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)
1/2 small red bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.