Thursday, June 06, 2013

Okra and Corn Saute with Lime-Ginger Miso, Japanese Sweet Potato (No Added Fat)

I bought some okra today and was anxious to make something hilighting it, without hiding it amongst too many other ingredients. Here is what I did.

  • Half of a medium yellow onion cut into 1/4" cubes
  • 10-12 medium okra, cut into halves lengthwise
  • 3-4 leaves of kale, roughly hand torn from the stems (stems reserved for compost or discarded) into approximately 1 1/2" squares
  • 1/8 - 1/4 cup corn kernels
  • 1/2 teaspoon tarragon
  • Pinch of salt to taste
  • (Optional) 1/4 teaspoon (or to taste/aesthetic) hemp seed
Ingredients - Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of miso
  • 1/8 lime, skin and all
  • 1 small clove garlic
  • 1/4 cup water
  1. I put the onion into my stainless steel-titanium Saladmaster saute pan then began cooking, stirring occasionally, over medium heat.
  2. After about two minutes with the onion not yet turning clear, I added the okra, cut side down, and continued stirring occasionally. I cooked for another 4 or 5 minutes; the onion was now partially carmelized and the okra was showing a little bit of browning.
  3. I added the kale and corn, stirred and cooked for a minute and a half or so, then added the sauce, which I made by putting all of the sauce ingredients in my Vitamix blender and blending on low then ramping up to high till liquified (a total of maybe 7-10 seconds).
  4. There was no added fat and the little bit of browning of the pan was quickly removed as the sauce cooked in it. I cooked for a minute and a half or so, then added tarragon and salt. When I served, I sprinkled hemp seeds atop the vegetable, and served with a baked Japanese sweet potato and tomato.

The dish was good! I resisted stronger sauces, such as tomato-based ones, because I really wanted the okra to come out. My Dad, who hasn't been able to chew, has been visiting, so I was simultaneously making a brown lentil dhal with several vegetables and really cooking it in a lot of water so it would be quite soft; I had the temptation to put a little bit of the dhal in, but decided in favor of making the miso sauce.

The purple-skinned but off-white fleshed Japanese sweet potato has become over the past year or so my favorite sweet potato. I have found a supply of small and thin Japanese sweet potatoes, which I seek for reduced cooking time (I think these were done in my toaster oven set to 375°F in just a half hour or so, though I cooked them for longer so that my Dad could enjoy them, too).

I wish that I had more salad ingredients on hand, and a thick slice of tomato sufficed for the "salad". Obviously, this could have been enhanced with a more substantial salad.

Ideas for the future

I think of more fiery spices when I think of okra, such as in gumbos or Indian dishes. However, I have to have my preschooler's needs in mind, especially since she loves okra. Were I to make this just for my wife and me, I'd add some heat, perhaps chile powder or jerk seasoning. The plate looked a little empty, but a real salad would have filled it in nicely.


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