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Cooking Okra

In Season: Okra

Today at the farmers market, the okra looked so fresh that I simply had to buy some. Right now is the perfect time to purchase a seasonal ingredient like okra, which is only available through early November. The folks at Padao Farms, the stand where I got the beloved green pods, gave me a few tips for picking the vegetable. Keep reading to get pointers for selecting okra.

  • When choosing okra, find the size that best accommodates your culinary needs (my personal preference is a medium size), but avoid the very largest okra, which are tough.
  • Firmness indicates the okra was recently picked. A good test: wrap your fingers around the okra and use your thumb to test the strength of the vegetable's tip. If it seems like it could snap, then it's firm and fresh. Eschew limp selections that don't pass the test.
  • Store okra in a loose bag in the refrigerator and use within two to three days.

Okra tastes great when breaded and baked or fried, as a replacement for zucchini in ratatouille, or in a late-Summer skillet stir-fry. You can even toss raw okra into a salad with a light vinaigrette. What are your favorite uses for okra?

Join The Conversation
joikiut joikiut 5 years
a-lee a-lee 5 years
I absolutely love the slimey consistency of okra - such a fun texture!
Hill82879 Hill82879 9 years
My CSA just sent us a big bag of okra, and I used it to make this last night: It was so delicious and only took about 20 minutes.
uptown_girl uptown_girl 9 years
It's hard to explain. It's got a tougher outer shell, so it has a little bit of crunch, like a green bean, and it has the little white seeds on the inside & a slightly slimey-ness to it. Now, I know that what I described sounds gross, but you should definitely give it a shot! I grew up eating fried okra. I've also discovered a skillet recipe that uses tomatoes, onions, white wine, & shrimp, along with okra, that tastes great!
JaimeLeah526 JaimeLeah526 9 years
ilanac13- I was thinking the same thing. I have no idea what the flavor would be like.
ilanac13 ilanac13 9 years
my question is - aside from knowing how to cook it and how to buy it - what does okra really taste like? i've seen it a million times but i've never gotten it cause i don't know what the flavor will be.
tiabia tiabia 9 years
As the daughter of a southern belle...boy do I LOVE OKRA!!! I just fried some okra this past Monday!!! But I also love it in all the ways that you described in the post!!! It is delicious.
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