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Fried Okra with Onions, Glazed Roasted Eggplant with Thai Basil, Spicy Tofu with Peppers, Kimchi, Pan-Fried Squash Blossoms, Brown Rice


There are three simple and delicious recipes here, so I may as well describe them.

Squash Blossoms

There is something decadent about squash blossoms, despite the fact that they are so easy to prepare.

My favorite way to cook them is to heat up good quality extra virgin olive oil in a cast iron pan, add the blossoms, fry until they brown (stirring periodically), and then sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Okra with Onions

Okra is not something we get our hands on very often, since it is not usually at the Santa Cruz farmer’s market. However, this weekend we went to the Mountain View farmer’s market and brought some home. This preparation is my standard recipe for okra: fast and not slimy.

1 large onion
1 lb okra (approx)
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbl grapeseed oil

Chop the onion into medium-large square pieces. Place in a bowl. Rinse the okra and slice into approx. 1/4″ thick slices (it will make a slimy mess on your cutting board). Place in bowl with onions. The onions and the okra should be similar size pieces, and there should be slightly more okra than onions, but not too much more.

Heat the oil in a frying pan over med-high heat (preferably cast iron). Add the okra and onions and sprinkle with salt. Fry over highish heat until everything starts getting dark brown, stirring periodically; 15-20 min. Add salt to taste.

Roasted Glazed Eggplant

I frequently roast eggplant and then add it to another recipe. This way you get the silky texture associated with deep-fried eggplant, but roasting is much easier. Tonight however, I wanted to save time — so I roasted it in a sauce. I don’t remember exact measurements, but I wrote down what I threw in order or magnitude (starting with the largest).

Kecap Manis
Lime Juice
Thai Basil Leaves
Big Hunks of Fresh Ginger
Minced Garlic

Mix the sauce to taste, toss the chopped eggplant with it, place in a shallow pan in a 425ยบ oven until glazed and soft — 20-25 min, stirring occasionally.

Note on Ingredients:
Kecap Manis (pronounced “ketchup man-ees”) is an Indonesian sweet soy sauce. It is delicious and very useful, so I would recommend you get some. You can find it in most Asian groceries, near the other soy sauces (I like ABC brand). However, if you do not have any, you can sub hoisin sauce or a mixture of soy sauce & molasses or brown sugar.

Tamarind adds a distinctive sweet/sour flavour (primarily sour). Just add more lime juice or rice vinegar if you have none.