Okra, roasted chilli, ginger and garlic

Okra, roasted chilli, ginger and garlic

By
From
Finding Fire
Serves
4

Okra, also known as ladies fingers, releases mucilage upon cooking, giving the dish gumbo its thickened texture as well as its name. Unless it is required for thickening a soup or a stew, this slimy texture is less than desirable, so okra benefits from being cooked quickly. The intense heat of the grill is ideal, as the resulting okra is gently charred and verdant. Its relatively mild flavour makes it an ideal vehicle to carry the smoky flavour of the embers and the slight bitter quality of the inner seeds is sweetened by the caramelised chilli, garlic and ginger.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
100ml grapeseed oil
1 fresh chilli, deseeded and finely sliced
sea salt
300g okra

For the aromatic oil

Quantity Ingredient
100ml grapeseed oil
large pinch of dried chilli flakes
20g ginger, peeled and finely chopped
20g garlic, peeled and finely chopped
sea salt

Method

  1. 1. Make an ice bath, sitting a metal bowl in it to cool.
  2. 2. Prepare the aromatic oil. In a small saucepan, heat the grapeseed oil to 100°C (210°F) and fry the chilli flakes, ginger and garlic until just golden brown.
  3. 3. Remove from the heat and immediately pour into the metal bowl to cool (see Note). Season with sea salt. Place in a clean container and leave to infuse for 6 hours or overnight – this results in a much more rounded flavour.
  4. 4. In a pan, heat the grapeseed oil to 140°C (285°F) and fry the fresh chilli until crisp. Remove, season and drain on paper towel.
  5. 5. Prepare your embers until glowing and bright. Suspend the grill cooling rack approximately 5 cm (2 in) over the embers.
  6. 6. Grill the okra over intense heat for approximately 2 minutes on either side, or until lightly charred, seasoning as you turn them. Immediately transfer to a clean bowl and combine with the aromatic oil.
  7. 7. Serve immediately, garnished with the fried chilli threads.

NOTE

  • The ginger and chilli oil needs time to infuse, so begin the recipe at least 6 hours ahead of time.

    Once the ginger and garlic are caramelised, it is important to cool the mixture immediately to arrest the cooking process; this ensures the end result is sweet and nutty, and not bitter. The flavoured oil will last up to 3 months if stored in a cool cupboard.
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