Okra-Shallot Stir-Fry

Okra is widely available in Burma, a reminder that the nation borders on Bangladesh and India, where okra is a common and much appreciated vegetable.

This is a quick pan-fry of chopped okra and shallots. Because it’s cut small, the okra gets crispy at the edges and is quickly cooked. The shallots give a hint of sweet and balance while the ginger and cayenne add a bit of warmth. I like to serve this as a side with beef stew or a hearty soup.


  • ½ pound okra
  • 3 tablespoons peanut oil
  • teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 cup thinly sliced shallots
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 1 teaspoon minced green cayenne chile
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce
  • ¾ teaspoon salt, or to taste


Cut the stems off the okra, and the tips too, if they are tough. Cut the okra into ¼-inch-wide slices. (You will have about 3 cups.) Set aside.

Place a wok or wide heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the oil, and then after a few moments, the turmeric. Stir for a moment, add the shallots, and sauté, stirring occasionally, until they are translucent and starting to brown in spots, about 5 minutes. Add the ginger, stir, and cook for several minutes until softened.

Raise the heat to high and add the okra. Cook, stirring frequently, for several minutes, then add the green chile, fish sauce, and salt. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the okra is tender and has some brown spots.

Turn out into a shallow bowl and serve hot or at room temperature.