Take two classic southern ingredients – okra & pecans – add some tomatoes, Thai basil and tamari and you’ve got yourself a okra & cherry tomato stir fry!
1/4 cup tamari or low sodium soy sauce
2 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar
1 tsp. mirin
dash red pepper flakes
dash ground black pepper
~15 green or purple okra pods, sliced in half lengthwise
vegetable broth for sautéing
1 small red onion, sliced into thin half moons
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup cherry tomatoes
1/4 cup toasted chopped pecans
Generous handful Thai basil, chopped (some leaves left whole for garnish, if desired)
Steamed brown rice
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. When it’s good and hot, add a light spritz of cooking spray to the entire surface of the pan. Lower the heat a little and add the okra – putting the cut sides down. You want to sear those first and fast.
Let the slices brown (but take care not to burn). This should take 4-5 minutes. Carefully flip the slices and lightly brown the other side. This will happen faster on this side so watch closely.
Remove the okra from the pan and set aside. Carefully wipe out any remaining oil and put the pan back on the heat. Add a generous splash of vegetable broth or water and add the onions. Sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for an additional minute.
Add the cherry tomatoes and cook for a few minutes – you want them heated through and softened, but not bursting. Now, turn off the heat and stir in the tamara-vinegar mixture and the Thai basil. Stir to coat the veggies.
Divide up some brown rice between 2 deep bowls. Divide the okra mixture between the bowls and top with the toasted pecans and additional Thai basil, if desired. Serve immediately.
The key to avoiding the slime is to quickly sear the okra in a very hot pan. I used a cast iron pan that was thoroughly pre-heated.
Double this, of course, if you’d like to serve 4.
Sliced, sautéed mushrooms are mighty tasty in addition to the other ingredients. Add them to the pan after the onions are slightly softened. Cook for about 5 minutes, then continue with the recipe.