Baked Fish with Okra in Tomato Sauce

I was always one of those weird kids at school that liked okra. Something in its crunchiness and earthy flavor made is so attractive to my taste buds, especially when combined with tomato sauce. I listened carefully to my classmates who spoke despicably of that slimy green thing that their mother made them eat. I listened and listened. Rolling my eyes from side to side. Trying to figure out what could possibly be so wrong with it. It remained a mystery in my childhood brain.

Okra is great for your health too. Containing lots of vitamins A, B and C, potassium, folic acid, calcium and dietary fibers.

Smaller okra pods are more tender than bigger ones. So keep it in mind for your grocery visit. My mother used to trim off the caps, spread the okra on a tray, drizzle lemon juice and a bit of salt and leave the tray in the sun for an hour or so. According to her the lemon helped to reduce the slime. I too think it helps with slime and it makes the pods softer, especially the sun drying part. In Greece, okra is usually cooked with chicken and tomato sauce. But I wanted to try something different. Why not fish?

So off I went to the market. I found very nice local fish called Hamour. Now Hamour is very common in the Persian Gulf. It can also be found in the Indian and west Pacific Ocean. Its original name is Brown Spotted Reef Cod. Nevertheless, its meat is not similar to New England Cod which is more on the dry side. Hamour’s meat, when cooked is bright white and fleshy. It is just a little bit oily but not too much. In the US, it reminds me a lot of striped bass or the Rofos Fish in Greece.

To make this dish start by drying out your okra. Tip the caps off, spread it in a tray and drizzle with lemon and a little bit of salt. Put the tray under direct sunlight and leave it for an hour.

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Peel and slice your potatoes.

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Cut the onion in thin wedges. Arrange the okra, potatoes and onion in the baking tray. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper.

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Now pour over the tomato puree and season with 2 tsps of sumac. I learned to use Sumac in Dubai and Im very fond of it. It gives a light spice and its also lemony, I would say. So it goes great with fish! You have to try it.

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Sprinkle also some chopped dill on top.

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Pour a cup of warm or hot water all around and stick it in the oven at 200 C / 390 F for about 1 hour.

Before you add the fillet, drizzle some olive oil on top of it. Salt pepper, sumac and some more dill. ┬áThe fish fillet needs only 20-30 mins of cooking. So after one hour I took out the tray…

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…and add the fish fillets on top and one more cup of water.

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Cooking time can vary from oven to oven. So just keep in mind to add the fish the last 30 mins of the cooking time.

Thats it! You made yourselves a wonderful and healthy meal.

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Serves 3-4

Time: 15-20 mins preparation, 1 hr 30 mins cooking

INGREDIENTS

2 big fish fillets, ard 700 g (1.5 lbs)

3 medium potatoes, sliced or half-mooned

1 big onion, sliced

450 g (1 lb) okra

extra virgin olive oil

sea salt

ground pepper

510 g (18 oz) good quality tomato puree

2 tsps Sumac plus 1 tsp for fish

1/3 bunch dill chopped (75 g or 2.5 oz)

2-3 cups warm or hot water

lemon juice of half a lemon (optional)

 

DIRECTIONS

 

To make this dish start by drying out your okra. Tip the caps off, spread it in a tray and drizzle with lemon and a little bit of salt. Put the tray under direct sunlight and leave it for an hour.

Peel and slice your potatoes.

Cut the onion in thin wedges. Arrange the okra, potatoes and onion in the baking tray. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper.

Pour over the tomato puree and season with 2 tsps of sumac.

Sprinkle also some chopped dill on top.

Pour a cup of warm or hot water all around and stick it in the oven at 200 C / 390 F for about 1 hour.

Before you add the fillet, drizzle some olive oil on top of it. Salt pepper, sumac and some more dill.  The fish fillet needs only 20-30 mins of cooking. So after about 50 mins take out the tray and check how long it needs. When you think it needs another 20-30 mins add the fish fillets on top and one more cup of water.

Cooking time can vary from oven to oven. So just keep in mind to add the fish the last 30 mins of the cooking time.

Thats it! You made yourselves a wonderful and healthy meal.

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