Saturday, October 10, 2015

Crispy Okra Salad w/ Shrimp




We've had a lot of okra this summer. Between what we grew in our backyard and the generous offerings from work (Perks of working in Plant Bio! :))

Okra, also known as Ladies' finger or Bhindi, is a member of the mallow family and is related to those beautiful tropical Hibiscus flowers. It is most often associated State -side with the South, Louisiana and Gumbo; a reflection of the area's African, and French culinary influences. They are high in fiber, vitamin C, and is also a good source of calcium and potassium.
For most people Okra is slimy and unpleasant, but just like any other vegetable you need to learn how to cook with it before you can enjoy it. This thin sliced salad gives a different take on Okra, quickly frying it to make it crispy and crunchy, but retaining its unique flavor. Thinly sliced crisp red onions, bright red peppers, and sweet carrots are mixed with fresh cilantro, tangy lime juice, and homemade Cajun spice mix, then topped with crispy fried okra. It's a great light and tangy salad. Adding cooked shrimp to the mix makes it more of a fusion meal, or as I call it, Cajun ceviche.
Here is my recipe for Crispy Okra Salad:

Serves 4

Ingredients:
1/2 lb Okra, sliced
1 Medium Red Onion, sliced
1 Red Pepper, sliced
1 Large Carrot, julienned
1 Bunch Cilantro, chopped
1 Lime, juiced
1 1/2 Tbsp Cajun Spice Mix
Vegetable Oil
Salt & Pepper

Optional: 1lb Shrimp, Cleaned

Prep: Wash veggies, and thinly slice them. Slice the Okra long ways. Boil Shrimp.

Directions:
1. Heat Oil in a pan till medium hot. When hot, add sliced Okra a little at a time. Cook for 30s until it turns bright green and edges turn light brown, scoop out and drain on paper towels.


2. Mix Red Onions, Peppers, Carrots, and Cilantro in a bowl, add the spice mix and stir. Then add the Lime juice and stir.


3. Add the boiled Shrimp and mix thoroughly, allow flavors to meld.



4. Before you are ready to serve add the crispy Okra, and stir.





Enjoy! :)


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