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Okra Advice Needed

My local farmer sold me a plastic bag FULL of okra, and I had wonderful plans to pay fry these with corn meal, as per his suggestion. over the next few weeks with dinners. And then, I had a trip to the ER and the surgical floor of my local hospital just a few short days later. Needless to say, the suckers never got cooked. I just realized that they are still here today while attempting to find something for dinner. I do not want these beautiful vegetables to go to waste in my fridge, but I have absolutely no experience in cooking them.

The only ways I have had them cooked are in Brunswick stew and fried.

The challenges:
I have never cooked okra before, and I am looking for recipes to use up the okra that I bought. Bonus points for recipes that do not require a lot of prep or standing, this particular surgery has a long healing time and requires minimal standing and heavy lifting over the next month. We are a pork and shellfish free house, but can adapt many recipes our there using these ingredients. Help me use up my okra, please!

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  1. Slice off the butt ends right on the seam line. Sautee in olive oil until just starting to soften, add a clove or two of crushed garlic, about a cup of tomato juice, the juice of 1 lemon, a teaspoon of coriander, bay leaf optional, cover and turn on low, stir occasionally and cook until tender throughout. Stir in some fresh chopped parsely, if you have it, serve on rice or couscous or orzo.

    1. Another name for okra is bamya. (sp). It is used in mid eastern cooking. Try looking for a recipe in Lebanese cooking. It is a slimmy vegetable but with correct cooking it is very tasty.

      1 Reply
      1. re: classylady

        I agree, it's absolutely delicious this way!! Use stewing beef or pieces of lamb to add more richness. It's dead simple, simmer the meats browning or just cooking in some water, once almost cooked add chopped tomato (canned or fresh) and simmer some more with cloves of garlic, salt, black pepper and olive oil. You can blanch the okra first after cleaning them if they are tender and young that should be fine without but if they are thick and fibrous it would help. Once tender serve with rice or couscous.

      2. Pickle them! You can do them just like dilly beans. Leave out the dill, add garlic and chili pepper, if you like. Okra pickles are sure to make you feel better during your recuperation.

        1. A nice addition to soups...Very popular in Gumbo....
          Simmer in salty water until tender, and eat it straight up.....
          Okra and tomatoes is very popular in the South...I would add bay leaf, a pinch of thyme, maybe some Cajun/Creole seasoning....http://southernfood.about.com/od/okra...

          Before you lose it completely....trim and cut into 1/2 inch circles...throw it straight into small freezer bags (1 or 2 cups) and save for later use in soups, gumbos, okra and tomatoes etc.
          HTH

          4 Replies
          1. re: Uncle Bob

            +1 for what Uncle Bob said...also, my grandmother used to make okra fritters; basically flour, baking powder, salt, pepper and an egg...whisk the egg, salt & pepper together, stir in the okra then add the flour & baking powder (I suppose you can use self rising flour) until the consistency is that of almost a biscuit dough or until the mixture holds together when dropped by spoonsful in hot oil. Cook the fritters, turning to evenly brown, until golden.

            1. re: Cherylptw

              Yes! I've done those just as you describe...Have to admit it's been a while...Also seems I've tried adding about 1/2 flour to 1/2 Corn meal..Turned out pretty good!

              1. re: Uncle Bob

                I like the idea of adding cornmeal; I'll have to give that a try

            2. I've made Stewed Okra w/ Tomatoes & Bacon a few times and loved it:

              http://find.myrecipes.com/recipes/rec...

              1 Reply
              1. re: EmmaFrances

                i love the okra with tomatoes, and that looks like an excellent recipe! thanks.

              2. I stir-fry Chinese style okra all the time.

                But for the summer, try steaming them and eating them with a soy sauce rice vinegar dipping sauce, spiked with some Sriracha if you prefer.

                1. indian cuisine has lovely and varied okra dishes: http://indianfood.about.com/od/vegeta...

                  1. So many different ways. The popular ways are to use okra in gumbo as Uncle Bob mentioned, or you can fried okra in cornmeal which is really tasty:

                    http://www.hotfoodexpress.com/yahoo_s...

                    I also make an Indian-style okra raita in yogurt. Talk about awesome.

                    1. Eight months later, and I am finally responding! I made a few great curries with the last set. I went searching again because the farmer gifted me with his last freezer bag of sliced okra. I'm thinking Brunswick stew and more curry.

                      3 Replies
                        1. re: TampaAurora

                          sliced okra, corn and diced fresh tomatoes stir fried with some garlic according to your taste at the end. I'm in Canada and you have me dreaming of summer

                          1. re: texaspeppers

                            that sounds like a fabulous summer combination of flavors and textures. i'll bet a corn and okra fritter would be good with a fresh tomato gravy, too. ;-).

                        2. Oven roasted! Toss with Evoo, minced garlic, salt & pepper. Preheat sheet pan in 450 oven then add okra. Roast for 11 minutes total shaking pan halfway through cooking time to turn. Delicious and not slimy.

                          5 Replies
                          1. re: letsindulge

                            I want to try this! Would it work with frozen? It is April, you know.

                            1. re: the_MU

                              The moisture from frozen okra wouldn't allow it to really "roast". The texture would be soft to begin with. Give it a go and let us know.

                              1. re: letsindulge

                                i agree; i don't think it would roast well. i'd fry it up in slices dusted with a cornmeal crust! ;-). or use the indian recipe with spices and tomato -- i love that, too.

                                1. re: letsindulge

                                  Don't know where you're located the_MU but more often then not they have it at our local Asian grocers.

                                  1. re: letsindulge

                                    I'm in Maine. Fresh okra around here is for the most part either prohibitively expensive or overgrown and woody. I grow it in my garden, but with limited success. The flowers are pretty, anyway.

                            2. Gumbo z'Herbes (green gumbo with okra and greens.)?

                              2 Replies
                              1. I had a great preparation at a Japanese friend's house. This is summer fare, but wash raw okra and slice into 1/2" sections. Toss with cubed firm tofu, chopped green onions, soy sauce and a splash of sesame oil. You could add sesame seeds too, and chilis as either sriracha sauce or even dry crushed red pepper. Fast easy, delicious. The green onion makes it. You could lightly blanch the okra, if you prefer.

                                1. All great ideas here. I love okra fried and in gumbo; that said, I'm a big fan of pickled okra, the pickling process eliminates that slimy tendency, and pickled okra makes a great garnish for a spicy Cajun Bloody Mary. Zippy, good crunch, delicious.

                                  In season, fried up with fresh corn off the cob and chopped garden tomatoes, wow. Uncle Bob has the right idea.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: bushwickgirl

                                    wouldn't it be neat to split a hot pickled okra and pipe some cream cheese down the okra, or run a knife to create a slit, and pipe the cream cheese in there. i was wondering what herb or spice might be good to flavor the cheese, and i thought maybe sriracha. to gild the lily, one could do a "popper" by coring the okra, then piping in the cheese, battering and deep frying. yeah buddy!

                                    good for the rellsh tray! ;-0.

                                    1. re: alkapal

                                      OMG, sounds wonderful! I think I'd like that better'n the ubiquitious jalapeño popper!