Okra, that seasonal summer vegetable that many love to hate. But, cooked properly it is definitely worth eating. While the origin of okra is often disputed, it grows well in a wide variety of warm climates. It is adaptable to both humid & dry conditions and is largely unaffected by pests and disease.
Okra is a member of the Mallow family, related to cotton, hibiscus and hollyhocks. An upright plant with hibiscus-like flowers gives okra an ornamental value as well.
Probably the most unusual feature that this vegetable has is the gummy, gelatinous substance released from its pods when cooked. The thickening agent makes it a popular ingredient in gumbos and soups. But, there’s much more to okra than soups and stews. Roasting at a high temperature will turn it into crispy, flavorful okra fries.
Since it pairs well with most any meat or seafood, I decided to make some braised beef short ribs with stir-fried okra and Jasmine rice.