Okra with ginger recipe

This is based on a dish in a Szechuan restaurant in Earl's Court
Treated in the right way, okra has a lovely texture and delicious flavour, says Hix - MATT AUSTIN

I have been a big fan of okra since moving to London more than 40 years ago and checking out the Indian restaurants. A lot of people have had bad experiences with the slimy tinned version served in not-so-good curry houses, but treated in the right way, it has a lovely texture and delicious flavour. In Louisiana they use okra to give a classic gumbo a natural thickening.

I had this dish in a Szechuan restaurant in Earl’s Court that sadly I can’t remember the name of. It’s simple to prepare. Serve it as a starter or try it in a mix of dishes.

Timings

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 10 minutes

Serves

4

Ingredients

  • 300g okra

For the sauce

  • 60g ginger, skin scraped and finely chopped

  • 1 medium shallot or half a small onion, peeled and finely chopped

  • 1 tbsp sesame oil

  • 120ml vegetable stock

  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce

  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar

  • 2 tsp cornflour mixed with 2 tbsp cold water

  • 1 large red chilli, finely chopped, seeds included

Method

  1. Put the ginger and shallot in a pan with the sesame oil and gently cook for 3-4  minutes over a low heat.

  2. Add the vegetable stock, soy sauce and rice vinegar. Bring to the boil then add the cornflour mixture and simmer gently until the sauce is of a thick, coating consistency.

  3. Add the chilli and remove from the heat. Season if necessary.

  4. Meanwhile cook the okra in boiling salted water for 2 minutes, until al dente and drain.

  5. Arrange the okra on serving plates and spoon over the sauce.

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