How to Freeze Okra

Deep-Fried Okra Recipe

 The Spruce

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 4 mins
Flash Freeze: 6 hrs
Total: 6 hrs 9 mins
Servings: 10 to 13 Servings
Yields: 2 to 2 Frozen pounds

Okra is a tasty summertime crop and a staple in many Southern homes. When it's in season, it's a good idea to buy it in bulk and freeze it so you can have this wonderful vegetable year-round. By following our recipe, you can freeze as much okra as you can fit in your freezer, and simply grab a bag when you're ready to cook with it.

The best time to find fresh okra is from May through September. The slender, green, tube-like pod contains small white seeds. The vegetable has a distinctive texture that takes getting used to, but the wonderful flavor makes the effort worthwhile. A mucilaginous substance turns okra gooey the longer it cooks, but a quick saute of the pods minimizes development of the slimy substance. Okra is high in soluble fiber and supplies loads of vitamins and minerals.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups white vinegar
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 pounds okra (whole, unblemished skins)
  • Optional: 1 cup corn flour

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Bring a big pot of water to a boil.

  3. Mix equal parts white vinegar and water in a large bowl and add the okra. The acetic acid in the vinegar kills bacteria ​and dissolves any wax, pesticide, and fertilizer residues. It also rids just-picked okra of bugs that might be hanging on. Soak the okra in the solution for a minute or two and then rinse it with abundant fresh, cool water.

  4. Cut off the stems from each pod, preserving the seed cells. If you can see seeds, you're cutting off too much.

  5. Carefully drop the okra pods into the boiling water. The blanching halts the enzymatic process, so the okra maintains that just-picked color, flavor, and texture. Without blanching, these enzymes could survive in the freezer and continue the decaying process. Give small okra pods 3 minutes in the boiling water, and large okra pods 4 minutes.

  6. Once cooked, transfer the blanched okra to an ice water bath (this helps set the green color). Let the pods cool for 5 to 10 minutes, then place them in a colander to drain. 

  7. Once the pods feel cool enough to handle, pat-dry the okra with paper towels or a clean dish cloth. Leave the pods whole or chop them up into bite-sized pieces.

  8. If you plan to fry your okra later, dredge the pieces in the optional corn flour.

  9. To freeze the okra in individual pieces, rather than clumps, flash-freeze it on a baking sheet in one even layer. Spread the okra out and place it in the freezer until frozen, for about 3 to 6 hours.

  10. Transfer the frozen okra to freezer bags and return it to the freezer. Label your bags with the date of processing, and use the okra within a year for the best quality.

Cooking With Frozen Okra

To cook with the frozen okra, simply scoop out what you need and add it to your recipe. You do not need to thaw it first.