Friday, 28 May 2010

Stir-Fried Okra with Chinese Sausage

Okra is a bit of a funny beast. Often called 'ladies fingers', they are slightly furry and have gained an infamous reputation for the slime factor. Often used in dishes from the Deep South, they are a typical ingredient in gumbo; stewed in liquid for a while, they lend a gelatinous and thickening quality.

Though I rather like the slime, they don't have to be - cutting them on a dry surface with a dry knife (so not getting them in contact with water) and then dusting in flour and frying in hot fat means they crisp up.

I used okra in this dish with Chinese sausage; you can buy them in Chinese supermarkets vacuum packed. There are a few different variations and I usually buy the ones that don't have liver in them. Though fairly expensive at around £5 - £6 for 12, they last forever in the fridge since they are cured. Slightly sweet, chewy and porky, the sausages are laced with fat and go really well in one-pot rice dishes, congee and stir-fried dishes. Here, the soft yet crunchy okra was a great texture contrast to the sausage. The splashes of soy bring out the slight slime, all to be scooped up nicely with plain steamed rice.

Stir-Fried Okra with Chinese Sausage

Serves 2

200gr okra
2 Chinese sausages
2 cloves of garlic
1 red birds eye chilli
2" knob of ginger
1 tbsp cornflour
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
Pinch of white pepper
Vegetable oil
1 spring onion
A small handful of coriander

Chop the sausages into bite-sized pieces. In a small pan, bring some water up to the boil and add the chunks to simmer gently for 5 minutes. Drain the sausages

Wash the okra and pat them dry. On a dry chopping board, slice the okra diagonally in 2" chunks. Mince the garlic and ginger, and chop the chilli. Slice the spring onion diagonally into ears and chop the coriander finely. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a wok until smoking. Turn down to medium, toss the okra in the cornflour, and stir-fry for 2 - 3 minutes. Add the chilli, garlic, ginger and sausage chunks and continue frying for another two minutes. Sling in the soy sauce and the oyster sauce, toss to coat and take off the heat. Garnish with the spring onion, white pepper and coriander, and drizzle the sesame oil to serve.


The Grubworm said...

Oh goodie, i have a bag of Vietnamese sausages to use and i LOVE okra (in gumbo, bhindi bhaji and all other exciting dishes). Agree re the slime factor too, i think it adds to their loveliness.

catty said...

There is nothing much more delicious than this. Period. i {heart} okra!

LexEat! said...

Oh yum - looks lovely. I imagine it's a delicious combo.

Sharmila said...

Okra was my favourite vegetable as a kid (well, behind potatoes), and it was only when I was older that I realised so many people utterly hate it. It's all about the frying till crisp!

Helen said...

Fried is the only way I can eat the furry fingers; the slime weirds me out. My main problem with them though is that they give me a terrible rash on my hands. Still, if someone else cooks them I am happy to gobble and this does look yummers.