Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Aug 26, 2014 11:47 AM

What to do with vacation okra

I left town for two weeks, put my neighbor in charge of the garden harvest, and came back to nearly 3 pounds of okra that's so huge (we're talking 8-12 inches long here) and woody that it's inedible by any normal cooking method. I can stew the heck out of it but it'll probably disintegrate entirely by the time it gets soft enough to chew. Can I do *anything* with it, or do I just toss it out? I'm sad, because this year's okra crop is my best ever, and it pains me to see it wasted.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. ... 8-12 inches long...

    toss it. it pains, but not nearly so much pain to toss as to 'put it up and then toss it.'

    anything over 4" never makes it out of the garden around here.

    oh, I guess I should add,,,, there's a number of cute craft things made from overgrown (and dried) okra. if you're slanted in that direction.

    1. Harvest some seeds for next year, and feed the rest to your chickens. (If you don't have chickens, get some. Then feed them the okra.)

      1. Try frying them. Cut them into 3/4" pieces, dust with flower, then egg wash and finally cornmeal and fry them up. I love fried okra and while 8-12" is big, I have used 6-7" ones for frying. Make a test batch and see how they turn out.

        1. Wow, who knew they grew that huge. I cut everything off mine that was over an inch and then didn't pick anything for nearly a week. My biggest ones were about 6 inches lol. I'm afraid to see what they do when completely neglected.

          1. Unfortunately, they are not edible when they get that large; you can cut open the pods and remove the seeds to a piece of newspaper to dry out for about a week then you'll have plenty of seeds for next year.

            I tried a couple of years ago to cook them when they were huge and they stayed woody, messing up my stew which I had to throw out because once they cooked and fell apart, there were bits of woody pods that made it hard to eat. I have about 25 okra plants in my garden and a couple of weeks ago, I went a few days without picking them. They were about 4-5 inches long but were not woody so I picked them and cut them in half lengthwise and baked them on a cookie sheet in the oven until crisp like french fries. They were delicious.