Lady Fingers with Spicy Chili Shrimp Paste (Har Bee)


I love lady's finger!(also known as okra) and my favourite way to eat it is to just sprinkle it with salt and toss it on the BBQ and yes, eat it stem and all.

These lovely baby lady's fingers caught my eyes in the market the other day, and I have to buy it, not only it was fresh and young, it was on offer!

How do I cook it will depend very much on the mood I am feeling at the time of cooking.
If I am in the "lazy" or "diet" mode, I will blanch it and eat it straight up.
Since I was feeling rather energetic, I make the paste from scratch.

The dry shrimps will require some soaking, rinsing and then pat-dry.
I like my paste somewhat coarse with some bite so I happily pound the soaked dried shrimps using my old but trusty pestle and mortar.
You can use a blender but the paste may appear too fine.

My method called for the lady fingers to be blanch with its entire stem intact, the chilli shrimp paste fried to enhance the flavour and to give it a rich and appetizing colour.

I usually cook a big batch of the chili shrimp paste, keep the extras in the fridge (up to a week) and freeze the rest for "lazy days".
It is a versatile and handy paste, I use it for stir fry with Kang Kong or simply eat it as many of us remembered; wrap it with roti (bread).

Yum max!
Spicy Chilli Shrimp Paste

You will need:

300gm of lady's fingers (okra)
200gm dried shrimps (soaked, cleaned and pounded)
100ml of oil

Spice paste
4-5 fresh red chillies
5 large dried red chillies (soaked and drain)
1 clove of garlic
12 shallots
1 tsp belachan, toasted
2 tbsp water
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt


1. Bring water to a boil in a pot or wok and add a tsp of salt. Add in the lady's fingers and cook till a  
    fork will pierce it easily(around 5-7mins)

2. Remove, drain and arrange on a serving plate

3. Heat the wok and pour in the oil, saute the spice paste until aromatic with lower heat, about 5

4. Add the dried shrimps and stir-fry till fragrant.

5. Dish onto arranged lady's fingers or return lady's fingers to the wok and toss together.

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