Ghanaians love okra or okro stew. More often than not, okra stew is served alongside a slightly fermented stiff porridge known as banku, however, it can be served with anything you like.
Okra stew looks complex, but it is so simple and delicious. To top it off, it is a very quick and easy dish to make. It's best to use fresh ingredients when making the stew, and you do not need to cook it for very long at all; there is no need to complicate it. Okra stew can be made in a variety of ways and even with an assortment of meats. We particularly love okra stew with seafood. Any type of seafood. Fish such as salmon or tilapia cooks in such a short time that you could actually create a lovely and simple meal in 15 minutes.
To give okra stew it's traditional flavor, the use of sustainably sourced palm fruit oil is a must. The combination of palm oil, fish, and tomato yields a very unique flavor that can be distinctly linked to Ghana. The red palm oil, rich in carotenoids, also adds vibrant color to the dish. In terms of texture and consistency, this stew can be made quite runny and can appear to be more of a soup. If you do not particularly enjoy okra when it is too slimy make sure that when you chop it up, the pieces are not too small and the cooking time is kept to a minimum. As long as the okra is cooked and tender you should be fine.
You may serve this with a variety of carbohydrate-rich sides, although you will most enjoy eating okra stew with something which can soak up all the lick-worthy sauce. Try serving the stew with polenta or semolina, and if you are already accustomed, then sadza will go perfectly with this stew.
- 2 tablespoons sustainably sourced red palm fruit oil (or vegetable oil and 1 tablespoon smoked paprika as a substitute for palm oil)
- 1 brown onion
- 2 ripe tomatoes (chopped)
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 inch of ginger
- 1 scotch bonnet (or habanero pepper)
- 40 pods/400 grams fresh okra pods
- 7 ounces/200 grams large prawns (jumbo, king)
- 7 ounces/200 grams squid rings
- 10 1/2 ounces/300 grams white flesh fish fillets (tilapia, bream)
- 8 1/2 ounces/250 milliliters chicken (or fish stock)
- Optional: 2 lobster tails
- Garnish: Spring onions
Chop the onion then fry it in the oil on medium heat until caramelized.
Add the tomatoes, garlic, pepper, and ginger to the pot and stir. If you prefer, you may liquidize the tomatoes with the ginger, garlic and a little portion of the onion together, then add to the pot. Allow it to cook until the tomatoes reduce.
Chop the okra pods by slicing them across to create round pieces. These should be about a third to half a centimeter thick.
Add the okra to the pot, followed by the prawns, squid, and fish. Top up with the stock and stir. Reduce the heat and allow to simmer for 5 to 10 minutes or until the okra is just tender.
If you want to make this dish extra impressive and you have the budget for it, get the lobster tails and place them into a baking tray.
Place them onto a tray, flesh side up. Place a teaspoon of butter on each tail, then bake in a preheated oven at 428 F/220 C (or 392 F/200 for a fan-forced oven).
Place the okra stew into a serving dish, garnish with the spring onions then top up with the lobster tails. Enjoy!