This doesn't include any extra fat or oil. I used the natural richness of okra to create a light but textured sauce with broth that you can drink up. It has a gentle flavor, so enjoy it either warm or cold.
Remove the pulp and seeds from the ash gourd, and peel the skin. You can leave thick skin on if you like. Using a knife to cut a lattice design into the skin side will make them boil up faster, and make it easier to eat,
Cut it into approximate sizes, and boil until they become transparent from the broth (use a drop lid or aluminum foil with a hole poked in the center, and boil covered).
Rub the okra in salt, rinse with water after removing the downy hairs, and thinly slice.
Once the ash gourd had become transparent, add the flavoring ingredients, and boil again over low heat for 8-10 minutes (the pot is covered with a drop lid in the photo).
Add the hand-shredded imitation crab and the okra from Step 3, add salt if the flavor is weak after it has thickened, and take it off the burner.
Arrange on plates and enjoy it with ginger if you like. The coloring is beautiful thanks to the green okra and imitation crab. You can also easily make the broth with granules.
Story Behind this Recipe
*I often ate this for Tanabata at home when I was little. Probably because of the cross-section of okra looks like a star. My family used crab meat, but I use cheaper imitation crab. *This is a treat you can enjoy even on a diet, since it has no fat and is healthy. There is a lot if water-soluble dietary fiber in the broth from the okra.
*It looks beautiful if you leave a thin layer of skin on the gourd, but it is hard to eat, so I cut the thick skin off. *This tastes delicious with a proper dashi broth. *You could add chopped white chicken meat to make the dish heartier and to improve the dashi broth. Of course, you can add crab meat or small shrimp if you like instead.