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Spicy Fried Okra with Crispy Shallots

Okra is a common ingredient in Singaporean cooking; Chris Yeo was thrilled at how easy it is to find in Atlanta. He sautes the okra pods in hot oil until they're browned and crisp, then stir-fries them with chile sauce and pungent dried shrimp (widely available in Asian markets).


slideshow  More Fast Asian Recipes


  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 10

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  • Vegetable oil, for deep frying
  • 2 tablespoons dried shrimp
  • 2 large shallots, thinly sliced
  • 2 pounds okra, sliced diagonally 1/2 inch thick
  • 3 tablespoons sambal oelek (see Note)
  • Salt
  • 1/2 small red bell pepper, thinly sliced


  1. In a large saucepan, heat 2 inches of vegetable oil to 350°. In a bowl, cover the dried shrimp with hot water. Let soak for 10 minutes. Drain and chop the shrimp.
  2. Add the sliced shallots to the hot oil and cook until browned and crisp, about 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the shallots to a plate.
  3. Reheat the oil to 350°. Set a large rack over a baking sheet near the stove. Add the okra to the hot oil and fry until softened and bright green, about 1 minute. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the okra to the large rack.
  4. Heat a large skillet. Add the okra and dried shrimp and stir-fry over high heat until hot, about 1 minute. Add the sambal oelek and toss to coat the okra. Remove the skillet from the heat and season the okra with salt. Transfer the okra to a large, shallow bowl. Top with the fried shallots and red pepper and serve.


Sambal oelek, a spicy Indonesian chile sauce, is available at Asian markets and at specialty-food stores.

Contributed By Photo © John Kernick Published May 2009

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