Stewed Okra, (Molondrones Guisados)

stewed okra

Meatless days... This stewed okra recipe is an excellent alternative for days when we choose to go meatless or for vegetarians. Okra, also known as gumbo or molondrones, is a very healthy vegetable. In addition to its great taste, it is high in fiber, potassium, and calcium. 

I use barbecue sauce in this dish to add a smoky flavor. My favorite way to enjoy this stew is with boiled batata (boniato). Give it a try!

gumbo, okra

stewed okra

Stewed Okra 

1 pound okra 
⅔ juice of 3 lemons
2 Tablespoons oil
3 Tablespoons Dominican Sazon or see notes
1 Tablespoon tomato paste or 2 Tablespoons tomato sauce
1 ½ teaspoon of bitter orange juice or vinegar
2 teaspoons barbecue sauce (optional)
Pinch of ground oregano
¼ cup chopped cilantro
½ -1 cup water 
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Rinse the okra well, cut off both ends and discard. Proceed to cut the vegetable into ½ inch slices and place in a bowl with enough water to cover, and half of the lemon juice. Set aside for ten minutes, discard the water, and rinse again. Drain well add the remaining lemon juice and more water and let stand while you prepare the other ingredients. This helps remove or minimize the viscous liquid this veggie has.

2. In a skillet heat the oil and cook the seasoning for about three minutes, then add tomato sauce, vinegar, barbecue sauce, and oregano and stir for about one minute. Add ½ cup water or to taste to make the sauce, as soon as it begins to boil, add the okra, and chopped cilantro; stir and cover.

3. Cook for about 20 minutes until okra is tender and forms a sauce to your liking. Remove from heat and serve. Serve with rice, tostones, or boiled plantain, cassava, or batata (sweet potatoes).

Yield: 5 servings.

a) If you do not have natural Dominican seasoning prepared, substitute the 3 tablespoons of seasoning with:
• 1 medium onion, chopped
• 3 mashed cloves garlic
• 1 cubanelle pepper or ½ bell pepper chopped

b) You can also add okra towards the end of cooking time in a pork or chicken stew is a delicious way to incorporate this healthy vegetable into your meal. The okra will absorb the flavors of the stew and add a nice texture to the dish. Plus, it's a great way to increase the nutritional value of your meal without adding any meat. 

 "Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act. Do not say to your neighbor, “Come back tomorrow and I’ll give it to you”— when you already have it with you." ~ Proverbs 3:27-28

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