I love okra and Burmese food, so this is a natural dish for me to make.
The flavors are very mild, sweet-ish from the fried shallots, a touch of heat from the chili and a salty "umami" flavor from the fish sauce. In very traditional fashion, the dish starts by tempering the oil with turmeric that adds a wonderful flavor and color. The okra are delicate and this is a dish that I really enjoyed. This is also a super simple dish to amke and one that is the perfect side to any Asian meal.
This is my favorite cookbook for Burmese cuisine. Wonderful, well researched recipes from all across Myanmar, this is a cookbook I come back to often. I also have most of Naomi Daguid’s other cookbooks and absolutely admire her work, her writing and all the travel and research she puts into every one of her books.
For more wonderful recipes from this cookbook, click here.
2 tablespoons oil
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 cup thinly sliced shallots
1 tablespoon ginger paste
1 teaspoon green chili, minced, or to taste
A few drops fish sauce (omit for vegan an vegetarian version)
Salt, to taste
1/2 lb okra, wiped clean and sliced into 1/4 inch rounds
1/4 cup cilantro, minced, to garnish and mix in
Heat the oil on a low flame in a wok or deep, wide frying pan and add the turmeric. Fry for 10 seconds and add the shallots and cook for 3-4 minutes till soft and lightly golden. Add the ginger, green chili and fish sauce, if using, and continue to fry for 1 minute till the ginger is cooked and no longer raw.
Add the okra and turn the heat up to medium and add the okra and mix in with the onions and cooked spices. Cover and cook till the okra is fried and cooked through, about 10 minutes. Be careful not to burn the spices and that the okra does not fall apart and disintegrate.
Serve hot as a side dish with the cilantro, yes you use a lot, mixed in and as a garnish.