By Chelsea Fisher
Okra, a staple in deep south cooking but less familiar in the north and west, looks good on the outside. But its slippery texture inside can be a bit off-putting to someone cooking with it for the first time. A little bravery pays off, however; prepared the right way, okra can be a delightful addition to recipes. And, just as important, those little green pods contain nutrients galore, including protein, fiber, vitamins A, C, K, B6, folate, and calcium. Most importantly, okra also contains known cancer-battling phytochemicals such as lutein and beta-carotene.
So what to do if you’re bothered by okra’s slimy texture? First, be aware that many cooks use it as to thicken stews and gumbos. But if you really can’t stand it, simply try recipes that don’t involve cutting the pod. Just trim off the stem and cook the pods whole and you’ll be slime free.
Buy small, fresh, green okra pods that are as crisp and unblemished as possible.
I have found that cooking the cut pods over a high heat cuts down of the sliminess that can make okra a challenge for many.
Okra is popular in Mediterranean cuisine and is often cooked with onions and tomatoes. Our Okra and Tomato Stew is a classic version of this, and a perfect side dish. Our Roasted Okra recipe is a zesty and spicy way to introduce skeptics to okra and it’s easy to make.