Nutrient-Packed Okra StIr-Fry

Okra is a finger-like vegetable popular in Africa and Asia. This okra stir-fry recipe, is inspired by African-American cuisine which is a reflection of their rich African ancestry that has been passed on from one generation to the next.

I love stir-fries. They are easy to put together. and healthy. Different vegetables are available all year. 

Okra may not be the first choice for many. Biologically they are considered a fruit. Many treat them as vegetables. In this article, we will go with the latter group.

They may not be as popular as broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, leafy greens like spinach, sweet corn and a host of others. 

However, okra is not behind in nutrients. It is one of those powerhouses of nutrients that you should include in your diet. Why?

What Are The Benefits Of Eating Okra

Okra is popularly known as ladyfinger because of its finger-like look. The vegetable contains fibre, protein, very low in calories, has no saturated fat. It is also a source of vitamins A, C and K. According to Diabetes.co.uk, there is evidence that the vegetable contains blood glucose-lowering properties.

The same source also reports that okra is beneficial for 

  1. Preventing and improving constipation
  2. Lowering cholesterol
  3. Reducing the risks of some cancers like colorectal cancer.
  4. Improving energy levels and symptoms of depression and 
  5. help in the treatment of sore throat, ulcers, lung inflammation and irritable bowel.

Can Okra Be Eaten Raw

Many fruits and vegetables are best when they are raw. Okra can be eaten raw. But they taste better when cooked. Do not overcook your vegetables.

What Does Okra Taste Like?

Okra has a mild and unique taste. Like any other vegetable, the taste is enhanced by cooking and seasoning with salt, spices, herbs, a sprinkling of dried fruits and seeds. You will love this simple okra stir-fry recipe below.

How To Cook Okra Stir-Fry?

Okra Stir-Fry

Servings: 4-6

Prep Time: 5-10min

Cooking Time: 15-20min

Ingredients

  • 3 cups of chopped okra about one inch in length
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup of prawn deveined and defrosted if frozen
  • 2 bell peppers ( may use different colours for aesthetics), chopped
  • 1 tbsp minced ginger
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1-2 teaspoon chilli pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1-2 toasted sesame seeds or almonds (optional)
  • salt to taste

Method

  1.  I used frozen okra (fresh will also work). Rinse thoroughly and dry with paper towels before chopping if not chopped. Also, pat dry the prawn to take out excess liquid. Season the prawn with salt and chilli pepper, then, set aside. Get all the other ingredients ready. 
  2. Heat one tablespoon of oil in a saucepan.
  3. Saute the prawn for 4-5 minutes then, transfer prawn and any liquid in the saucepan into a bowl.
  4. Pour remaining oil in the saucepan, when hot, saute the onion for about 6-8 minutes or until translucent.
  5. Stir in the ginger, garlic, thyme and pepper for 1-2 minutes
  6. Stir in your chopped pepper and okra, this is when stir-frying begins. Do this for about 4-8 minutes or until vegetables are tender. I do not recommend cooking longer as we do not want to lose the nutrients we need in the okra or peppers. 4-5 minutes is great. Then, stir in the prawn. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds or toasted almonds for extra flavour.
  7. Take out the prawn for a vegan or vegetarian option.
  8. Serve immediately on a bed of rice, roasted sweet potatoes or and with cornbread.

Recipe provided by www.AfricanFoods.co.uk

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