Jamaican Okra Recipe With Saltfish
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What is okra?
This okra recipe is very popular in Jamaican and is usually served for breakfast or dinner. If you aren't familiar with okra it is a vegetable that looks like long pointy fingers, green in color with seeds inside its pods.
This vegetable is eaten when green and in its young stage when the pods are tender and easy to chew and swallow. Ripened pods tend to be fibrous and hard to chew or swallow.
It is believed that this vegetable originated in either Asia or Africa, no one is really certain of the origin. (To the right is a photo of the okra plant). Even though the origin of the okra is still in contention, the name "okra" derives from West Africa. Okra goes by other names such as lady's fingers, gombo, kingombo and Bhindi and vendakkai.
Regardless of where the okra originated or its name, it is good vegetable to have on your table. The okra has a slimy substance when cut and tend to be even slimier when overcooked. It can be eaten raw or cooked.
There are many ways okra can be prepared such as:
- Batter fried
- Crispy fried
- Makes a great gumbo
- Great for thickening soups and stews
- Great with fish as we often use it in Jamaica
- 1/2 lb (1 1/2 doz) okra
- 1/4 lb salted cod fish
- 1 small onion
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 stalk scallion
- 1 scotch bonnet pepper
- black pepper
- 4 tbsp vegetable oil
- First step is to rinse the excess salt from the codfish. You have two choices : (a) boil the codfish for 15 minutes (b) soak for 10 minutes, then strip the scale side off. Cut the codfish into bite size pieces then soak another 10 - 15 minutes. Squeeze excess water from fish before using.
- After you prepare your codfish, set aside.
- Prepare your okra by putting one 2 cups of water to boil. in the meantime, trim the stems and the tips from the okra then cut each okra into tow or three, depending on your preference.
- When the water boils turn off flames and place the okra in the pot and cover. Let sit for 5 minutes then drain.
- Prepare your seasoning by slicing onion, shop garlic, chop scallion and pepper.
- Heat oil in skillet until very hot in high. Fry cod fish for a few minutes than add seasoning and reduce flames to medium. Stir fry for another 3 minutes.
- Add black pepper and stir fry another 30 seconds, then add okra. Reduce flames to medium low, stir and cover.
- Let steam for about 5 minutes then your okra and saltfish is ready.
|Serving size: 100g|
|Calories from Fat||0|
|% Daily Value *|
|Fat 0 g|
|Saturated fat 0 g|
|Unsaturated fat 0 g|
|Carbohydrates 7 g||2%|
|Sugar 1 g|
|Fiber 3 g||12%|
|Protein 2 g||4%|
|Cholesterol 0 mg|
|* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.|
- When buying okra just break off one of the tips to see if it breaks easily. If the okra is too soft, which means it was no freshly picked it won't snap.
- Okra should be firm to the touch and not sagging or soft
- If the okra is firm but the tip does not break easily, that means the okra is too old and fibrous
- Don't overcook your okra so don't cook too long
- The color should be bright green when cooked. If the color is pale green or starts to get an olive brown color then you have definitely overcooked your okra.
- Add a teaspoon of vinegar to water when blanching okra (and any other green vegetable), this help retain the bright green color.