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 simple and delicious, and very quick to make. It's best to use fresh ingredients when making the stew. Okra stew can be made in a variety of ways and even with an assortment of meats or seafood.
To give okra stew its traditional flavor, use of sustainably sourced palm oil is a must. The combination of palm oil, fish, and tomato yields a unique flavor that can be distinctly linked to Ghana. 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. Keep cooking time to a minimum to avoid overcooking the okra, which can yield an unpleasant texture.
Serve this stew with polenta or semolina, or homemade sadza.
- 2 tablespoons red palm oil
- 1 yellow onion (chopped)
- 2 ripe tomatoes (chopped)
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 inch of ginger
- 1 scotch bonnet (or habanero pepper)
- 40 pods/400 grams fresh okra (trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces)
- 7 ounces/200 grams large shrimp
- 7 ounces/200 grams squid (cut into rings)
- 10 1/2 ounces/300 grams white fish fillets (like tilapia or bream)
- 8 1/2 ounces/250 milliliters chicken or fish stock
- Optional: 2 lobster tails (in-shell, raw)
- Optional: Butter (for brushing)
- Garnish: Chopped scallions
Gather the ingredients.
Heat the oil on medium heat in a large saucepan, and saute the onions until softened (about 5 minutes).
Add the tomatoes, garlic, pepper, and ginger to the pot and stir. Allow to cook until the tomatoes reduce (about 15 minutes).
Add the okra to the pot, followed by the prawns, squid, and fish. Add the stock and stir. Reduce the heat and allow to simmer for 5 to 10 minutes or until the okra is just tender, then remove from heat to prevent overcooking.
Preheat the oven to 400 F. Place the lobster tails flesh side-up on a baking sheet and brush generously with butter.
Bake for 12-15 minutes (depending on size), then remove from the oven, and brush with a little extra butter.
Transfer the okra stew into a serving dish, garnish with the spring onions, then top with the lobster tails.