Simple Stir-Fried Okra With Dried Shrimps (Lady’s Finger)

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Appetizing Pod Vegetable Okra
Ready : 10 mins Generic : StirFry Difficulty : Easy
[ Prep : 5 mins † Cooking : 5 mins ] Printable Recipe
Not many people appreciate Okra (aka Lady’s Fingers) because of its slimy texture. However, Okras are featured in many Cuisines (most prominent in the African nations and India) and very popular because of their nutritionally dense structure, particularly for their soluble and insoluble Fiber content. Belonging to the Malvaceae or Mallows family like Cotton and Hibiscus, these Pod vegetables contain Potassium, Vitamin B/C, Folic Acid and Calcium. It’s low in calories and has a high dietary fiber content which has been linked to several health benefits, such as optimal digestive function, lower cholesterol level, reduced heart disease and weight management. 

To many of us, particularly the Chinese, as ignorant as it may sound – Okra is predominantly an Indian Vegetable because it is almost surely, a side-condiment veggie if U have Indian Cuisine. On its own, they are usually prepared in one of three ways – boil with Beans to slimy soft, deep-fried with Masala’s batter or stir-fried with Masala. However, the Chinese have slowly started to take these Pod Vegetables into their staple and have since created their own way of preparing them and usually in a much more milder cleaner way (in term of flavoring). By far, the most common way (if U order them in Chinese Restaurant) is simply steaming them in whole and drizzle with Light soy and fried Shallot/Garlic oil. The other popular way is stir-frying but with far fewer Ingredients. Here’s The VianD take on Simple Stir Fries Okra With Dried Shrimps (Lady’s Fingers).



 A bunch of thinly sliced Okra – washed and pad-dry (very important else U’ll get slimy Okra) before slicing. Remember, Okra do cooked-down (Wilt) quite a bit so prepare more.

 Sliced Red Chili, coarsely chopped Dried Shrimps (soaked and washed) and Roasted Balacan (Shrimp Paste) – not too much can be overpowering. Finely chopped Garlic (not in pict.).

 Optional – to spice up the dish, U can add some Curry Masala powder, Dried Chili/flakes, Cardamon or Cumin seeds. All these spices which make the dish un-mistakenly Indian.

Let’s elaborate a little on how to stop Okra from getting too slimy.  The slime comes from the pod of seeds when sliced and cooked. Really, no magical formula here – simply makes sure they are as dry as possible and DO NOT add water when cooking! OR another way is to briskly deep-fried them. That’s it, no more slimy Okra..😉.


 Light Soy,  Sugar, Salt and a dash of  Oyster Sauce and White pepper. All to taste.

** Note : Just a dash/pinch of everything, if U prefer a stronger intensity of an ingredient/spice flavor, simply add a little extra of that ingredient/spice – no rocket scientific measurement here. Always taste your Seasoning !!! The trick is NOT the exact measurement, the trick is “to taste the Seasoning” and get ur preference balance of flavors !!!


STEP 1 :

 On medium/low heat, start by sautéing the Dried Shrimps till aromatic. Then follow by the finely chopped Garlic and sliced Red Chili. U do need a little more oil.

STEP 2 :

 On medium/high heat, add the sliced Okra with constant stirring to avoid burning till it starts to wilt. Then add the roasted Balacan (adjust by adding bit by bit) and the rest of the Seasoning Ingredients. Continue to stir-fry till the edge of the Okra starts kinda brown (really depends on ur preference).

STEP 3 :

 Plate and ur plate of appetizing “Simple Stir Fries Okra With Dried Shrimps (Lady’s Fingers)” is ready to be served hot.

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All Text and Photographs are the property of The VianD unless otherwise indicated. No part of the content may be reproduced without prior written consent from The VianD.

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