Okra Tempura

imageOkra is overly underrated. Sure, it takes some getting used to its slimy texture and its seemingly bland taste, but with the right combination and creative preparation, it could be a gem on one’s kitchen menu. Okra has long been an essential accompaniment in Southern-style cooking in the form of  a cornmeal-breaded delight,  especially when partnered with  cajun-style catfish. In the Philippines, signature dishes like the Ilocano pinakbet won’t be complete without okra.  But wait, okra in a sushi bar?

That’s right, Japanese tempura is not limited to shrimp. Carrots, broccoli and sweet potato make great vegetable tempuras. And so does okra. With the right seasoning, breading and dipping sauce, okra tempura could definitely be a culinary favorite for vegetable-conscious tempura lovers. Like me.

INGREDIENTS

12 pcs okra, cap chopped off

1 large egg yolk

1 cup coconut-flavored soda ( Coco Roco, available at Asian grocery store)

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup Panko bread crumbs

2 tbsps honey

2 tbsps soy sauce

2 tbsps lemon juice

1 tsp red chili flakes

1/3 cup chopped scallions

1/2 cup Olive oil

imageDIRECTIONS

Prepare the sauce by mixing honey, soy sauce, red flakes and scallions in a small bowl. Set aside. Slice the okra in half, lengthwise. In a medium bowl whisk together egg yolk and coconut juice. Slowly mix in the flour and continue to whisk until a thick batter forms. Place bread crumbs on a flat plate or clean surface. In a large frying pan, heat Olive oil in medium heat. Using a tong, dip each okra slice in the batter then coat generously with bread crumbs. Fry the breaded okra in batches turning over once. When the batter turns golden brown, remove okra from heat and place on a plate lined with paper towel to drain excess oil. Serve warm with the prepared sauce.

Makes 4 servings

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