Okra, yes that green pod looking veggie that's a favorite veggie amongst us Filipino cooks. I remember when mom would be making her chicharrones that are deep fried twice pork bellies actually cooked 3 times because she'd put those porky morsels into a soup. So you'd have these pork rinds that were crunchy now it would be soggy crunchy....hmmm, does that make any sense at all?
Anyhow Filipino soups or broth called sabaw is common in many a home in the hood. And okra is one of those veggies we add to our soups or broths for something to chew on. Some cooks will use bagoong (shrimp paste), or patis (fish sauce) to enhance the flavors, combined with some fresh ginger, and whatever base of the soup or broth, be it chicken, seafood, pork or beef, that soup will rock and roll baby!
Here's my sabaw with okra and some pork (chicharrones).
Pork & Okra Sabaw
1 lb. sliced chirarrones (you can buy these at your local Asian or Spanish markets, if you can't get the true pork bellies, buy some of the ones you can get in the sealed bags in the potato chips section. Note these are usually thinner so if you add this kind of pork rinds, you will have to add them in right before serving the soup.
1 lb. of pork bones (get them from your butcher)
1 tsp. salt
1 inch ginger minced
2 tbsp. cooking oil
6 cups of water
1/4 fish sauce (patis)
4 small tomatoes sliced
1/2 cup green onions chopped
1/2 lb. okra, stem removed and washed
1. In a 4 quart pot, heat up the oil over high heat, and sauté the ginger and the pork bones, adding the salt as you do this, turning heat down to medium high.
2. Once the pork bones are releasing it's aroma about 10 minutes into the cooking add in the water, and fish sauce (you may want more after it's done).. Cover the pot and lower heat to medium low, and simmer for about 30 minutes, this will flavor the water into a nice pork broth.
3. Remove the cover. (If you are using the real pork rinds, add them in. If using the store bought thinner pork rinds wait until the soup is done before adding in). Add in the chicharrones, tomatoes, green onions, and okra. Cook for about 20 minutes on low heat. Taste the soup, if it needs more salt, pepper, or fish sauce add it in. Or let your diners do it themselves because everyone's taste buds are different, you don't want to overpower the soup with too much sodium.
4. If using the thinner pork rinds, add them in, it should get soft really quickly, but don't worry, it's supposed to be that way.
Serve with side bowls of white or brown rice. Some mamas will slice jicama and have a vinegar and fish sauce dip.
Okay that's a wrap.... until next time, hang loose... or tight whatever floats your boat or twirls your beanie!