Recipes: Okra

Okra recipes from our Agriculture Supported Communities program.

NEW! Spicy Okra and Tomatoes

By Molly Watson

Browned onion, garlic, and a few tomatoes create a delicious coating for sweet, fresh okra. Cooking okra this way - without much liquid and with a fair amount of acid (from the tomatoes) - minimizes the "slime" factor so many people associate with okra. The Indian-style spices make this dish perfect for a vegetarian meal with rice and lentils or beans, but it's also yummy alongside grilled meats.

Note that this dish re-heats beautifully.

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes


    • 1 1/2 lbs. okra
    • 1 medium yellow or red onion
    • 3 medium tomatoes (canned tomatoes work just fine in this recipe)
    • 3 cloves garlic
    • 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
    • 1 1/2 tsp. chile powder (I like ancho chile powder for this dish, but it's very flexible)
    • 2 tsp. cumin seeds
    • 1 tsp. turmeric
    • 1/4 tsp. cayenne (optional)
    • 1/2 tsp. salt plus more to taste
    • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice


    1. Trim off the stem ends from the okra and cut the pods into 1/4- to 1/2-inch slices and set aside.
    2. Peel and thinly slice the onion and set aside.
    3. Chop the tomatoes and mince the garlic and set them both aside.
    4. Heat oil in a large frying pan or saute pan over high heat. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently, until onions start to brown.
    5. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, about 30 seconds. Add the chile powder, cumin seeds, turmeric, and cayenne, if using, and cook, stirring, another 30 seconds.
    6. Add the okra and stir to coat with the onion-spice mixture. Add the tomatoes, any juices they've released, salt, and 1/2 cup of water. Stir to combine and then cover. Reduce the heat to maintain a steady simmer and cook until the okra is tender and the flavors are well blended, 5 to 10 minutes.
    7. Stir in the lemon juice and add more salt to taste, if you like. Serve hot or warm.

Makes 4 to 6 servings Spicy Okra and Tomatoes.


NEW! Pickled Okra
From Gourmet, November 2003; originally published November 1982 via

Yield: Makes 6 (1/2-pt) jars (each jar serves 4) Put up some okra for the winter!

1 pound okra (3-1/2 to 4 inches long)
6 garlic cloves, peeled
3 cups cider vinegar (24 fluid ounces)
1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes
1-1/2 tablespoons dill seeds
1 tablespoon mustard seeds
1-1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon sugar

Special equipment: 6 (1/2-pt) canning jars with screw bands and lids; an instant-read or candy thermometer

Sterilize jars and lids: Wash jars, screw bands, and lids in hot, soapy water, then rinse well. Dry screw bands. Put jars on a rack in a boiling-water canner or a deep 8- to 10-quart pot and add enough hot water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to a boil, covered with lid, and boil 10 minutes. Heat lids in water to cover in a small saucepan until thermometer registers 180°F (do not let boil). Keep jars and lids submerged in hot water, covered, until ready to use.

Make pickled okra: Drain jars upside down on a clean kitchen towel 1 minute. Tightly pack jars with okra, stem ends up, then put 1 garlic clove in each jar. Bring remaining ingredients to a boil in a 2-quart nonreactive saucepan, stirring until sugar and salt are dissolved. Divide pickling liquid evenly among jars, leaving 1/4-inch space at top, then run a thin knife between okra and jar.

Seal and process jars: Wipe off rims of filled jars with a clean damp kitchen towel, then firmly screw on lids with screw bands. Put sealed jars on rack in canner or pot and add enough hot water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to a boil, covered. Boil pickles, covered, 10 minutes, then transfer jars with tongs to a towel-lined surface to cool. Jars will seal (if you hear a ping, that signals that the vacuum formed at the top has made the lid concave).

After jars have cooled 12 to 24 hours, press center of each lid to check that it's concave, then remove screw band and try to lift lid with your fingertips. If you can't, the lid has a good seal. Let pickled okra stand in jars at least 1 day for flavors to develop.

Cooks' note: Pickled okra (in sealed jars) keeps 6 months in a cool dark place.


NEW! Fresh Okra with Tomatoes and Ginger
From Gourmet, July 2001 via

ASC Intern, Heather Smith, is a big fan of okra. Her recommendation is to sauté with tomatoes. It cuts the slime every time! You can sauté okra with onions and tomatoes for something simple, or try this recipe for a delicious ginger zip. Yield: Makes 4 to 6 servings.

2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 (2- by 1-1/2-inch) piece peeled fresh ginger, chopped
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3/4 to 1/4 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes
3 large tomatoes, cored and quartered
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 lb small fresh okra, untrimmed

Pulse garlic and ginger in a food processor until finely chopped and transfer to a 12-inch heavy skillet. Add oil and red pepper flakes to taste and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Pulse tomatoes with salt and black pepper in processor until coarsely chopped and stir into oil in skillet. Cook, uncovered, over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes. Stir in okra and simmer, covered, until just tender, about 10 minutes. Great as a side dish, or sauce with fish.


NEW! Charred Okra
Southern Living, July 2013 via

Grill it! Yes, grill it! Yield: Makes 6 servings

3 limes
2 pounds medium-size fresh okra
1 tablespoon garam masala  (Indian spice)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1-1/2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Grate zest from 2 limes to equal 2-1/2 Tbsp.; squeeze juice from same 2 limes to equal 5 Tbsp. Cut remaining lime into 8 wedges. Toss together okra, next 5 ingredients, lime zest, and lime juice in a bowl. Cover and chill 1 hour. Preheat grill to 350° to 400° (medium-high) heat. Remove okra from marinade, discarding marinade. Grill okra, without grill lid, 10 to 15 minutes or just until tender and lightly charred, turning often. Sprinkle with cilantro; serve with lime wedges.


Fried Cornmeal-Coated Okra
Adapted from Gourmet Today edited by Ruth Reichl

1 pound okra, cut into 1/4-inch thick slices (tips and stems discarded)
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
Canola oil

Toss okra with cornmeal in a large bowl. Transfer, in batches if necessary, to a sieve and shake off excess cornmeal, then put on a plate. Toss together salt and cayenne in a small bowl.

Heat 1/4 inch oil in a deep 12-inch heavy skillet.  Fry okra in several batches, stirring occasionally, until golden 3 to 4 minutes per batch; transfer with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain and sprinkle with salt mixture to taste.


Sautéed Okra
Submitted by ASC Intern, Erica Parker

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 10-15 minutes
Yield: approximately 5 cups of cooked okra

2 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter) or coconut oil
1 pound okra, washed, and cut in half lengthwise
1-2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the skillet over medium heat. Add in the ghee once the pan is hot. Add in the okra, garlic powder, cumin, cayenne, salt and pepper and stir. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, allowing okra to become somewhat browned (about 10 minutes). If you prefer crispier okra, cook longer to get to that crispy point (about 5-10 minutes longer). Serve hot!

Did you try out one of these recipes? Leave a comment below on how
you liked it and whether or not you made adjustments!

One Response to “Recipes: Okra”

  1. Ellen

    Thank you Erica. This recipe introduced us to okra. We loved it! Very spicy but delicious! Will definitely add this to my cook book favorites. I also liked the source – the paleo comfort foods.


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