Monday, August 31, 2009

Cajun Tempura Okra with Scallion Dipping Sauce

I have to admit that I’ve never eaten okra except as an ingredient in a dish, such as gumbo. But when we received a bag of fresh okra in our CSA share, I was excited to try it in a classic Southern fried dish. I used my candy thermometer to keep an eye on the temperature of the oil as I was cooking. The batter coated okra had a tendency of sticking together while cooking, so you need to work to separate them and not overcrowd the pot.

This was a pretty tasty dish. The tempura batter fried up quite nicely and maintained a good flavor, thanks to the Cajun seasoning. The dipping sauce was a nice cooling element to the hot okra, with a little bit of spice and sweetness.

Cajun Tempura Okra with Scallion Dipping Sauce, Paula Deen

For the Tempura Batter
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup cornstarch
1 tablespoon sugar
16 ounces soda water

For the Okra
Peanut oil, for frying
2 pound fresh okra stem removed and halved
3 tablespoons Cajun seasoning
1 cup all-purpose flour
Kosher salt, for seasoning

Scallion Dipping Sauce, recipe follows

Whisk tempura ingredients together and let chill.

Heat peanut oil in deep-fryer or a large Dutch oven to 375 degree F.

In a shallow pie plate, add flour and 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning and mix well.

Season okra with 2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning. Dip okra in seasoned flour and then in tempura batter and place in oil, 1 at a time and fry until golden, about 4 minutes. Remove to a paper towel lined sheet tray. Season with salt.

Serve with Scallion Dipping Sauce.

Scallion Dipping Sauce
16 ounces sour cream
1 cup chopped scallions
¼ cup honey
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon salt

In a medium sized bowl, whisk together all ingredients.

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