Okro Stew

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Okro Stew is immensely popular all over Ghana. Try some, you will see why!

Biswarup Ganguly

(Photo Attributed to Author: Biswarup Ganguly)

Okro Stew Recipe-

Ingredients:
  • 1 pound of stewing Beef, cut into 1/2″ to 1″ cubes
  • 1/2 pound of Wele (cow skin, you can usually get this from your local butcher/meat market)
  • 1/2 medium sized wild caught Salmon fillets
  • 1 pound chopped Okro – fresh if in season where you live, or fresh picked canned okra
  • 1 medium tomato
  • 1 large Onion
  • 1 Maggi seasoning cube (an essential ingredient, if you want the true, authentic Ghanaian flavor)
  • 3 – 4 Scotch Bonnet peppers
  • 3 or 4 Garden Eggs (or baby eggplants)
  • 1/2 cup red palm Oil
  • Salt
  • Baking Soda
Directions:
  1. Chop the onion and cut and season the meat. Leave it to marinate for about 15 minutes.
  2. Put the meat in a pot and steam. Don’t add any water, the meat will release its juices. If the juices are drying up and the meat is still tough, add some water and keep it on the burner until it is tender enough for your taste.
  3. Meanwhile you can blend the tomato and pepper. The mixture will come out looking more green than red since there is just one tomato.
  4. Wash and cut the wele into 2″ x 2″ pieces and wash thoroughly. Depending on where you got it and what state it was in, you may have to peel a black layer from the inside. You can have this done at the market. When you get it from a supermarket, this is already done. If it is real thick and stiff, steam it in salted water with some bay leaves. Some people steam it with the meat, but I think it overwhelms the taste and smell of the meat.
  5. If you haven’t chopped the okro, now would be a good time to do it. I usually chop it as soon as I get back from the market, then freeze it till i need it. Keeping it in the fridge for a few days is alright but longer than that and it tends to become tough and stringy.
  6. Cut the stalks off the Garden eggs then cut them lengthwise down the middle. Put them in a pot with enough water to cover them then bring to a boil. Cover and cook till the white fleshy part turns translucent (10-15 minutes). Separate the flesh from the seeds and skin, add a little water and blend till smooth.
  7. Heat the Palm oil in a pot and fry the onions.
  8. Fry until they get soft but not long enough to start browning. Add the tomato/pepper puree and simmer until the liquid evaporates and it begins to fry.
  9. While the sauce cooks, get your salmon ready. If it’s straight from the market, split it down the middle and rinse out the insides (the inside are not removed from fish that is to be smoked) as well as the outside. Be sure to keep the skin. It is a personal favorite of mine although some people don’t like it. If you are like me, you probably buy a batch and freeze, in which case just take out however much you want to use.
  10. Add the salmon, meat, wele and garden egg puree. Stir gently for a minute or 2 then add a cup of water and lower the fire.
  11. Put the chopped Okro in a pot, add 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Add 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda. Keep stirring till it gets very slimy, that is what we are aiming for. The slimier it gets, the better.
  12. After a while it will be bubbling up. When it threatens to boil over the edge of the pot, it is ready.
  13. Add the okro to the main pot and stir it in.
  14. Lower the fire some more and leave to simmer gently until the okro is very soft and the broth has acquired the desired slimy consistency.
  15. Serve Okro Stew with Banku, Fufu, or Kenkey.

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