Stir Fried Okra with Garlic, Chilies and Lime
Okra must be properly cooked to be worth eating.
Wait, that goes for any vegetable out there. The only difference is that okra, when it's NOT cooked properly, can be particularly, ummm, gross. Yep, I said it.
But … with a quick pan fry all that stickiness that gives okra a bad rap seems to vanish. What you're left with are bites of greens that have just the right amount of chew left and tons of flavour from all the other things you've stir-fried them in.
I've been obsessing with these flavours ever since I shared the recipe for Coconut Oil Fried Brussels Sprouts with Garlic, Chilies and Lime with you a little while back. This recipe uses a whole lot less coconut oil but keeps the spicy, garlicky, tangy tastes.
I should mention that this flavour packed (and healthy!) side dish takes only 15 minutes to whip up. Awesome, right?!
If you've ever had a bad experience with, or been uncertain about trying, okra, this is a great recipe to make.
I'll admit, I'm not a southern girl who grew up eating okra in every dish imaginable. (Or at least that's what I image a southern American girl would eat. True?) It wasn't until my early 20s that I even tried okra, and that first experience wasn't a good one. It was the texture I just couldn't get over.
I tried it a second time when my good friend Basil invited me over for dinner. He served a Middle Eastern okra stew that this mom used to make for him when he was a kid. It was awesome. No weird slimy texture in sight.
It really is all about how you cook it.
In this recipe, the trick is not to crowd the pan. You don't want to steam them, but rather sear them quickly. See all those deliciously browned bits? That's where the flavour lies.
And the garlic, shallots and chilies add a whole wallop of flavour too.
About the chilies … Two chilies in this dish are spicy. Not going to lie. It will burn your tongue in the most delightful way. If you're less of a masochist, you'll want to use less chilies, or perhaps just remove their fiery seeds.
Do you have a great okra recipe? I would love to hear your tips and tricks for making okra in the comments. And if you make this stir fried okra I'd love to hear if you liked it!Print
This simple stir fried okra side dish is a healthy, delicious and foolproof way to serve okra. As a bonus, it's vegan and paleo too!
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 10 ounces okra, cut in half lengthwise
- 1 – 1-inch piece of ginger, julienned
- 2 medium shallots, thinly sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1–2 red chilies, thinly sliced
- 1 lime
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
- 1 small handful cilantro, roughly chopped
- Melt 1 tablespoon of the coconut oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add half the okra. I like to turn most of the okra in the pan cut side facing down, so it browns well. After 1 minute sprinkle half the ginger, shallots, chilies and garlic over the okra. Sauté, occasionally shaking the pan to toss the okra, for about 5 minutes, or until the okra has browned well. Set the okra aside in a bowl. Repeat with the remaining coconut oil, okra, ginger, shallots, garlic and chilies.
- Plate the okra, squeeze over some lime and sprinkle with the toasted sesame seeds, some cilantro and a pinch of sea salt.