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This okra fried rice with a coconut broth base, delicious aromatics, and fried okra will be your new favorite side dish. Influenced by the Caribbean, this okra coconut rice transforms white rice into a dish packed full of flavor. A fried rice recipe that will have you loving okra.
Okra is a plant seed pod filled with tiny seeds and a sweet earthy flavor. It gets a bad reputation for being ‘slimy’, but when cooked correctly, it crisps up beautifully and enhances it’s flavor. Okra is rich in Vitamin A, C, and magnesium, so it’s a great addition to add to your meals.
How to cook okra
To minimize the sliminess of okra, there are a few different ways to prepare it. It is said to keep okra whole or in large pieces, because the more you slice it, the more mucous it releases. You can roast or grill large pieces of okra, but my favorite way to use okra is to fry it. This allows you to cut the okra into smaller pieces and as the okra fries, it rids itself of the sliminess.
Base of okra rice
The base of the okra rice is a coconut rice. I use a long grain rice such as basmati (you can also substitute jasmine rice) and a combination of coconut milk and chicken broth (you can also use vegetable). Since coconut milk is thicker than broth/water, the liquid ratio for the rice is a 1/4 cup more than what the rice directions call for. I utilize 1 cup dry rice to get 3 cups cooked rice.
Frying the okra
In a 1/4 cup of oil over medium/high heat, fry the okra for about 3-4 minutes till it begins to brown. To start, some of the okra will stick together due to the release of the mucous, but you will see as it fries, that it becomes less and less slimy.
Okra rice base
Once the okra has been fried/browned, lower the heat to medium and add in finely chopped onion, all spice, paprika, and kosher salt. Continue to sauté till the onion begins to brown, about 4 minutes. Add in the minced garlic and minced fresh ginger root. Continue to sautan additional minute until fragrant.
The coconut rice should be fluffy and fully cooked through, once it is done cooking. Add the cooked coconut rice into the pot with the fried okra and aromatics.
Finishing okra fried rice
After you have added the coconut rice into the fried okra, turn the heat off. Using a silicone spatula to get all the corners, begin mixing the coconut rice and fried okra. As you mix all the delicious spices and aromatics will begin to turn the rice into a golden brown color.
The fried rice should be fully coated and no white colored rice remaining. Then taste and adjust the salt if needed. I top the okra fried rice with fresh scallions to serve.
The okra fried rice was made to go with my jerk chicken recipe. This rice is a great side dish to any spicy protein, due to the cooling of the coconut in the rice. This okra fried rice was inspired by the many meals I’ve enjoyed in the Caribbean and I hope it can transport you to somewhere tropical as well.
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Okra Fried Rice
- 1 cup uncooked basmati or jasmine rice
- 1 cup chicken broth or vegetable broth
- 3/4 cup full fat coconut milk (see note)
- 1/4 cup oil
- 1 cup sliced okra (1/4in thick)
- 1/3 cup finely chopped yellow onion
- 1 teaspoon ground all spice
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika (you can also use hot paprika if you like spicy)
- 3 cloves garlic (finely minced or pressed)
- 1 inch fresh ginger root (peeled and minced)
- Garnish: Chopped scallions
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- In a small pot over high heat, add coconut milk and broth. Using a whisk, whisk until coconut chunks have dissolved. Bring to a boil, add in the rice, cover and lower heat. Cook duration according to package instruction (typically around 20 minutes).
- In a dutch oven or heavy bottomed skillet, over medium/high heat, add in the oil. Once hot, add in the sliced okra and fry for 3-4 minutes until it begins to brown. To start, some of the okra will stick together due to the release of the mucous, but you will see as it fries, that it becomes less and less slimy.
- Lower the heat to medium and add in the: onion, all spice, paprika, and kosher salt. Continue to sauté till the onion begins to brown, about 4 minutes. Add in the minced garlic and minced fresh ginger root. Sauté an additional minute until fragrant.
- Once the coconut rice is finished cooking, it should be fluffy and fully cooked through. Add the cooked coconut rice into the pot with the fried okra and turn the heat off. Using a silicone spatula to get all the corners, begin mixing the coconut rice and fried okra. As you mix all the delicious spices and aromatics will begin to turn the rice into a golden brown color.
- Once the rice is fully coated and no white colored rice remains, taste and adjust the salt if needed. Top the okra fried rice with fresh scallions to serve.
- Enjoy alongside my jerk chicken recipe!
- Since full fat coconut milk is thicker than broth/water, the liquid ratio for the rice is a 1/4 cup more than what the rice directions call for. So if the rice directions call for 1 1/2 cups water, 1 cup will be the broth and then you would use 3/4 cup full fat coconut milk.
- Use a long grain rice such as basmati or jasmine rice
- 1 cup dry will equal 3 cups once cooked