My daughter, Alex, saw a video on Instagram and wasted no time in making her version. In the Instagram video, a very Asian flavored sauce was poured over the cheese-stuffed and bacon-wrapped okra. Alex ditched the sauce to make the flavors purer. Because… who wants to drown out the flavors of bacon and cheese?
A few tips. First, you have to use very young and tender okra. They are much less fibrous and they require a shorter cooking time. Second, you have to do the frying over medium-low to low temperature to make sure that the okra and inner portion of the bacon rashers get cooked through.
What cheese is good for this recipe? A salty and boldly flavored cheese. Mozzarella will NOT work. It will melt too fast and is much too bland. Mature cheddar is good. Even better if you can get your hands on some, Filipino kesong puti — a salty cheese made with carabao milk.
If there are members of your family who loathe okra because of its sliminess, this is one way to make them love this much-maligned vegetable. Cooked this way, the sliminess becomes negligible.
- Rinse the okra well then dry with paper towels. Optionally, cut off the top tips. We left them on because we served the okra as finger food and the top tips were useful for picking up the okra with the fingers.
- Slit each okra on the side to form a pocket.
- Place the okra in a bowl. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Mix, rubbing the salt and pepper into the okra.
- Push a strip of cheese into each okra.
- Cut the bacon rashers into halves.
- Wrap each cheese-stuffed okra with a piece of bacon.
- Set a non-stick frying pan on the stove and turn the heat to medium-low.
- Arrange the cheese-stuffed bacon-wrapped okra in the frying pan in a single layer. Cook slowly, turning the okra several times to brown the bacon evenly.
- Serve the cheese-stuffed bacon-wrapped okra immediately.