Okra Medley Pineapple Adobo
Another Filipino adobo, this time loaded with vegetables including the ladylike queen of them all, whole pods of okra. Cassava and taro add a hearty touch and drink up the adobo juices, and pineapple holds it’s shape well during the simmering process and practically shouts a lovely sweet and sour tune after a long bath in the vinegar soy marinade.
For best results choose okra pods that are relatively small and uniform in size, no longer than 4 inches.
1 pound unpeeled cassava or taro root (one 6-8 inch tuber should be plenty)
1/2 pound red onions
1/4 cup chopped garlic
2 tablespoons peanut or light vegetable oil
1 pound fresh okra, any large stems trimmed off
2 cups fresh pineapple chunks
2 teaspoons black peppercorns
2 bay leaves
2/3 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup rice, apple cider or coconut sap vinegar (see Ingredients Glossary)
2 scallions, ends trimmed and finely chopped
1 cup roughly chopped cilantro leaves
1 cup diced fresh red ripe tomato or chopped cherry tomatoes
1. Use a Y-shaped peeler to scrape off the skin from the cassava or taro. Slice the root in half lengthwise, then chop into half-moons about 1 1/2 inches wide. Place the cassava in a small pot and cover with 2 inches of cold water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 12-14 minutes, until cassava looks translucent around the edges and the cassava or taro can be easily pierced with a fork. Drain and set aside. Crush the peppercorns in a mortar in pestle, just enough to crack open the seeds a few times.
2. Heat oil in a large heavy stainless steel pot or enameled Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the garlic and onions and fry for 4 minutes until onions start to soften. Stir in the okra and fry another 5 minutes. Return cassava to the pot, add pineapple, sprinkle with crushed peppercorns and bay leaves. Pour soy sauce and vinegar over vegetables and increase heat to medium high. Bring to a bubbling simmer, gently stir the vegetables with a wooden spoon a few times and reduce heat to low.
4. Partially cover and simmer for 45-55 minutes, occasionally stirring once or twice. The sauce will have reduced and look somewhat syrupy. Remove from heat, partially cover and let stand for 15 minutes. To serve, ladle vegetables and sauce into a large bowl, sprinkle with chopped cilantro and scallions and top with diced tomato and serve with a side of steamed brown or white rice. This adobo tastes even better reheated the next day.