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Okra minus the slime...does it exist??

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Hey! Does anyone have suggestions or ideas to avoid the slime of okra??? I found what seemed like a great recipe with tomato, ginger, etc. using untrimmed okra, so as to not expose the 'slime' elements. The idea being (I guess) that if the okra is not cut up and then simmered until tender there is no slime????

Well, this did not work and it was slimier than EVER. Is there some sort of magic trick??? Thanks for any suggestions!

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  1. Serve it deep fried.

    1 Reply
    1. re: ironmom

      Agreed. I like to cut it on the bias very thin and fry with no breading. Season with Indian curry spices and serve with diced tomatoes and sliced onions on top.

    2. If you cook the okra long enough, the slime will go away. This works best if you saute the okra in a pan first and add liquids after the slime is gone.

      Not cutting it small enough, adding liquid early on, and not cooking it completely are all slime enhancers.

      Of course, I would describe fully cooked okra as cooked until that slime is gone...

      I love okra.

      1. No joke, I like the slime.

        But its true if you cook it long enough the slime goes away.

        1. Use fresh okra. Wash and slice in 1/2 to 3/4 in. slices. Do not dry. Dump in bowl. Add one handful flour and two handfuls cornmeal. Toss together. Heat some oil in a cast iron skillet. Doesn't have to be deep enough to deep fry. More than to saute. Add okra by handfuls to oil, shaking off the excess flour and meal. Fry until golden brown, stirring to turn okra. This all needs to be done over pretty high heat. Will probably clog arteries. No slime. Addictive.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Plano Rose

            This sounds much like the way my mom has cooked okra for years. The only differences: she uses only cornmeal, no flour, and not a whole lot of oil. Not one bit of slime and absolutely delicious.

            1. re: Dee Gustay

              Me too -- I toss the sliced okra with cornmeal, salt and pepper, and use only a couple tablespoons of canola oil in a cast iron skillet. I start it off with a lid, to tenderize the okra, for maybe ten minutes, stirring frequently. Then I take the lid off and continue to cook until it's crispy. No slime, no hardening of the arteries. When I was a little kid in Arkansas this was the ONLY cooked vegetable that I would allow to pass my lips.

          2. I LOVE okra - any way you prepare it, even slimy! But my SO would only eat it fried until I steamed it for her. You need very small baby okra - no longer than your pinkie finger. Steam (or boil in very small amount of water) for 3 to 4 minutes - start testing after 3 minutes - just until tender crisp. Add butter, salt, pepper and squeeze of lemon and that's it - no slime. She now loves it that way. You could add other ingredients but they would probably need to be cooked separately and added. Sometimes I saute onions and garlic in a little olive oil (or butter or bacon grease or mixture) and add fresh chopped tomatoes (or canned)with a pinch of sugar and cook a bit then add the okra for just a few minutes till tender crisp. When they are that small, I leave them whole but sometimes I just barely slice off the very top - not enough to expose the pod - because my SO likes it better than way.

            1. If you're boiling, steaming or cooking it in a sauce, add a little vinegar. This will take care of the slime. The slime, however, is useful if you're using the okra in a gumbo because it will thicken the sauce.

              The vinegar trick is why pickled okra isn't slimy!

              1. Try skewering it kabob style and drizzle with olive oil , sprinkle with salt and pepper , and grill over high heat . The dry heat seems to dry them up . Tasty . Incidentally , I don't mind the slime . I love it sauteed with fennel , onion , and garlic , then stewed with good canned tomatos and seasoned liberally with fresh mint and basil . Oh man , so good .

                1. I agree with the vinegar idea. In Greek cooking we use alot of okra(bamies). First you have to try to buy the small ones 2inches or so, then you soak them in water with 2 tablespoons of white vinegar for at least 15 minutes. If you are cooking them whole in a sauce be sure not to cut into the skin or the pod or slime ensues. My chicken with okra never is slimy with this method. And as above frying in hot oil always is slimeless but fattening!!!

                  1. I don't have a concrete suggestion but wanted to thank you for posting this b/c it made me go out and buy okra for a lamb, okra and corriander stew I make. I find sauteeing it first helps with the sliminess. For the aforementioned recipe you trim off the ends of the okra and use it almost whole. Maybe the acidity of the tomatoes work the way vinegar does and helps to reduce some of the slime.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: LisaLou

                      The Lamb and Okra Stew sounds wonderful. Care to share any of the recipe details???

                      I'm sure lots of us are looking for new ways to prepare okra while it's so fresh and abundant at our farm stands.


                      1. re: Pappy

                        I make it based on how my grandmother makes it but I use Lebanese Cuisine by Anissa Helou to remember the spicing. Her cookbook has dishes the way I remember my Lebanese great aunts prepared them. Although she uses a lot more oil than I would.

                        cut off the tops and slice the tips off diagonally of about 1 - 1 1/2 lbs of okra

                        fry in oil (about 2tbs or so) until bright green but not brown. Transfer to a paper towel and set aside.

                        melt 2 tbs of butter in a dutch oven or large pot.
                        add 1 onion sliced thin and cook until soft
                        add 1 lb or so of lamb shoulder cut into small pieces and brown
                        add 7 cloves of minced garlic, 1/2 bunch of chopped cilantro, 1/4 tsp of ground corriander and a pinch of salt.
                        cook until leaves are wilted
                        add 6 to 8 chopped tomatoes or canned equivalent, 1/2 tsp of allspice, 1/4 tsp of cinnamon and S&P
                        simmer at a strong simmer, covered for 15 minutes
                        add okra and simmer until okra and lamb are done and sauce is thickened.

                        I serve this over rice or with the large loaves of pita bread where the thickness of the bread is thin.

                        If you eliminate the lamb, allspice and cinnamon and change the butter to olive oil. Simmer the tomatoes for 5 minutes and add okra for 20. You have a nice just plain okra dish that can be served hot or at room temperature. At room temperature it's easier to pick them up with good pita bread.

                    2. For slime-free ocra: Use only fresh-picked young pods, and cook until just tender, sort of al dente. When they are too mature they become fibrous and woody and require lengthy cooking times. That's when they become mucilaginous. Cooking them whole also helps some. In gumbo and stews though I find the sliminess helpful for thickening.

                      1. i have used a tsp or capful of vinegar to cut the slime. this alsoi works for gumless rice.

                        1. I got these tips from Julie Sahni's Indian cookbooks and it works. Make sure the Okra is bone dry before you cut and sautee it. Very high heat. Add no liquid whatsoever. No slime.

                          1. I've found that pickled okra is not slimy at all, and is delicious to boot!!

                            1. I like the slime too. It really pulls some dishes together, like gumbo. It's like nature's corn starch.