Did you ever have that one vegetable you sincerely hated?
I hated okra with every slimy fibre of its being. This was one of my mom’s favorite veggies and on a night when we didn’t prepare much food, she always had some form of boiled okra on our table. As a kid, I did not enjoy its mushy slimy texture. Even when I was hooked on natto, I just could not seem to love okra. It was bland, mushy, and unnecessarily slimy. It wasn’t until I tasted the okra at my friend’s house that I realised that our family had misunderstood okra. My friend’s okra in ponzu was a fresh and simple dish that brightened even the slimiest lady finger.
Since I felt okra was the most dubious of vegetables, I had my hesitations when my friend Y placed a bowl of okra on our dinner table. Y’s family has been my source of home-cooked Japanese dishes and never did I ever have a bad dish in their home. However, okra. OKRA!?! I didn’t even think okra was in the Japanese menu! I asked Y about the okra and she was quite enthusiastic about it. She noticed my raised brow yet she assured me that this okra tastes great and that her sister C had an awesome technique to make this okra work. Hence, I placed my doubts aside and gave that okra a shot. I guess, the rest is history.
Okra’s a luxury here in Australia. It’s regularly at 13AUD/kilo which is roughly 600PHP which is crazy since we pay 40PHP or 1.5 AUD for kilo! So when I see fresh okra at a much lower price (I usually buy when it’s below 10 AUD), I buy a few and cook this refreshing okra dish.
- 10 fingers of okra
- 1 stalk of spring onion, finely sliced
- 2-3 tbsp of ponzu sauce
- a pinch of grated ginger
- Boil water and place the clean whole okra for one minute or until the skin becomes a deeper shade of green. I usually sing twinkle twinkle little star twice before I take it off the heat.
- Drain the okra and immediately steep it in cold water. Cool it until it's mildly colder than your hand.
- Slice the top off the okra and cut it into 1 cm thick rings
- In a bowl, mix the ponzu, ginger, okra, and spring onion.
- Serve at room temperature or cold
- This keeps in the fridge for 2-4 days. It's a great side for bento!