We occasionally get mail from people new to veganism, asking for meal suggestions. We'll often have a tofu and veggie stir fry, especially during the summer months, when the farmers market is overflowing with fresh, ripe offerings.
Now okra is something we hadn't tried until about two years ago. We had seen it at the farmers markets, but didn't have any experience with it. Then one weekend we were at Big Mama's Rib Shack in Pasadena (we were omni's then). One of the sides they offered was fried okra, so we tried that. And that was that... we were hooked.
Over time, Jane concocted this recipe. It's so easy, we are a bit reluctant to call it a recipe. But it's definitely one of our favorites. So here goes:
1 package firm tofu, drained and cubed
1 Tbs sesame oil
Olive Oil as needed
1 large onion, diced
2 pounds okra, washed and cut into ¼" pieces
3 medium tomatoes diced
½ t salt
½ t oregano
¼ t basil
two or three dashes of Braggs liquid aminos, optional
Heat sesame oil in skillet, when heated add tofu. Sautée the tofu until lightly browned, remove from pan. Add additional olive oil to pan if needed. Add diced onions and cook until onions are translucent. Add okra and cook for about five minutes, until bright green. Add tomatoes and spices, cook for two-five minutes, the okra will begin to brown and the tomatoes will cook down, then add the tofu. Stir and heat through. If using, add Braggs to taste
Makes 2-4 servings, depending how hungry you are.
It's just that easy. And we really love this dish.
If you haven't cooked with okra before, you should know that it's a little "slimy" when you cut it up. The "slime" cooks out, but if you overcook, it becomes a gelatinous mess. When you're choosing the pods, you should look for the slightly smaller pods as the larger ones tend to be tough and fibrous.