I found some gorgeous fresh okra at the farmers’ market and as I’m in a Japanese phase I found a simple recipe that is both delicate and yummy. And nutritious! The secret is not to overcook the okra so it retains its crispness and you don’t get the slime that most people associate with this lovely vegetable. It keeps for a couple of days so worth doing a quantity. I always have the ingredients to make dashi in the store cupboard so this is easy.
Serves 4 as a side salad
- 500g/1 lb okra or less
- 4 tbs mirin
- 4 tbs soy sauce
- 2 cups dashi made with kombu (seaweed) and katsuobushi (bonito flakes, available from all oriental supermarkets)
- katsuobushi to decorate
Top and tail okra. Rub salt over the fingers so they retain their green colour. Blanch in boiling water for 2-3 minutes. Plunge in iced water or run under cold tap. Drain.
Make the dashi in advance. Then boil up the mirin in a saucepan until alcohol has evaporated – about 2 minutes. Add the soy sauce and dashi. Let it cool.