Hardy Crops Series #1: Okra (秋葵)


Note: This writeup focus on growing different type of Okra and the respective farm to table concept. Simple delicious meals that can be easily whipped up and serve in the most back to basic and down to earth form. 万事浅中出. 
No part of writeup from this site can be reused in any way without written permission from the blog writer.

#JapaneseOkra #ChaiTaiRedOkra #BLHGreenOkra #StarOfDavidOkra

Okra is a relatively easy crop to grow in hot tropical weather. As long as your soil is loamy, watering is sufficient and with good sunlight ( Average to strong is fine. They are not fussy), they will grow and fruit. Having high yield is a different story. 

We grew 4 cultivars of Okra this round. Two from self saved seeds and 2 from stored bought seeds. They are selected based on taste and nutritional value. 

For the green okra, we only go for those that are crunchy, softer body, non hairy since there are lots of choices in the market. The red okra however, we have yet to find a perfect one. So we go for one with standard okra look and feel but harvest early to have that nice and crunchy texture.

The Journey of Growth

 #BanLeeHuatChantF1 #ChaiTaiRedOkra

The pictures above shows the okra at 3 weeks and 6 weeks old respectively from seeds. All started fruiting around 6-7 weeks except star of david. 

The Star of David is gifted by fellow grower at least 5 years ago. We kept it in the fridge and forgotten about it and is our first time growing it.  Very surprised  they still sprout and grow well. But the fruiting seem to be slow. Will need to watch further.

The Japanese okra is our favourite cultivar over the years. First generation of seeds are bought from Japan all the way back in 2012. We love the taste and the texture and have been keeping the seeds since then. It has a yellowish green body and smooth round cross section, smooth and non hairy. Not a common looking okra.

The Chant F1 green okra is from Ban Lee Huat seeds. It is also the first time we are planting it. It looks very similar to the Japanese okra that we have. The color is slightly greener as compared to the Japanese version.  The body however has a slightly angular cross section.

The Chai Tai red okra looks very similar to store bought okra with angular cross section, except it is red in color. We love to add colors to our food as much as we can hence this is chosen.

#Fruiting #WhenToHarvest

Okra started mass fruiting starting from week 6/7 for Japanese Okra, chant F1 as well as the red okra. The best time to harvest is usually 4-5 days after flowering. You can also bent the tip of the fruit slightly, once it gets a bit film, time to harvest. It is better to harvest early than late.

From left to right above. Japanese Okra, Chant F1 green Okra (last on right), Red okra. We love to eat our okra raw hence we tends to harvest them young when they are finger size. For commercial selling where weight equals better profit, all 3 types above can grow to at least 20 to 30% bigger. They will be best eaten cook at that stage. 

The Chant F1 green okra is able to grow to a good size ( about 9 to 12cm) while still taste great, raw. For all the rest, best to eat it at length less than 8cm or it can get a bit fibrous when eaten raw.

Our Star of david plants tend to be bushy shrubs . They need at least a space of 50x50cm to grow well. But they are slower to bud. They took about 9-10 weeks from seeds. Picture showing the size different of Star of David plants vis the rest. Star of David are those tall one at the background. The rest of the cultivars are all at shoulder height. Picture is taken at 7 weeks old from seeds.

P.S. Our star of David never fruits. We eventually chop them down when we see nothing but leaves after 15 weeks. The plants are about 3m tall, almost touching the roof.

Simple Food Ideas

#Natto #Okra #DonDonDonki

We just love our okra eaten raw. Chop it up, mix with natto and rice. It taste so so good. We tried eating it with korean rice cake, yummy too.

Below shows red okra with natto and rice on the left and steam korean rice cake with natto and green okra on the right. Simple and nutritional meal. 

A 40g pack nato is low in calories and packed with 7g of protein while Okra has super high Vitamin C. These 3 simple ingredients mixed together gives you a well balance, tasty and  easy to prepare meal.

We use this nato from don don donki for the above illustration. Love the taste.

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