12 Best Okra Recipes

How to Cook Okra Without the "Slime"

Okra and rice dish

The Spruce / Victoria Heydt

Okra is a common ingredient in Southern cooking and it's featured in numerous international recipes. It's a fruit that's eaten like a vegetable and delicious when prepared properly. It's widely available both fresh and frozen.

Okra can be cooked in many ways. When stewed or cooked with liquid, okra can get slimy, but there are tricks to minimize that aspect. Quick-cooking and dry heat create crunchy okra with a crisp, grassy flavor. Slow-cooking it in a dish like gumbo harnesses okra's properties as a beneficial thickening agent.

If you love the taste of okra, these recipes are essential. They demonstrate the various methods and tips that reduce the slime while creating delicious and healthy home-cooked meals.

  • 01 of 12

    Deep-Fried Okra

    Deep-Fried Okra Recipe

     The Spruce Eats

    Fried okra is a classic for a good reason. A light cornmeal coating on the pods and a quick dunk in hot oil make fried okra crispy and completely delicious. Some people like to chop the okra first, creating bite-size snacks, almost like popcorn. Enjoy the fried okra as is or with a squirt of lemon juice or your favorite dipping sauce.

  • 02 of 12

    Garlic Sautéed Okra

    Garlic sauteed okra

    The Spruce Eats

    This garlic sautéed okra recipe is so simple and includes a useful tip for preparing okra: Pat dry after rinsing. For this dish, you only need a bit of oil, sliced garlic, and okra. The okra comes out moist, tender, and lightly crisp. The golden garlic adds a perfect hint of sweetness that brings out the sweetness of okra too.

  • 03 of 12

    Grilled Okra

    Grilled Okra

    The Spruce Eats / Molly Watson

    The charred bits on grilled okra highlight the grass-like flavor of these beautiful green pods. It really is the easiest way to cook okra and it's almost as crowd-pleasing as the fried variety. If you don't have a grill, use a grill pan on the stovetop.

  • 04 of 12

    Roasted Okra

    Roasted Okra

    The Spruce Eats / Molly Watson

    Roasting is another method that guarantees crisp okra every time. Oven-roasted okra is simple and brings out that delicious nutty, slightly grassy flavor with an almost sweet edge. For extra flavor, add some slivered green onions. Chopped chile peppers give it a spicy kick.

    Continue to 5 of 12 below.
  • 05 of 12

    Okra With Tomatoes

    High Angle View Of Tomatoes And Okras For Sale In Market
    Adam Hurley / EyeEm / Getty Images

    This braised okra with tomatoes dish includes a flavorful blend of spices. Even though the okra is cooked in liquid, the acid in the tomatoes breaks up its gelatinous tendencies. It's a great side dish, especially when served with grilled sausage. 

  • 06 of 12

    Pickled Okra

    Spicy Okra Pickles

    The Spruce Eats / Molly Watson

    For an unexpected treat, try pickling okra. This process allows you to enjoy the distinctive grassy flavor of okra well past the summer and fall harvest. It's very easy to make okra pickles and you can customize the spice levels to your liking.

  • 07 of 12

    Chilled Okra Salad

    Japanese Okra Salad

    The Spruce Eats / Judy Ung

    A favorite Japanese recipe, this chilled okra salad is a delicious option for hot days. Similar to freezing okra for storage, the recipe blanches it in boiling water, then shocks it in an ice bath to retain the bright green color. Slice the okra, chill it in the refrigerator, and serve it with soy sauce for a simple, delicious salad.

  • 08 of 12

    Curried Okra With Onions

    Fresh Sliced Okra, Tomatoes, and Onions

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Rattray

    Not only does this recipe create a tasty okra dish, but it also includes essential tips for cooking okra. The curried okra is stir-fried with onion and tomato and seasoned with cayenne, curry powder, and turmeric. It's ready in about 20 minutes and is fantastic over rice.

    Continue to 9 of 12 below.
  • 09 of 12

    Indian Crispy Okra

    Bhindi Bhojpuri

    Aparna Balasubramanian / Moment Open / Getty Images

    A slightly different approach to fried okra, kurkuri bhindi is a crispy Indian okra recipe. In this one, the okra is sliced thinly, dipped into a dry batter of gram flour, turmeric, chili powder, carom, and chaat masala, then deep-fried. Change up the seasonings or try the oven-fried option if you like.

  • 10 of 12

    Stewed Okra in Tomato Sauce

    UAE Food Selfies
    Hisham Ibrahim / Getty Images

    A Greek vegetarian dish, bamies latheres me domata is stewed okra in tomato sauce. It's cooked longer than most okra recipes, which would normally create slimy okra. The recipe combats that on two fronts: acidic tomato sauce and soaking okra in a salted water-vinegar mix before cooking. The result is a delicious side or light entrée everyone will enjoy.

  • 11 of 12

    Okra and Quinoa Pilaf

    Fresh okra

     

    batuhan toker / Getty Images 

    The okra and quinoa pilaf recipe sautés okra in water for a few minutes to create a healthy, garden-fresh dish. Onion, garlic, celery, and lots of fresh herbs, along with a few spices, add to the flavor. Toss it with cooked quinoa or your favorite grain, and it's ready to enjoy.

  • 12 of 12

    Classic Seafood Gumbo

    Seafood Gumbo

    Jupiterimages / Stockbyte / Getty Images

    The mucilage that turns okra slimy when cooked also thickens liquids, which is why it's a favorite ingredient for gumbo. A Southern classic, this seafood gumbo recipe sautés sliced okra in bacon grease or butter. It's added to the stewpot along with crab meat, shrimp, tomatoes, onions, green peppers, brown roux, and lots of seasonings, then cooked for a few hours.