I’m fortunate that even though I live outside of the Philippines, I still have access to a lot of food and ingredients that I need to make Filipino meals for my family. Canada is such a multicultural country and there are numerous asian stores in and around our area.
Okra, also called Lady’s Finger, is a staple vegetable in the Philippines. Luckily, this vegetable is also so popular in India that there’s always an abundance of good-quality ones available at the Indian market nearby. Though I’m used to the plump, lighter green-colored ones back home, I’m loving the variety that’s skinnier with a deeper green hue. But either one would be perfect for this recipe. I just buy whatever is available.
This dish is a meal by itself but if you must, it’s best paired with fish, meat or seafood that’s been fried or grilled. I don’t know about you, but I don’t think I can eat this without rice. I’m Filipino and rice is life. Enjoy!
Binagoongang Okra (Okra Sauteed in Shrimp Paste)
- 1 pound Okra stem end trimmed
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 1 small onion finely chopped
- 2 roma tomatoes finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 3 tablespoons sauteed shrimp paste* see Notes
- ¼ cup water
- Crushed chicharon pork crackling, optional
- Heat the oil in a large shallow pan. Add the onions and saute until softened. Add garlic then the tomatoes and cook for a minute (mash tomatoes with the back of the wooden spoon to release its juice).
- Put in the shrimp paste and mix for a few seconds before pouring in the water.
- Once the sauce comes to a boil, taste and adjust seasoning, if needed. Add the okra and saute (stir or toss) for 2 minutes (or less depending on the size) or until it’s cooked but still crisp. Don’t overcook.
- Turn the heat off and serve. Garnish with crushed chicharon (pork crackling), if desired.