Summer is passing in the fields, though some crops have just started. The okra has liked the African weather the last month, and is starting to flower and fruit. The stem of the pod is the same as the stem of the flower. After pollination the pod starts growing up from the base of the flower, shedding the pedals and making some wild looking food.
For the eating part we turn to a recipe from Jan Glauberman. We can attest to her knowledge of okra, having watched her make this dish, and tasted its virtues. We also made it ourselves tonight and remain impressed.
Wok Fried Okra
Water is the enemy of okra. Cooking okra with water will bring out the slimy texture we all hate. Okra needs to be cooked with dry heat and the easiest way I have found is to cook it in the wok with a little oil.
Wash and dry the okra. I leave the cap on but cut off most of the stem, then slice into 3/4 quarter inch pieces. Heat the wok on high and add 1/2 to 1 Tbl of oil, corn or canola works well with the high heat. Just before the oil starts to smoke add the okra and saute, stirring frequently.
It takes about 10 minutes at most and the okra will start to get black edges and soft. Add a sprinkling of kosher salt, stir and it's ready to eat. I like to add 1/2 tsp of an Indian spice mixture called Pickle Masala after I stir in the salt. It can be purchased at the local Indian market.
If you want to make your own, there is a good recipe at Simply.food. Just type in Pickel Masala. This is about the easiest way to cook any vege. Woks rule!