Previously I always tried to avoid the okra or what’s better known here in Singapore as ladies’ fingers. They have this gooey slime that just doesn’t appeal to me. And it’s only recently that I’ve sort of developed a liking for these pod vegetables. Having survived an episode of illness/surgery probably does change a person’s palate, lol.
I had eaten okra in stir fries and curries when dining out but had never thought it could be used in other types of dishes until I came across this salad recipe in Chef Wan’s cookbook. For those who are unfamiliar with Chef Wan, well, he’s a celebrity chef from Malaysia who’s known for his South East Asian cooking in which he would use various Asian herbs and spices to create spice pastes from scratch.
Okra Salad Recipe
Ingredients (serves 4)
250g okra, blanched and sliced
12 prawns, shelled with tails intact, blanched
1 ginger flower, sliced
1 red onion, sliced
2 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp palm sugar
juice from 4 calamansi limes
handful of mint leaves, coarsely chopped + extra for garnish
1 tsp olive oil
5 red chillies
2 tsp belachan (dried shrimp paste), dry toasted
4 tbsp dried shrimps, soaked in water & dry toasted
2 cloves garlic
2 tomatoes, quartered
1. Using a food processor, blend together all ingredients for the spice paste till fine.
2. Combine spice paste and the rest of the ingredients in a mixing bowl. Toss thoroughly and adjust taste to preference.
(Adapted from Chef Wan’s Ladies’ Fingers and Mint Salad Recipe)