Print Topic - Archive

BTD Forums  /  Cook Right 4 Your Type  /  How to cook Okra?
Posted by: Patty H, Wednesday, August 24, 2011, 7:39pm
For the first time ever, I purchased some okra.  I know NOTHING about this vegetable except that it is supposed to be good for your blood pressure.  I have been looking for fresh okra in WF and my local HFS for some time now.  I came across some at a farmstand and bought it.

I tried cooking some today and was not very successful.  I see that you can saute it in oil or boil it in water.  At first I tried the oil, but it seemed like I would have to continue to add too much oil to keep it cooking, so I added some water.  I cooked three of them, but only one was edible.  The other two were really difficult to cut and then when they cooked, they just turned brown inside and the stringy part never got soft, so I threw them away.  The one I did eat was good, but I can see it could really be good with some compliant spices, onions, etc.

HELP!  Not only am I interested in some recipes (I did check the recipe center) but also if someone could explain what to look for when buying okra and the best way to cook it, I would be very grateful.   :)

Also, do folks like frozen okra when it is not in season?  
Posted by: Drea, Wednesday, August 24, 2011, 7:45pm; Reply: 1
I love okra...but have never seen it fresh. I buy it frozen and cook it in a little ghee in my cast iron pan. Just saute it until it's heated through, and add salt.  :D
Posted by: C_Sharp, Wednesday, August 24, 2011, 7:47pm; Reply: 2
I like frozen Okra.

On fresh:

The first thing is there is a variety of stages of maturity.

I prefer the smallest size available.

But some people still find it slimy when cooked.

If you do not like the texture when cooked,
you can remove the seeds from the pods
and eat them raw on salads.
Posted by: C_Sharp, Wednesday, August 24, 2011, 7:51pm; Reply: 3
Quoted from Drea
I love okra...but have never seen it fresh. I buy it frozen


Okra does really well in the heat. So if you are inclined towards gardening you may want to try some in New Mexico.

Posted by: Lola, Wednesday, August 24, 2011, 7:56pm; Reply: 4
oven roasted, previously brushed with olive oil and added spices.....on a cookie tray until brownish....yummm

grilled, also yummy

prefer that to boiled or steamed
Posted by: Patty H, Wednesday, August 24, 2011, 7:58pm; Reply: 5
Quoted from C_Sharp
I like frozen Okra.

On fresh:

The first thing is there is a variety of stages of maturity.

I prefer the smallest size available.

But some people still find it slimy when cooked.

If you do not like the texture when cooked,
you can remove the seeds from the pods
and eat them raw on salads.


I didn't mind the seeds at all.  They became quite soft when cooked.  But two of the pieces were more like twigs.  In other words, the stringy fibrous part never softened.  :-/  It was like they were woody.  Do you think they were old?
Posted by: Patty H, Wednesday, August 24, 2011, 7:59pm; Reply: 6
Quoted from Lola
oven roasted, previously brushed with olive oil and added spices.....on a cookie tray until brownish....yummm

grilled, also yummy

prefer that to boiled or steamed


Do you have particular spices you think go well with okra?
Posted by: C_Sharp, Wednesday, August 24, 2011, 8:13pm; Reply: 7
Quoted from Patty H
It was like they were woody.  Do you think they were old?


Woody is too mature (or dried out).  No amount of cooking really cures this.

You need to pop the seeds out of the pod and do something with the seeds.

Here is one option:

Roast the seeds quite a bit. Grind up the roasted/burnt seeds and use the powder as a coffee substitute.




On spices for the less mature pods:

I curry everything so Okra gets curry to.

Ingredients:

1 pound okra

cut into 1/2-inch thick slices

Large onion, quartered and sliced
A little cayenne or other red pepper if allowed
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon mild curry powder
salt as desired


Heat several tablespoons of complaint oil in a  skillet;
Fry okra for 10 minutes, turning frequently to keep from sticking

Add everything else.

Continue stirring.
Cook until onions are done.
Posted by: Mickey, Wednesday, August 24, 2011, 8:21pm; Reply: 8
Where can you find frozen okra?.  I don't think i've ever seen it.  

Patty H,
Perfect timing on your message.  I've been just thinking that i need to try more variety of vegetables and was thinking about trying some okra!.  ;D
Posted by: kauaian, Wednesday, August 24, 2011, 8:23pm; Reply: 9
Quoted from Patty H
For the first time ever, I purchased some okra.  I know NOTHING about this vegetable except that it is supposed to be good for your blood pressure.  I have been looking for fresh okra in WF and my local HFS for some time now.  I came across some at a farmstand and bought it.

I tried cooking some today and was not very successful.  I see that you can saute it in oil or boil it in water.  At first I tried the oil, but it seemed like I would have to continue to add too much oil to keep it cooking, so I added some water.  I cooked three of them, but only one was edible.  The other two were really difficult to cut and then when they cooked, they just turned brown inside and the stringy part never got soft, so I threw them away.  The one I did eat was good, but I can see it could really be good with some compliant spices,
onions, etc.

HELP!  Not only am I interested in some recipes (I did check the recipe center) but also if someone could explain what to look for when buying okra and the best way to cook it, I would be very grateful.   :)

Also, do folks like frozen okra when it is not in season?  


If they are hard......they are old.  Must have give when u buy them not large & hard.
Posted by: C_Sharp, Wednesday, August 24, 2011, 8:26pm; Reply: 10
If I do not care about organic, all the large grocery stores here have okra in the frozen foods case with other the other frozen vegetables.

Organic is a little harder to find.

Sometimes frozen Okra is breaded-you will want to avoid that kind.
Posted by: Patty H, Wednesday, August 24, 2011, 8:34pm; Reply: 11
Quoted from C_Sharp


Woody is too mature (or dried out).  No amount of cooking really cures this.

You need to pop the seeds out of the pod and do something with the seeds.

Here is one option:

Roast the seeds quite a bit. Grind up the roasted/burnt seeds and use the powder as a coffee substitute.




On spices for the less mature pods:

I curry everything so Okra gets curry to.

Ingredients:

1 pound okra

cut into 1/2-inch thick slices

Large onion, quartered and sliced
A little cayenne or other red pepper if allowed
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon mild curry powder
salt as desired


Heat several tablespoons of complaint oil in a  skillet;
Fry okra for 10 minutes, turning frequently to keep from sticking

Add everything else.

Continue stirring.
Cook until onions are done.


This recipe sounds great!  I will try it this weekend.

Should I refrigerate the okra before I cook it?  Could that make them more woody?
Posted by: Patty H, Wednesday, August 24, 2011, 8:35pm; Reply: 12
Quoted from Mickey
Where can you find frozen okra?.  I don't think i've ever seen it.  

Patty H,
Perfect timing on your message.  I've been just thinking that i need to try more variety of vegetables and was thinking about trying some okra!.  ;D


Mickey, the one I managed to cook today was pretty good, so I can see how they would be really good with the right spices and onions.
Posted by: Patty H, Wednesday, August 24, 2011, 8:37pm; Reply: 13
Quoted from kauaian


If they are hard......they are old.  Must have give when u buy them not large & hard.


Thank you for this tip.  Next time I will be sure they are not large and hard  ;)
Posted by: C_Sharp, Wednesday, August 24, 2011, 8:45pm; Reply: 14
Quoted from Patty H


This recipe sounds great!  I will try it this weekend.

Should I refrigerate the okra before I cook it?  Could that make them more woody?


I refrigerate. I think leaving them out makes them dry out and become more woody.
Posted by: Kathleen, Wednesday, August 24, 2011, 9:06pm; Reply: 15
I always keep a bag of frozen sliced okra in the freezer (bought at Whole Foods).  It's my go-to morning veggie when I have nothing fresh in 'fridge.  I dump a serving into a broiler safe pan, coat with olive oil and broil.  Yummy served beside a fried egg.

This past month I've bought fresh at the Farmer's Market, those I steam a few minutes, slice and eat.  Found Padron Peppers at the same market, I take the seeds out then saute in ghee with the sliced okra. No spices just a sprinkle of sea salt.

A recipe I have not tried but plan to soon:  split okra longways keeping stem intact, coat with olive oil, grill until soft and eat.
Posted by: Drea, Wednesday, August 24, 2011, 9:09pm; Reply: 16
Even canned okra is good, in a pinch. :B
Posted by: JillP, Wednesday, August 24, 2011, 9:17pm; Reply: 17
I love Okra in veggie soup.  My favorite HFS sells it dried/dehydrated which is interesting, you eat it like a chip or something.  I have not tried baking them.  That sounds good.

Since you are an O you can cook them with tomatoes and lima beans, triple suckotash style.
Posted by: Momotaro, Thursday, August 25, 2011, 11:48am; Reply: 18
I never used to eat much okra until I came to live here.  Here they sell it all the time.  I am not sure when the okra season is though.  I usually boil it (for cooking convenience).  Sometimes it turns out really tough and I think it is because it is too old (and it is on the bigger side).  So I have learned now to look for the smaller size, although a lot of times the big sized ones are still edible and not tough, but I don't like to take that chance anymore since it is expensive.  They also sell frozen okra here and I find it to be just as good as fresh okra or maybe even better tasting.  I used to just salt it and add olive oil (pretty boring after awhile), but tonight I decided to add some spices and it came out yummy.  I didn't measure, but I put turmeric, cumin, coriander, and parsley along with salt and olive oil.
Posted by: Patty H, Thursday, August 25, 2011, 1:46pm; Reply: 19
I'm already getting hungry just reading all these yummy ideas for okra!
Posted by: JJR, Thursday, August 25, 2011, 11:46pm; Reply: 20
I cook the frozen okra in a frying pan with practically nothing in it.  The water from freezing is enough to oil the pan, and the naturals oils too.  Once it's almost dried out, it's done.  I've yet to do the traditional bread and fry in oil.  Actually, I think I did that once.
Posted by: Patty H, Friday, August 26, 2011, 12:09am; Reply: 21
Quoted from C_Sharp


Woody is too mature (or dried out).  No amount of cooking really cures this.

You need to pop the seeds out of the pod and do something with the seeds.

Here is one option:

Roast the seeds quite a bit. Grind up the roasted/burnt seeds and use the powder as a coffee substitute.




On spices for the less mature pods:

I curry everything so Okra gets curry to.

Ingredients:

1 pound okra

cut into 1/2-inch thick slices

Large onion, quartered and sliced
A little cayenne or other red pepper if allowed
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon mild curry powder
salt as desired


Heat several tablespoons of complaint oil in a  skillet;
Fry okra for 10 minutes, turning frequently to keep from sticking

Add everything else.

Continue stirring.
Cook until onions are done.


Hi C Sharp - I made your okra recipe tonight and it was delicious, except for the okra that was too woody to eat.  That was my fault.  I did not know what I was looking for when I bought it.  Next time I will know better.

When I find fresh okra again, I plan to try Lola's method of cooking.  I will work my way down this thread!  ;D
Posted by: 815 (Guest), Friday, August 26, 2011, 1:36am; Reply: 22
Quoted from Lola
oven roasted, previously brushed with olive oil and added spices.....on a cookie


Thanks for the tip. Do you cut it up or leave it whole when you roast it?



Tip: always pick the smallest ones. The big ones are too tough to chew. If you wash it, dry it thoroughly before using or you'll get a lot of slime. I usually saute' it Indian style in ghee with tumeric, garam masala, corriander powder, cumin powder. I love okra too. I don't really like it deep fried. Too greasy.
Posted by: O in Virginia, Friday, August 26, 2011, 1:50am; Reply: 23
Slice it into rounds, toss in some kind of compliant flour, and fry it up crispy.  Yum.  :)
Posted by: san j, Friday, August 26, 2011, 4:20am; Reply: 24
1.  Do a search on this site, because this question has come up before, and there are some talented cooks here who know how to deal with the "slime" issue.

2.  Google okra and see what others have to add. There are some incredible sites out there.

3. Consider an Indian cookbook. I've seen many treatments of okra in these. (Sometimes this vegetable is called "Ladyfingers" by the Indians, so that's another word you can google, perhaps?)
Posted by: Momotaro, Friday, September 9, 2011, 4:36am; Reply: 25
I've been boiling frozen okra briefly in bone broth soup and then adding ghee and salt and I really like it.  Even my toddler likes it!  He even came up to me and asked for more.  Sometimes for a change in taste, I add sesame oil instead of ghee.

I find that when I buy fresh okra and cook it, I often overcook it or undercook it and sometimes yes, it does have that woody piece and I have to spit it out.  The frozen okra is always the same and I don't have to worry about it.
Print page generated: Sunday, December 21, 2014, 5:20pm