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How do you Okra?

Lately I've been sort of obsessed with using okra in new and unique ways.

Here's the damage so far:

- Okra bread (sub out the zucchini in your typical zucchini bread recipe and replace with okra)

- Okra cake (sub out the carrots in your typical carrot cake recipe and replace with okra)

- Okra ice cream (made with spearmint and honey)

- Okra gazpacho (not recommended for the faint of heart or palate)

How do you Okra? Or do you?

Do tell.

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  1. My favorite way is fried. Obviously, that's not a new or unique way, though :) 2nd favorite way is pickled. In fact, my 6 year old loves them pickled!

    I've had it on pizza & it's quite good. I don't remember the other combos. When I was in Malaysia, it was served in a yummy vegetariean dish. The pods were whole & since they had been stewed a bit, weren't slimy at all. And they were called lady fingers, a much prettier looking name, IMO.

    1. Fried or gumbo is pretty much it for me. I like to eat it pickled, but haven't ventured to pickle any myself. I adore the flavor, and am getting much more tolerant of its booger-like qualities, though I still prefer to stew it enough to let the goo leave the pods and thicken the broth. Anyway, gumbo is about as open-ended a dish as they come, with possibilities you could explore for an awfully long time, so if you like it you can easily work your way through a tremendous lot of okra right there.

      It just occurred to me that an item I often buy when I'm making gumbo is frozen okra with tomatoes, and I'm thinking that a soup or stew with just those two things (fresh, though, not frozen) plus some onion or whatever might be a nice dish.

      1. I love it & grow it myself, but use it pretty basically - gumbo, jambalaya, with stewed tomatoes, fried, & pickled. Good stuff!

        1. Favorite: tossed in cornmeal and fried. Love it pickled on a relish tray or with sandwiches. One of my grandmothers arranged small pods from her garden atop blackeyed peas and cooked the two together.

          I learned from Chef Susan Spicer (who learned it from Buster Holmes) to add a good splash of vinegar to stewing okra to diminish the slime factor for gumbo at a demo for Gumbo z'Herbes. I've used the method happily for years.

          1. Okra is my daughter's favorite vegetable (go figure) I also grow it every summer and freeze for later...I made a batch of gumbo this week as a matter of fact. Along with the usual gumbo, jambalaya, fried and stewed okra dishes, I like it made into fritters (my grandmother made these) and stuffed. I've never had them in cake or ice cream, do tell how those came out.

            1. Bhindi Bhaji/Sabzi - a gorgeous dry curry as a vegetable side dish for an Indian meal. I can dig out a recipe but to be honest there's so many different versions out there it really depends on your personal spice and ingredient preferences - I'm not really talking about heat/chilli - it's also the other spices - turmeric/coriander/cumin/fenugreek (any/all/some) also how many (if any) tomatoes. I do like Madhur Jaffrey's recipes so that would be a good place to start

              2 Replies
              1. re: themags

                I'm with you. Bhindi masala with a sour and spicy curry. There's also bamia, stewed in tomato sauce... even better with lamb stew or just stock. And let's not forget pickled okra...

                1. re: themags

                  It's my fave, too. Just can't resist it when we order Indian food.

                2. "Boiled"....really simmered. ~~ Fresh, young pods are simmered in salted water..served on top of, or along side of pink-eye purple hull peas, butter beans, etc. ~~ Mealed and fried.. or dry fried ~~ In various soups, and gumbos. Okra and Tomatoes. Dill "Pickles"....

                  1. I like it with a little cider vinegar and salt, the way my mom makes it, or cooked in coconut milk with spinach, but can I come eat with you? Otherwise, please post the okra gazpacho recipe.

                    1. To piggyback onto this topic: for no particular reason, I bought a packet of dried sliced okra when I was ordering various dried items. I can certainly use it in a gumbo or stew it with canned tomatoes, but are there any dishes specifically incorporating dried okra?

                      1. fried
                        stewed with tomatos and onions
                        lamb and okra stew, aka Bamia Stew

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: Infomaniac

                          Info: I would add corn and hot sauce to your stewed version

                          1. re: hill food

                            I do add some Crystal hot sauce at the table but the corn sounds like a nice addition....thanks

                        2. Fried Okra is my first choice. Okra in gumbo, callaloo, and Jambalaya are the other ways I like to prepare it. I like frying okra up in tempura batter also.

                          Ever since I gave up smoking, pickled okra became the monkey on my back...

                          I'll have to try making some Okra bread this summer...

                          BTW, dried okra is good to use with soups and gumbos. Also any type of soup or stew which could use a thickening agent.

                          1. Pickled, in gumbo and fried. If i let the pods go on the plant they get quite long and are attractive in Christmas wreaths

                            1. Another vote for gumbo, Prudhomme has many recipes in his books which all work wonderfully.

                              1. I love okra in gumbo and okra in various Indian preparations. A favorite is okra crisps-okra is cut into thin circular slices or thin shreds, deep fried, and then sprinkled with chaat masala and lime juice. It makes a great snack or accompaniment to a desi meal. It can also be sprinkled on top of daal or yoghurt-chickpea flour karhi.

                                1. Young whole okra, steamed or microwaved till just cooked.
                                  Make a sauce of sambal belacan (Malay style sambal featuring shrimp paste, I get mine from a jar from the Asian supermarket), lemon juice and soy sauce to taste.
                                  Dip, eat.

                                  1. An Indian visitor to my home once made for us a good, simple okra dish. She lightly toasted some whole cumin seeds and whole mustard seeds in a little oil till they crackled, added a little garlic powder and powdered ginger, threw in the okra and did a quick hot stir fry - and that was it.
                                    I've done the same thing with other vegetables. Nice flavor.

                                    1. My favorite is fried, but that is such a mess. So my next favorite is Justin Wilson's "boiled" okra. You simmer it with hot sauce, drain off most of the liquid and add Worcestershire, vinegar, salt, and olive oil. Serve warm or cold. Very good.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: k_d

                                        I do something similar, simmer into submission, covered, in little salty water with hot sauce and butter. Takes about 20 min. Sometimes I cook a bag of frozen okra that way and eat it standing over the pot.

                                      2. Sliced into wheels and breaded with cornmeal and pan fried. I love deep fried versions but I don't make that at home.

                                        Baby okra, roast whole and dusted with chile powder.

                                        Bindi masala is definitely one of my favorite indian dishes.

                                        1. I don't have a thread or site link to provide you, but another wonderful use for okra - past its prime - is to turn it into Christmas ornaments. Do a search & I'm sure it will turn up somewhere. Absolutely lovely stuff.

                                          1. - sliced raw in salads
                                            - simmered in a spicy tomato sauce
                                            - dunked in buttermilk, crusted in spiced cornmeal and baked. serve with a creamy dipping sauce (yogurt-based or even an aioli) spiked with chipotle & minced fresh cilantro

                                            1. My favourite is a stew with lamb in a tomato broth with lots of garlic. Pour over basmati rice and squeeze a lemon wedge over it. Taught to me by a roomate from Kurdistan.

                                              1. A friend in Miami, who was from VI, made 2 different meals with okra. 1st she fried red snapper with just seasoning rubbed on it. Then she made a gravy in the same pan with tomato sauce, onions, and vinegar and water. In the meantime, she was cooking cut okra in a sauce pan with water. When the okra was cooked she added yellow corn meal, a little at a time, stirring constantly, until the corn meal was cooked. The okra went on the plate first, then, topped with the fish and gravy. That was delicious.
                                                Another day, we had a salad made with fried okra and rice with a nice home made italian dressing. Those ladies from the islands know how to make their guests happy.

                                                1. In tomato sauce w/ cumin & lemon juice, served over rice.