How to prepare okra

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How to prepare okra

SMOKY_OKRA_004.tif

Food Stylist: Jamie Kimm Props Stylist: Marina Malchin

Photo: Antonis Achilleos

Not sure how to prepare okra in a healthy way? Fried okra is a classic, but this green vegetable can also be prepared with low calories and low fat. Here are 5 delicious recipes to get you started.

Marinating is an easy way to preserve the summer goodness of products. Prepare the pickling mixture and just sit back and relax—that’s all there is to it.

Il gombo dolce e i pomodorini funzionano magicamente insieme. In addition to combining their flavors beautifully, both are packed with antioxidants and fiber.

In this French-inspired dish, tomatoes and a variety of vegetables are fried in olive oil. It can be served as a main dish with wholemeal noodles, brown rice or French bread. It‘s also a delicious accompaniment to fish or chicken.

Place the okra on the skewers, grill for a few minutes per side and you’ll get a great side with less than 70 calories per serving!

Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, is a registered dietitian and consultant specializing in food safety and culinary nutrition. See Toby’s complete biography »

Connected with:

How to prepare okra

SMOKY_OKRA_004.tif

Food Stylist: Jamie Kimm Props Stylist: Marina Malchin

Photo: Antonis Achilleos

Not sure how to prepare okra in a healthy way? Fried okra is a classic, but this green vegetable can also be prepared with low calories and low fat. Here are 5 delicious recipes to get you started.

Marinating is an easy way to preserve the summer goodness of products. Prepare the pickling mixture and just sit back and relax—that’s all there is to it.

Il gombo dolce e i pomodorini funzionano magicamente insieme. In addition to combining their flavors beautifully, both are packed with antioxidants and fiber.

In this French-inspired dish, tomatoes and a variety of vegetables are fried in olive oil. It can be served as a main dish with wholemeal noodles, brown rice or French bread. It‘s also a delicious accompaniment to fish or chicken.

Place the okra on the skewers, grill for a few minutes per side and you’ll get a great side with less than 70 calories per serving!

Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, is a registered dietitian and consultant specializing in food safety and culinary nutrition. See Toby’s complete biography »

Lauren Sakiyama is a freelance writer with over ten years of experience in the hospitality industry. She has run restaurants, country clubs and large-scale parties, but her passion has always been food. To know more.

Okra has her enemies and most of them have endured those “lady’s fingers” covered in sticky, gummy slime. She learns how to keep this southern delicacy slime-free and see what all this okra fuss is about.

Controversial might be the best adjective to describe an okra. Those who love him really love him. Those who hate it, look at it with the detest one might reserve only for those slimiest of foes, like a garden slug or a toddler’s errant booger.

If you’ve ever attempted to cook okra, you might understand both sides of the story. You can cook it one day and finish with a delicious side dish. Next time you can try to repeat the success and end up with a plate of chewy green balls. So what does it give?

What is Okra and why does it get slimy?

Okra is a tall plant, up to 1 foot tall, with cone-shaped edible pods, often referred to as “lady’s toes.” Although, we’re not sure what ladies of the American South had fingers like these. They’re fuzzy, slightly sticky, and bright green. Which, to us, sounds more like Shrek’s finger than a lady’s, but who are we are to say?

While Americans may think of okra as the southernmost base, its history goes far beyond that. From the cradle of civilization in Ethiopia, okra has made its way to Africa, then India, Southeast Asia, and finally North America. That’s right folks. Okra isn’t just a southern staple. It’s used in a myriad of dishes across cultures and regions from Turkey, to China, to the United States.

More often than not, American’s think of this pod as synonymous with gumbo. And, it’s true, many gumbos rely on okra to act as a thickener. However, okra is much more versatile, assuming we can look beyond its slimy tendencies. So why does okra get slimy?

First of all, it’s not called slime. It’s mucilage, which sounds just as disgusting but slightly more professional. Okra needs mucus to germinate. This slimy substance helps the plant retain water during those hot southern summers, but as many an okra-hater knows, it doesn’t have the most pleasant mouthfeel.

Seven tips to stop mucus

How to prepare okraStock Image Factory. it / Shutterstock

Don’t worry, there are more than a few ways to stop mucus. Almost all of them aim to avoid excessive humidity. That’s the key take away. Just like the Wicked Witch of the West, these viridescent bad boys don’t take well to H2O. Read through all the tips, and you’ll see what we mean.

1. Search for Little Spark.

The smaller the pod, the less mature it is. Less ripe, less mucus. Easy enough, right?

2. When you prepare the Okra, rinse it and then dry it thoroughly.

Any moisture on the outside of the okra will promote mucus formation. We repeat; Dried semi-dried okra is sure to have a slippery finish.

3. Cook the whole Okra if possible.

Some recipes will tell you to slice it, but if you can avoid it, do it. Cutting the okra releases mucilage, and once it’s floating around, there’s no going back.

4. If you can’t cook whole, use a very sharp knife …

and clean the blade between cuts. This will prevent the spread of the sludge and greatly reduce it in the final vessel.

5. Boil the Okra over high heat.

The best way to cook okra, for those who are rejected by its slimy nature, is hot and fast. Frying, baking or grilling are all excellent options. Avoid preparations that involve stews or long cooking.

6. Don’t overcook or overfill.

Overcooking okra promotes the release of mucus. Hot and fast, remember? While we’re at it, don’t cover or crowd the pan either. Moisture trapped by steaming okra in a jammed or covered pan also causes mud to form.

7. Add acid.

Tomato and okra are a classic combination. It’s exceptional flavor-wise, but it also works because the acidic tomato juice will help cut through any spilled mucilage. Lemon juice or white wine will always do the trick too.

Now that you’ve got all the slime-fighting tips and tricks, it’s time to make some okra! Then turn on the grill, set the oven on high heat, or set up the deep fryer. It’s about time you tasted okra without the slime.

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  • NUTRITION

Summer is in full swing and that means stocking up on all the delicious produce the season has to offer.

This includes okra. Not a fan of okra yet? You will be soon.

The trick is to learn how to pick one that’s tender (not fibrous or stringy) – and how to cook okra so it’s not slippery.

These little pods can be full of flavor if you know how to prepare them.

From cooking and stewing to marinating and frying, okra is a surprisingly versatile vegetable.

Read on for details on this vegetable and also learn how to cook it for maximum enjoyment.

What is Okra?

How to prepare okra

Potresti conoscere l’okra come "dita da donna" per la forma lunga e snella dei baccelli o come accompagnamento popolare al gumbo.

È comunemente stufato nei piatti indiani (cerca "bhindi" nel menu).

Vegetables can be red or green and are actually fruit pods filled with edible seeds.

Because they have such a mild flavor, okra pods are great for spicy foods, Ginger Hultin, RD, Seattle-based dietician and authorAnti-inflammatory diet Food preparation.

While bigger is better with many vegetables, this isn’t the case with okra.

Choose pods that are no larger than your thumb; when okra gets too big it develops tough, stringy fibers that aren’t pleasant to eat.

Just 1 cup contains 3 grams of fiber and only 33 calories.

"La fibra ti aiuta a sentirti pieno più a lungo", afferma Amy Gorin, MS, RDN, una dietista a base vegetale registrata con sede a Stamford, nel Connecticut.

Do you know how okra is known to be slippery?

This is thanks to the soluble fiber it contains, which helps thicken the food.

Here’s a scoop of the other nutrients you’ll find in 1 cup of raw okra:

  • C vitamin:23 mg
  • Vitamin A:36 mcg
  • Football:82 mg
  • Magnesium:57 mg
  • Iron:0.6 mg

This makes 1 cup of okra an excellent source of vitamin C and a good source of magnesium.

How to cook okra

How to prepare okra

Okra is fairly easy to cook and include it in your diet.

It’s especially tasty when added to soup, stews, or rice bowls. The vessel can be baked, deep-fried, stewed, air-fried and even marinated.

"La sfida principale con questo ortaggio è che ha una consistenza gelatinosa, quindi molte persone scelgono i metodi di cottura a seconda di quanto vogliono ammorbidire questo aspetto", afferma Hultin.

The most popular way to get rid of sludge?

Chop the okra, then cover with white vinegar and set aside for 30 minutes before cooking.

(Just remember to dry it well!)

Gorin prefers to choke on okra. He starts with a can of crushed tomatoes and a bag of frozen okra, then lets the mixture shrink.

This method makes good use of its texture, helping to thicken the dish.

"Lo servo su uno strato di riso integrale con qualcosa come tofu o salsiccia vegetale", dice Gorin.

If you’re new to okra, try roasting it. Pods creak well!

Paola Deen

How to prepare okra

  • Preparation time:10 minutes ii
  • Cooking time:10 minutes ii
  • Portions:1

ingrediants

  • 1 1/2 pounds of fresh okra
  • 3 teaspoons of dried fennel
  • 3 teaspoons of sugar
  • 2 glasses of water
  • 1 cup of vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons of canned and seasoned salt
  • 3 (1 pint) with lids, sterilized canning jars

Advice

Sterilize jars and lids directly before using for10 minutes ii in simmering water or in the dishwasher. Take out one at a time when you are ready to fill it.

Divide the fresh circle evenly between three half-liter jars. Put 1 teaspoon of dried fennel and 1 teaspoon of sugar in each jar.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the water, vinegar, and salt. Bring to the boil. While the vinegar mixture is still hot, ladle the hot, sterilized okra jars, filling them 1/4 inch from the top. Clean the edges with a clean damp cloth and close the jars with lids and rings. Process in a boiling water bath (making sure water level is 1 inch over the top of the jars) for10 minutes ii. Remove from the water bath and allow to cool on the work surface.

Pairings: The perfect addition to a glass of cold spicy tomato juice.

Paola Deen

How to prepare okra

  • Preparation time:10 minutes ii
  • Cooking time:10 minutes ii
  • Portions:1

ingrediants

  • 1 1/2 pounds of fresh okra
  • 3 teaspoons of dried fennel
  • 3 teaspoons of sugar
  • 2 glasses of water
  • 1 cup of vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons of canned and seasoned salt
  • 3 (1 pint) with lids, sterilized canning jars

Advice

Sterilize jars and lids directly before using for10 minutes ii in simmering water or in the dishwasher. Take out one at a time when you are ready to fill it.

Divide the fresh circle evenly between three half-liter jars. Put 1 teaspoon of dried fennel and 1 teaspoon of sugar in each jar.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the water, vinegar, and salt. Bring to the boil. While the vinegar mixture is still hot, ladle the hot, sterilized okra jars, filling them 1/4 inch from the top. Clean the edges with a clean damp cloth and close the jars with lids and rings. Process in a boiling water bath (making sure water level is 1 inch over the top of the jars) for10 minutes ii. Remove from the water bath and allow to cool on the work surface.

Pairings: The perfect addition to a glass of cold spicy tomato juice.

When you don’t have time for mucus.

It may be one of the most famous vegetables of our region, but okra is a polarizing product. In fact, it’s a dirty secret from many southerners that they don’t care at all. Reason? It was probably poorly cooked which made it slippery. While okra mucus serves a purpose, especially when gumbo thickens, it can be easily avoided. Follow these tips from the pros in our test kitchen.

Choose small, fresh pods

The smaller the pod, the less mucus and seeds. Our friend chef Tim Hontzas of Johnny’s Restaurant in Homewood, Alabama believes so strongly in this principle that he asks his breeder to manually evaluate each slice to make it smaller than a little finger before frying.

Use high heat

Make sure your cast iron skillet, grill, or deep fryer is hot before you start cooking the okra. A good burn on the outside will not only make the outside taste great, but it will also reduce the mucus inside.

Really dry them

After washing the casing pods, make sure they are completely dry. The wet pods will begin to vaporize, causing more mucus to be produced.

Cook in small batches

A crowded pan will reduce the heat, creating an environment conducive to sludge formation. If you are baking them on a baking sheet, try using two sheets so that there is plenty of space between them.

Add acid

Lemon juice, chopped tomatoes, vinegar, or a dash of wine will not only add depth to your recipe, but also reduce the mucus factor.

How to prepare okra

Summer is in full swing and that means stocking up on all the delicious produce the season has to offer.

This includes okra. Not a fan of okra yet? You will be soon.

The trick is to learn how to pick one that’s tender (not fibrous or stringy) – and how to cook okra so it’s not slippery.

These little pods can be full of flavor if you know how to prepare them.

From cooking and stewing to marinating and frying, okra is a surprisingly versatile vegetable.

Read on for details on this vegetable and also learn how to cook it for maximum enjoyment.

What is Okra?

Potresti conoscere l’okra come "dita da donna" per la forma lunga e snella dei baccelli o come accompagnamento popolare al gumbo.

È comunemente stufato nei piatti indiani (cerca "bhindi" nel menu).

Vegetables can be red or green and are actually fruit pods filled with edible seeds.

Because they have such a mild flavor, okra pods are great for spicy foods, Ginger Hultin, RD, Seattle-based dietician and authorAnti-inflammatory diet Food preparation.

While bigger is better with many vegetables, this isn’t the case with okra.

Choose pods that are no larger than your thumb; when okra gets too big it develops tough, stringy fibers that aren’t pleasant to eat.

Just 1 cup contains 3 grams of fiber and only 33 calories.

"La fibra ti aiuta a sentirti pieno più a lungo", afferma Amy Gorin, MS, RDN, una dietista a base vegetale registrata con sede a Stamford, nel Connecticut.

Do you know how okra is known to be slippery?

This is thanks to the soluble fiber it contains, which helps thicken the food.

Here’s a scoop of the other nutrients you’ll find in 1 cup of raw okra:

  • C vitamin:23 mg
  • Vitamin A:36 mcg
  • Football:82 mg
  • Magnesium:57 mg
  • Iron:0.6 mg

This makes 1 cup of okra an excellent source of vitamin C and a good source of magnesium.

How to cook okra

How to prepare okra

Okra is fairly easy to cook and include it in your diet.

It’s especially tasty when added to soup, stews, or rice bowls. The vessel can be baked, deep-fried, stewed, air-fried and even marinated.

"La sfida principale con questo ortaggio è che ha una consistenza gelatinosa, quindi molte persone scelgono i metodi di cottura a seconda di quanto vogliono ammorbidire questo aspetto", afferma Hultin.

The most popular way to get rid of sludge?

Chop the okra, then cover with white vinegar and set aside for 30 minutes before cooking.

(Just remember to dry it well!)

Gorin prefers to choke on okra. He starts with a can of crushed tomatoes and a bag of frozen okra, then lets the mixture shrink.

This method makes good use of its texture, helping to thicken the dish.

"Lo servo su uno strato di riso integrale con qualcosa come tofu o salsiccia vegetale", dice Gorin.

If you’re new to okra, try roasting it. Pods creak well!