When I saw this box of okra at The Fresh Market, I admit I thought it was just dried-out pathetic Yankee okra, saying to myself, "This is my choice if I want fresh OKRA?!" But, I was in the bulk section and should have realized this was something altogether different: okra chips.
I've written about okra before and the variety of ways it can be prepared. It's thought of as a Southern food and either you like it or you don't. I guess that isn't quite true: some people will eat okra that is fried, but no other way. I will eat it anyway you prepare it:
- Stewed with tomatoes? Check.
- Cooked in a gumbo? Check. (As long as its veggie!)
- Fried in cornmeal? Check.
- Little okra patties? Check.
- Pickled? Check.
- Homemade double-hot pickled? Double check.
- Boiled and topped with butter and coarse salt? Check.
You name it and I will eat it. Story is, when I was a babe my dad would pick okra from the garden and leave the stems long so I could grasp them in my very fat hands and cram the boiled okra into my fat little face. Supposedly, I ate twenty-something (small) pieces of okra in one sitting. In other words, I was born to eat okra.
And these okra chips might possible be the best preparation of okra ever invented. The pods, a relative of the hibiscus which is why their green grassy flavor is accented by a slightly floral note (something only an okra connoisseur would say), are flash fried resulting in a crispy, crunchy non-greasy piece of deliciousness. Okra chips have all of the amazing flavor of fried okra, but none of the slime that is the primary objection most people give about the vegetable. Light, green and delicious. I wish they had a little bit of heat, but since the chips are just okra it would be difficult to do. No matter, I'll serve them with a little bit of sriracha sauce for dipping.
If you don't have the Fresh Market in your neighborhood, not to worry: you can order the okra chips from them online.