2009/03/24

Steamed lady fingers with chili shrimp sauce

lady fingers, okra


Lady finger (also known as okra) is a powerhouse of valuable nutrients, nearly half of which is soluble fiber in the form of gums and pectins. According to Ms Sylvia W. Zook, Ph.D. (nutritionist), this versatile vegetable has many important health benefits as belows:

1) stabilizes blood sugar level
2) binds cholesterol and bile acid carrying toxins dumped into it by the filtering liver.
3) prevents constipation
4) feeds good bacteria (probiotics) residing in our body.
5) good for those feeling weak, exhausted, and suffering from depression.
6) good for healing ulcers and to keep joints limber
7) treats lung inflammation, sore throat, and irritable bowel.
For further reading, click here.

To retain most of its nutrients and self-digesting enzymes, it should be cooked as little as possible, eg with low heat or lightly steamed. Some even eat it raw. My son and I love consuming lady fingers in a very simple way - steam lady fingers until cooked, cut into bite-sized pieces (for toddlers), toss with fried shallots oil and light soy sauce, and serve immediately. However, I have a big tot (my hubby) who doesn’t like lady fingers as much as we do. He always hinted at me to leave his portion out whenever I cooked lady fingers. Of course, I will never agree with him since this vegetable has so many nutritional values. After giving much consideration to these 2 tots’ personal preference and taste, I concocted the following simple and healthy recipe. To my surprise, my big tot happily ate the dish without complaint!

Instead of slicing the lady fingers, my method called for the lady fingers to be cooked with its entire stem intact. This will prevent them from becoming slimy during the cooking process. The chili shrimp sauce that is served together with it enhances the dish with the much needed tasty flavour to those who dislike the bland taste of cooked lady fingers. And, it goes well with plain white rice too.

I strongly recommend this recipe to those who dislike lady fingers. Besides the common method of either stir-frying or have them cooked and served in curry gravy, this dish makes the lady fingers more appealing to the palate. You may find them coming back for a second serving of rice (if there are still some lady fingers left). It can be finger-lickin' good too!

A) CHILI SHRIMP SAUCE

Ingredients:
30g dried shrimp (minced) – rinse, soak & pat-dry
4 pcs shallots (minced)
1 clove of garlic (minced)
½ -1 red chili (minced)

Seasonings:
2 tsp oyster sauce
½ tbsp sugar
2 tbsp oil
1 tbsp water

Methods:
1) Heat up oil in a small non-stick frying pan/ saucepan.
2) Sauté shallots, garlic and dried shrimp with medium heat until fragrant.
3) Add in red chili and seasonings. Stir-fry until mixed well. Bring mixture to cook until boil.
4) Adjust seasoning if necessary. Dish up and set aside.

B) LADY FINGERS (OKRA) - 10 STEMS

Methods:
1) Wash and rinse the lady fingers.
2) Remove the top and tip (optional) of the lady fingers.
3) You can cook your lady fingers by way of steaming or blanching. But I prefer option (a) as it can retain most of its nutrients and self-digesting enzymes.
a) For steaming: Place the lady fingers on a steaming tray and steam until cooked. Discard water if any.
b) For blanching: Add water to a wok and bring it to a boil. Blanch lady fingers until cook. Dish up and arrange on a serving plate.
4) Pour the chili shrimp sauce over the lady fingers and serve immediately.

Note:
1) If your lady fingers turn dry, add some cooked shallot oil.
2) Do not over-cook the lady fingers until it turns soft and yellow in colour.
2) For toddlers, you can cut the cooked lady fingers into bite-sized for easy chewing.
3) When choose lady fingers, look for those that are tender, smaller size and lighter green in colour.
4) If you cannot finish using the sauce, keep it in an air-tighted container. It can be added when stir-frying other vegetables ie cabbage, french beans and long beans.



I am submitting this recipe to Weekend Herb Blogging #176 Hosting, which is housed by Haalo of Cook (almost) Anything at Least Once and hosted this week by Anna of Anna's Cool Finds.

28 comments:

Pearl said...

oh i love that presentation :)

MyLastBite said...

This looks FANTASTIC!

mycookinghut said...

Okra.... this is one of my fav vegs! with chili shrimp sauce.. what can I say??? I think I prefer this as my dinner compared to the pasta that I had just now ;)

Selba said...

Wow!!! Love your presentation.... teach me.. teach me, pleaseeee... :D

tigerfish said...

I am so hungry now....
Another dish that will make me fat. Why? Cos' I will eat lots of rice with it ;p

Beachlover said...

your okra look so healthy and long!! love to eat with chili sauce,to die for!!! give me 2 plates of rice!!

Bits of Life 'n' Taste said...

My favourite too! Just love those steamed okra! Nice shoot and nice table cloth!

Big Boys Oven said...

this is one is truely my favourite dish! :) you make it look so simple!

ICook4Fun said...

I just love okra but too but we can't find nice long okra here. Just tiny little ones. I love the the presentation of this dish.

Maya said...

I LURVE ladies fingers with sambal belachan!! Your looks wonderful..

Food For Tots said...

Pearl & MyLastBite: Tks for your compliments.

Mycookinghut: Dun wait! Cook this dish for your dinner tomorrow!

Selba: Hahaha! Tks. I am not qualified to be your teacher but dun mind to exchange ideas. Yours are great too!

Tigerfish: I haven't seen a FAT tiger before. So dun worry, go ahead to fill up ur energy tank!

Beachlover: When it comes to chili, I also have a lot of appetites. Come and have more if you like!

BOLNT: TQ Si Fu!

BBO: Tks for your compliments.

ICook4Fun: Will the small ones taste better? Tks for your kind words.

Maya: Tks. But I didn't add belachan in this dish bcos of my son. ;)

Little Corner of Mine said...

I love this, my mom used to steam okra.

Little Inbox said...

Simple but yummy! I will try this! Thanks for sharing.

Food For Tots said...

LCOM: It's my mom's dish too.

Little Inbox: Hope u like it. Let me know the outcome. ;)

New Kid on the Blog said...

the presentation looks fantastic!!!

Food For Tots said...

NKOTB: Tks for your compliments! ;)

finsmom said...

I have never tried this type of vegetable before, but it sounds like a nutritional powerhouse! Thanks for sharing all this great information, as well as a great recipe!

Food For Tots said...

finsmom: Tks for your kind comment. Give it a try if you can find lady fingers (okra) at your place. ;)

Anna Haight said...

How beautiful! My mom loved okra too. Thanks for your participation in WHB!

Dora said...

My chef loves lady fingers, saying they're good for the joints. She usually cook them with egg.;)

Urs look neat and yummy!

Food For Tots said...

Anna Haight: Tks for your compliments! WHB is one of my favourite events. Hope to particate more in future. ;)

Dora: I have never tried this version. Sounds interesting! Is it a HAKKA dish?

cariso said...

I love steamed ladies fingers! Ading chili shrimp sauce is simple and tasty!

Food For Tots said...

Cariso: Oh! U r another lady fingers kaki! *High5* to you! ;)

Kalyn said...

Great photos and it does sound delicious. I've only cooked okra in gumbo, but I like it.

noobcook said...

I didn't know there are so many health benefits of lady fingers. I am the only one at home who likes it, gonna cook some soon ;)

Food For Tots said...

Kalyn: Tks for dropping by and your wonderful comment. Gumbo is new to me but it looks and sounds interesting after reading from Wikipedia. ;)

Noobcook: Maybe u can put a little effort to convince them to eat okra. Who knows, you may turn out to be the winner! ;)

shavedicesundays said...

I've never eaten okra like that, we use it in Vietnamese soup (canh chua) mostly. I make my kids eat them for the calcium.

Food For Tots said...

Shavedicesundays: I have never tried your method before. It sounds so interesting to use it in soup. Will check it out later. Tks for your sharing.