~ Miso Glazed Okra ~
Okra, also known as ladies’ fingers is one of my favourite. As I read about Okra, I just discovered that its seeds may be roasted and ground to form a caffeine-free substitute for coffee. I am addicted despite it being caffeine -free! I particularly enjoy the popping effect from the edible seed pods on each bite which gives a similar effect like biting fish roes on sushi. This is what makes Okra special to me. The sensation on each bite is enjoyable when they are cooked to the right tenderness but not too soft on the inside affecting the crunchiness of the seed pods.
In the culture that I was brought up with, Okras are typically stir-fried with spicy shrimp paste or cooked with stuffed fresh fish paste in them. I prefer the latter but these days store-bought stuffed okras come with disappointing fish paste and it is not a practically easy dish to make from home. To me, making fish paste from scratch with fresh fish meat is another recipe altogether.
With our recent venture in Bentos at the Isetan supermarket, I have discovered a third recipe for Okra. Voila! This recipe has since become a practically regular dish for my family, Miso Glazed Okra. This okra side dish normally comes in small portion. The portion is so small that it is only sufficient for my little girl. As I started to fall for the sweet savoury vegetables side dish which has never failed my little girl, I have started making them at home.
Not all Okras are good. The young and tender Okras are the best to go for. It used to be a hit and miss when I first buy them from the supermarket. Now I learnt to choose the small ones around 2 to 4 inches long pods with firm and dark green colour. I will avoid any blemished, dull looking, dry and discoloured ones. The larger pods are a big no Nos too because they are usually woody and tough. Okras are usually very perishable. So, I try to cook them whilst fresh from the market.
In this Miso Glazed Okra recipe, there are 3 simple steps to complete:-
- cook some miso glaze,
- steam some okras, the Waterless way (for more on Optimising Nutrients with Waterless Vegetables, find out here) and
- pour the okras into the miso glaze and coat them well.
Although this seems to be a simple dish but there is one factor in this dish that determines the success to it. There should not be excess water to this dish. The waterless way is an ideal way to cook these okras as they do not collect and expel excessive amount of water trapped in the vegetables when coated with glaze later on. Miso glaze prepared should also be well simmered to a thick glaze with a balance proportion of miso paste, sugar and water ratio or they simply do not coat the okras well when mixed.
This Okra recipe with sweet and savoury taste is surely any family’s favourite. Nutrients are retained optimally without tolerating natural taste goodness and crunchy pods texture when they are cooked waterless under the temperature of 98°C. This is such a great recipe which I have included in my compiled list of healthy cooking for my family. What is your version of healthy vegetables recipe?
Miso Glazed Okras Recipe (Serves 2 adults and a toddler) :
- 400 grams Okras (cut horizontally into 1.5cm long)
- 1 tablespoon Miso Paste
- 1 tablespoon Brown Sugar
- 30ml Water
AMC Healthy Cooking Method :
A. Miso Glaze
- Dilute miso paste in water in an AMC 16cm Benjamin Pot unit.
- Switch on Navigenio at heat level “2” and cook till 50°C or “Meat Window”. Turn on Audiotherm, place on lid, indicating 50°C or “Meat Window”.
- When Audiotherm beeps, turn off Audiotherm. Add sugar and continue to simmer on Navigenio at heat level “2” till 98°C for about 15 minutes or until sugar is well caramelised or thicken.
B. Waterless Okras
- Place all dripping wet Okras into an AMC 20cm 3.0l HotPan Unit. Cover pan unit with lid.
- Switch on Navigenio to automatic “A”. Turn on Audiotherm, place on lid, indicating 80°C or “Carrot Window” and set 2 minutes to cook.
- When Audiotherm beeps, turn off both Navigenio & Audiotherm.
- Pour cooked okras into the Benjamin Pot unit. Coat okras well with miso glaze prepared in A above and serve warm.
Tips : Different types of vegetables require different amount of time (usually in minutes) set on Audiotherm for automatic cooking. It all depends on your desired texture and likeness. If you have young toddlers or children who prefers softer textured food, you might want to cook the vegetables a couple of minutes longer. It does make a different!