Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Fourth Photo in the Fourth Folder of My Photo Archive

Long-time readers of this blog know that I do not do tags and I do have a few that will never see the light of day, unfortunately. Oops! I find them too much work (read thinking) involved.

Well, there is always a first time to everything, so this post is in response to a tag that the Moody Minstrel bestowed upon me. Despite not doing one from him ealier, MM figured this one would get me, and it did. No Q&A. I'll do it.

I am supposed to pick a photo, the fourth photo from the fourth folder of my photo archive and talk about it. And then I am supposed to pass the tag on to four other victims.

What I found is interesting. It is a picture of a vegetable, an unpicked sexy, long cool okra. Over here, we know this vegetable as ladies-fingers, for obvious reasons.

This photo was taken on my recent trip to East Malaysia, in Sibu, to be exact. These plants were in the garden of the home we visited. What was fascinating was that it was the only fruit left behind and it was something like eight inches long, maybe slightly more. I suppose since it has grown to this length, it probably is too old to be eaten and old okras do not taste good and so could have been left behind to adorn the plant. Or it could have been the one and only fruit of the season. Whatever..

Found some interesting things about the okra on Wikipedia. It says the leaves can be eaten too. That is news as over here, we eat only the fruit of the okra. The leaves can be cooked or eaten raw in salads. Okra seeds may be roasted and ground to form a non-caffeinated substitute for coffee. Okra oil is a pressed seed oil, extracted from the seeds of the okra. The greenish yellow edible oil has a pleasant taste and odor, and is high in unsaturated fats.

And oh, okra contains male contraceptive gossypol. Tests have shown that it causes infertility in men and in some countries, acts as an alternative to vasectomy.

There are several ways we cook okra here. I like mine cut in cross-section slices fried in chillies and dried prawns. Another way of cooking okra would be to cook them in water, remove and shred them up with a fork and then fold in fried garlic in soya and oyster sauces and fresh chillies cut up into bits. And who can forget okra in Yong Tau Foo. This is a famous Chinese soup dish with Hakka origins commonly found in Singapore and Malaysia.

From Wikipedia..

Yong tau foo is essentially a clear consomme soup containing a varied selection of food items including fish balls, crab sticks, bittergourds, cuttlefish, lettuce, ladies fingers, as well as chilis, and various forms of fresh produce, seafood and meats common in Chinese cuisine. Some of these items, such as bittergourd and chili, are usually filled with fish paste (surimi). The foods are then sliced into bite-size pieces, cooked briefly in boiling broth and then served either in the broth as soup or with the broth in a separate bowl. The dish is eaten with chopsticks and a soup spoon and can be eaten by itself or with any choice of egg or rice noodles, or bee hoon (rice vermicelli). Another variation of this dish is to serve it with laksa. Essential accompaniments are spicy, vinegary chili sauce, similar to Indonesian sambal oelek, and a distinctive brown sweet noodle sauce or hoisin sauce for dipping.

And now, who shall I tag to keep this going. I tag Mei Teng, Quachee, Foongpc and Furkids in Hong Kong. Looking forward to reading what you'll find in the fourth folder of your photo archive, but of course, you can choose not to do it but I know you will, afterall it is such a fun and no-thinking-required tag. ;)


  1. Anonymous8:12 PM

    Aargh...just after one day admitting I hate tags on Foong's blog, I have now become a 'tag victim'...hahha. I shall oblige on this one becoz it's a photo tag and I have got gazillions of them so no sweat. Otherwise, it'll be a no no..:)

  2. Anonymous9:17 PM

    Btw, that's one unusual looking okra! :)

  3. Oooh another kind of tag...

  4. BTW I'm following you on twitter :D

  5. heya happysurfer very good info u provided - to be able to eat em leaves!

    and nice tag.. hmm, i should be able to do it. but after this east malaysia trip series is completed hehe

  6. Yong tau foo is such a common food here. You can write something about it based on your own experience. No need to copy from Wikipedia lah...

  7. Oh no! Not another tag! But I think this is OK to do. Looks like bloggers who don't do tags like Mei Teng and QuaChee also agree (surprisingly!) to do them.

    Btw, interesting info on the okra! : )

  8. Mei Teng, and why do you think I tag you? For your gazillions, of course. LOL! Glad you're up for it. Looking forward to the photo.

    Btw, that's one unusual looking okra! :)

    I thought so too and I was fascinated by its size/length. Size does matter, eh? Shhhhhh.....

  9. Jim, this one sounds like fun and easy enough, eh? Feel free to do it. I'm sure everyone would like to know what's the fourth photo in the fourth folder of your photo archive.

    You're following me on Twitter? Oh, great! Thanks. I'll be glad to follow you back.

  10. QC, frankly, I've never seen an okra plant until that time and in the market, we don't even get to see the leaves let alone know that they are edible.

    Take your time. Glad you are up for it too.

    Are you still in East Malaysia? Did you visit the orangutan in Kuching?

  11. KS, LOL! You do have a point there but why reinvent the wheel, eh? Besides, wiki offers really good info generally.

    Btw, where do you go for Yong Tau Foo mostly? My all-time favourite is the one at the end of Ampang town main street. The shop is called Hoong Hoong, I think. The one in Madras Lane in Chinatown is nowhere as good, IMO. The Ampang town YTF is not halal as they use pork as well. Not surprsing that they serve the best YTF as this is a Hakka dish and Ampang folks are mostly Hakka.

  12. Foong, glad you are up for it too. But of course! It's such a fun and easy tag, right? hehe..

    You are welcome on the okra information.

  13. Thanks for doing the tag, Happy! That is one wild pic!

  14. MM, you are welcome. Wild pic it is. I was thrilled when I first laid eyes on it. That's not all as on the other side of the compound, there was a row of VERY TALL corn/maize plants. They were something like eight or nine feet tall and I have never seen such tall corn/maize plants. Fertile soil and lots of care and love and green thumb, I suppose.

  15. Crazy okra. Must have been seeking more light. I never cared for okra much until I had it prepared by friend who cooked it "Southern style" - as in New Orleans. Yum.

  16. PandaB, you may be right about seeking more light or perhaps gravity gets the upper hand, some.

    That Southern style cooking must have been something - enough to make you an okra convert. LOL!

    Word verification:
    Cendseat - an okra that can't sit center.