Saturday, May 6, 2017

Okra with spicy black bean sauce

Okra or lady finger (in English speaking countries) is not a traditional Chinese vegetable and not to be confused with Chinese okra. We like okra in almost any form and we love Chinese food - hence this recipe. Most of the cooking for this dish is done in the oven and all you need is the black bean chili sauce which is available in Chinese grocery stores. Cooking the okra in the oven helps with drying up the okra to get rid of some of the slimy texture and then it is tossed with the spicy sauce, garlic and scallions and a touch of sugar to balance the heat. Great paired with egg fried rice.

Okra with spicy black bean sauce
1 1/2 lb okra
2 large cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
4 thick stems of scallions, white and light green parts sliced
3 tablespoons black bean chili sauce
1/2 tbsp soy sauce
1/4 teaspoons granulated sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons + 1/2 tablespoon canola oil
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F. Place a quarter sheet pan in the top rack for 10 minutes.
  2. Wash the dry the okra. Trim the okra and cut vertically down the middle. Toss with 1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil and lay it out in a single layer on a baking sheet. Place the tray in the middle rack of the preheated oven. Roast for 15 minutes. Toss them around with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and roast for another 20 to 25 minutes depending on how crisp you want the okra.  
  3. Heat a 10 inch saute pan with 1/2 tablespoon canola oil over medium heat. Add the sliced garlic and scallions. Saute for 2 to 3 minutes till soft and add the black bean chili sauce. (Try not to add too much oil from the sauce). Now add the roasted okra to the pan and toss well. Add the soy sauce and 1/4 teaspoon granulated sugar and cook for a 2 to 3 minutes till the sauce has covered the okra throughout.
  4. Serve warm with steam rice, and pan fried tofu with lemon soy glaze  or egg fried rice.
Serves 3

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