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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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Okra and Quinoa Pilaf
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.
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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.