Saturday, May 4, 2013

Sesame Flavored Lady's Fingers 麻油拌羊角豆

In my attempt to introduce more variety of food for my little ones, I decided to try one of my personal favorites, lady's fingers. Surprisingly, my picky little boy liked it and he especially liked all the little seeds, which are indeed cute looking.

Sesame flavored Lady's Fingers

Before going into the recipe, let's have a little sharing about this little pod veggie.

Lady's Fingers, or Okra, is a common locally produced vegetables that is a good source of fiber, vitamin C and antioxidant. My mom used to grow them in our backyard and I love to watch the tiny "fingers" grow. Unfortunately I do not have green fingers like my mom so I can only get from store. Remember to go for okra that is in vibrant/dark green and looks crunchy, which means its fresh.

One important goodness that you should know is that, lady's finger is one of the ideal food that ease constipation condition due to its high dietary fiber and mucilaginous content. It also has low calories and zero cholesterol which makes it an ideal food for people that want to loose weight (check out more on nutrition and you). Quite a guilt-free food it seems. :)

While the cooking is relatively easy, remember to wash the okra thoroughly to avoid residue of pesticide. I wash them lightly with baby bottle cleanser before soaking them in water and rinse thoroughly. Alternatively, soak them in a pot of water with a teaspoon of salt.

Preparation Time: 5 min
Cooking Time: 8 min
Serving for: 2-3 persons

15 Lady's fingers, cut into thumb-size chunks each
A dash of sesame oil
A table spoon of premium soya sauce
2 glove garlic, finely chopped
1 table spoon of olive oil

Step-by-Step Guides:

  1. Boil a pot of water, blanch the lady's fingers with lid on for about 5 minutes. Drain all excess water and set aside.
  2. Blanching the lady's fingers.

  3. In a bowl, mix together the soya sauce and sesame sauce.
  4. Heat up a table spoon of olive oil in a pan and add the garlic, sauté until the garlic turns golden, add into the sauce and mix well. (the garlic is optional but it definitely provides extra aroma for garlic lover).
  5. Right before serving, pour the sauce over the lady's fingers and serve immediately.

Serve while hot, it's crunchy and I love the vibrant green of this dish, the aroma of the sauce.
Simple, healthy dish in under 10 minutes :)

When serving for my little boy, I cut them into smaller slices and let him eat with the rice and other dishes. He finished it all, which means I may cook this dish more often. *grin*


  • Make sure you do not overcook the okra or they will be all soft and turn brown.
  • I tried cooking them in whole and after cut into chunks, I'll recommend to boil the okra after cutting it as it can be difficult to cut after its cooked.


  1. What premium soy sauce do you use? And what is the sodium content since youserve it to your children as well?

  2. Hi May, I normally used 刀标牌特级生抽 (Knife brand Premium Soya Sauce). For this in particular I am not too concern about the sodium content, as I only serve small quantity for my kiddo (1-3 chunks). As the entire dish only uses 1 table spoon of soy sauce, and most of the sauce dripped to the bottom of the dish, there is not much of soy sauce that left on the okra.

  3. Thanks for reply. My qs wasn't just related to this dish actually. Just your usage of soy sauce in general as I noticed it is quite a staple ingredient in your cooking. My boy is 17mo and his carers laws are old school. They will occasionally bring up the fact that the food I prepare is bland / tasteless and makes it difficult to feed. I told them no salt till 2yo so am looking for healthy alternatives. Btw, what food do you prepare on weekdays since you're a working mom?

  4. I see, now I have better clarity on your concern, I had that fight with my old ma too and my answer to her is - My baby looses nothing if she doesn't have the extra soy sauce! she was speechless ;)

    Anyway, I do AVOID using soy sauce for my baby as much as possible as she is still under 2y, even if given is only in small portion so the salt intake is capped. No soy sauce is ever added to her noodles or porridge. Most of the time I just use the anchovies powder (which I have washed away the excess salt before roasting) or freshly boiled vegetable stocks which has natural flavoring. On week day, my mom cook, so I have requested her to only use anchovies powder and only offer baby snack to my baby (many tries to offer her choc wafer, ice cream etc which either me or my mom will turn down). Having too much of those sweetened food will indirectly train their taste bud to accept sweeter / saltier food hence dislike the "tasteless" food. Check with your old folks if they have been offering your LO such snack? if yes, please avoid.

    As for my elder one who is already 4+, I do allow usage of flavoring in moderation. Reasons:
    #1 salt tolerance level is higher after 2y. You may refer to the chart in the post on "What is Sodium, Really?"
    #2 he has been exposed to "flavorful" food from daycare or eatery. If i continue to serve him plain food he will eat little. Hence to ensure he maintains his intake, I add some sauce, condiments which will get him to eat more & get the nutrition needed (or I put some effort to make him his favorite Happy Meals). Having said that, I control the amount used. if you observe the stall, when they cook they are generous on usage of soy sauce, oyster sauce, MSG, spices or even sugar, I reduce all the amount used and strictly no oyster sauce, MSG.

    #3 if 1 entire dish only use 1 table spoon of soy sauce and my boy only consume 1/6 of the portion, his intake of sodium is really not that much. Hence I'm not that worry.

    Hope this clarifies.

  5. Thanks for reply. I only wish I had more talents in cooking like you do.

    I don't think my ILs would feed my son things I dont want them to feed. But you know kids. They have phases, short attn spans, teething pains etc which makes them difficult.
    But because the old folks can't understand or prefer to forget why I don't want salt, this is the first point they bring up.

    Can you also advice on what type of cheese I should keep at home for pastas? There are a lot in the market and the ones for kids are not cheap. So would love a recommendation which I can use for pasta / pizza / just to snack etc

    Also cream cheese seems affordable. How to use it? And how do you keep after opening?

    Thanks so much for your time. I have so many qs regarding cooking. If you don't mind, can I add you on FB so that I don't have to post here to ask?

  6. I am not talented, many trial and errors in the backdrop :) yes do add me as FB friend, I am not sure what's your account.

    Please read up about the post on cheese here, Generally for pasta you may use Parmesan (in block or shredded) or Cheddar cheese (by in block or slices). as for pizza, best choice is Mozzarella and you may mix with Parmesan and Cheddar cheese for added calcium. As for cream cheese, looking at the low nutritional value (pls refer to the post), I would recommend to introduce to your LO later. I used that to cook pasta and make Japanese cheesecake.