Prawns with okra

Prawns with okra

Garithes me bamyies

A la Grecque
Mark Roper

Okra is a popular vegetable in Greece where almost everyone grows it in the garden. The plant belongs to the mallow family. It has a beautiful flower and the fruits grow very quickly – from tiny to overgrown, seemingly overnight. Okra are best picked when they’re about 7–8 cm, but like zucchini, they seem to hide beneath the leaves and you need to pick them every day or risk them turning into giants. The best time to pick okra is early in the morning, and you need to wear long sleeves as the leaves are covered with tiny, prickly hairs that can irritate the skin.

In this dish the prawns and okra are cooked separately and then served together. The okra have a soft texture when they are cooked, and the prawns need to be fried on quite a high heat until they are just cooked through, but crisp and golden on the outside.


Quantity Ingredient
500g okra
125ml vinegar
1 onion, sliced
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 ripe tomatoes, halved and coarsely grated, skins discarded
125ml extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup parsley or coriander leaves, chopped
freshly ground black pepper
12 green prawns, shelled and deveined
2 tablespoons corn oil


  1. Use a sharp knife to cut around the tops of the okra to remove the rough parts and make a little pointy cap. Sprinkle with vinegar and sit in a colander for 10 minutes. Rinse thoroughly and pat dry before using.
  2. Place the okra in a saucepan with the sliced onion and garlic. Add the tomato pulp, followed by the olive oil, herbs, ½ teaspoon salt and pepper. Cover the pan with a lid and cook over a low heat for 30 minutes. The okra should be soft, but not disintegrating.
  3. Sprinkle the prawns with salt. Heat the corn oil in a frying pan. Add the prawns and sauté on a medium– high heat for 2 minutes on each side until pink and starting to turn crisp and golden brown.
  4. Serve the okra in a shallow bowl and arrange the prawns on top.
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