Okra

Okra is one of those things I have cheated myself out of for years, because I was convinced, beyond all reason, that it tasted like a pickle.  I don’t know why, but from childhood, I have been convinced of that.

So, it’s only been recently that I started eating it.  And I think I could, every day, just throw some okra in a hot pan with a little oil, salt, and pepper, and eat it and be happy.  Even the way the seeds taste makes me happy.

Ha, so, guess what I had for dinner?

Pickles!

No, ha, okra, of course.

From my garden.

Next year?  More okra, fewer zucchini.

27 thoughts on “Okra

  1. the okra that nm gave me is just now producing and last night I emailed her about the red okra. I’m going to fry that okra up tonight and have a feast. I am so excited.

    Welcome to the okra appreciation club.

  2. I can’t stand it boiled – too slime-filled – but in soups or fried or in okra fritters, it’s great. It will keep giving right through light frosts.

  3. Really? I’m not surprised that I didn’t like it boiled (I don’t like overcooked vegetables), but I have never tried it stir-fried. I’ll give it a shot.

  4. All my red okra died. Which is probably not surprising, because all of the okra I planted, except two plants, died. Next year, it’s going in a different spot.

    But, yeah, just stir frying it up? Mmm. Good. And I got the idea from NM! Because she rocks.

  5. Bridgett, I had never cooked okra before I moved to TN, and the only recipes I had to begin with were from an Indian cookbook, and all their recipes except for stews come out fresh-tasting. I was shocked at how many completely non-slimy ways there are to cook it. Of course, if one knows how to cook like the cooks at Monell’s, one can stew it with tomatoes in a completely Southern way and it comes out not slimy in the least and people will eat three servings of it at lunch, but I’ve never been able to figure out how they do that.

  6. I’ ve been buying it by the pound from the Farmer’s Market. Drop it in buttermilk and then coat it in corn meal with a little flour, salt, and cayenne pepper and it’s a little bit of heaven.

  7. If you don’t like a heavy batter, you can just sprinkle some cornmeal over very slightly damp okra and fry that. Maybe with some garlic and some kernels from a fresh ear of corn.

  8. nm- I’ve used this Paula Deen recipe, it’s pretty close to Monell’s. Add the okra last and don’t overcook to keep it from getting slimy:

    Ingredients

    * 4 slices bacon, diced into small pieces
    * 1 small onion, peeled and chopped
    * 2 cloves garlic, minced
    * 2 (15-ounce) cans diced tomatoes
    * 1 tablespoon chicken base
    * 1 tablespoon sugar
    * 2 cups fresh okra, cut into 1-inch pieces
    * Fresh ground black pepper

    Directions

    Cook bacon slightly. Saute onion and garlic with bacon until tender. Add tomatoes, chicken base, sugar and pepper. Stir well and let simmer for about 20 minutes. Adjust seasoning if needed. Meanwhile wash okra and remove fuzz and cut into pieces. Add the okra and simmer until okra is done, about 20 more minutes.

  9. never had fried okra??? wow.

    btw size DOES matter – only in this case you don’t want them to get too big. you’ll learn this after tasting one you let sit too long on the vine. (if you know this already, sorry)

    we’ve just started the stir-fry this year & love it that way too.

    also: next time you cook white rice, stir in seasonings & okra & such *right* after you dump the dry rice in the boiling water. another way to okra-heaven.

  10. Orka is one of my guilty pleasures. I say that because of the way I like them prepared, mercilessly smoothered in a cornmeal batter and deep fat fried. Now I’m hungry.

  11. I grew up choking down fried okra-it was either eat it sooner or hours later. So I thought I didn’t like it.

    But boiled slimey or pickled-I love it!

  12. Yeah, I spent a childhood eating the battered fried okra at Wyatt’s Cafeteria and thinking, okay, whatever.

    But prepared as you describe? Heaven on earth.

    The same (indifference>sauteeing with oil, salt, onion>ascendance to heaven) occurred with eggplant. See, you have to use the Asian eggplant, and then…oh my sweet god.

  13. nm, I think that is a great idea. I would cook. Although I’d have to be supplied some okra or permitted to bring store-bought, seeing as how I have no garden because I have no land.

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