying, but that's oil-squish, not slime-squish. Once it's done the slime goes away. Super-high heat isn't necessary - I usually shoot for 350-375 on the oil. It'll also keep warm nicely on a cookie sheet in the oven once it's fried.


"Tea and cake or death! Tea and cake or death! Little Red Cookbook! Little Red Cookbook!" --Eddie Izzard

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I like Okra a lot...gumbo, okra and tomatoes, fried. All of it. But it can be really, really good or really, really bad.

Ah, Mudpuppie. The memories of okra slime. When I was young, my dad started on his pickling adventures. Since the okra was erum... abundant (we were covered up with the stuff) he decided to pickle some. Being an okra pickle newbie, he thought it would be a good idea to cut those tough old caps and stems off. The okra snot was unbelievable. :laugh:

Fifi really should stay off of Okra threads. :rolleyes: I keep telling her that, but like Mayhaw man said, she's pretty hard headed. :smile:

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Although I usually quick fry okra to eliminate the slime, what's wrong with a little slime now and then.

It is an interesting texture, particularly when part of a stew.

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what's wrong with a little slime now and then.

Exactly.

Into every life a little slime must crawl. :wink:


Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

There's a train everyday, leaving either way...

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Talk O' Texas is nationally distributed

Talk o' Texas is the brand that Sam's Wholesale carries in the gallon jars. It is very good, but more dilly than spicy.

Interesting! I never would have called them dilly. I'm a spice addict, too, so I feel a little defensive about this. Are the Talk o' Texas spicies it blazing hot? No. But are they spicier than your average okra pickle? I'd say yes.

I like them, but maybe because they're the only ones I can get around here.


amanda

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what's wrong with a little slime now and then.

Obviously you have not eaten cow's foot soup or you'd know what's wrong with slime!

My former GF's stepfather did a great job with okra. Small pods, freshly picked and handled as little as possible, Slice on the diagonal about 1/4" thick, slice fresh corn off the cob, dice some red and yellow and green peppers and some onion. Get a cast iron skillet sizzling hot with some oil, throw in the goodies, saute and serve as a side dish. Best okra I have ever eaten.

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Okra is used a fair bit in Indian, Indonesian, Malaysian / Singaporean cooking as mentioned by Pan in the first post. It's generally known as ladies' fingers or kacang bendi (after bhendi in Tamil?) over here.

I don't mind the sliminess and am quite happy eating it lightly blanched with a dip of bean paste (tau cheong), freshly cut chillies and kalamansi juice which a friend concocted. Okra is one of the essential vegetables in a good fish head curry. Other favourite ways with are to slit in lengthwise and stuff it with fish (or fish and pork) paste in Hakka dish called Yong Tau Foo or simply stir-fried with belacan (shrimp paste) - see recipe in recipeGullet - fresh shelled shrimp can also be added to it before putting the okra in.

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:wub::wub: OKRAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!

I love the stuff. I like it slime-less and I like it slimy.

My grandmother was the first to introduce it to me, and she would take some bacon, render the fat, then slice the okra and fry it in the fat. To that she added cubed potatos and large chunks of chopped onion and continued to fry until everything was crispy. Then she would throw the bacon back in and add salt and cayenne pepper to taste.

Fried is my favorite way to consume okra but a good, HOT pickled okra is also hard to beat. I've been known to eat the whole jar before I get home from the store. They are great stewed with tomatoes, and juust about every other way I've had it. It ain't gumbo if it ain't got the okra. :hmmm:

I love it in ethnic foods too. Man, whats not to like???

Now ya made me crave the slimy little critters and I'll have to go pick some up from the store. See what you started??? I think its time to make Grandma's dish. :wub: Thanks for the memories

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what's wrong with a little slime now and then.

Obviously you have not eaten cow's foot soup or you'd know what's wrong with slime!

I've had Jamaican cowfoot soup a number of times and liked it every time.

But what's the slime? The cowfoot itself??


Michael aka "Pan

 

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