5 Ways with Okra


5 Ways with Okra
Posted August 7, 2017
Okra is a finger-shaped, dark green vegetable seed pod with a pointed end. It is usually harvested when 3 to 4 inches long and is available from the summer months to early fall.
 
Most people who have tried okra either love it or hate it. That could be because of the slimy substance inside the pod, or that they used the wrong cooking method to utilize the liquid. It’s hard to explain the flavor of okra or compare it to something else. It has its own unique earthy flavor and interesting texture. Here are some tips when cooking okra.
 
To control the slime: Leaving okra whole and quick cooking methods – sautéing, grilling, frying – bring out the crunchy, rather than the slimy, side of okra. Cooking okra with plenty of acid – vinegar, citrus juice, tomatoes – is another way to keep its slippery nature in check.
 
To use the slime: Many great okra dishes use okra’s tendency to be slimy to their advantage to thicken and add body. Gumbo, in which sliced okra is stewed with smoked meat, other vegetables, and seafood, is the most obvious example as okra gives the famous soup its characteristic heartiness, utilizing the thickening agent in the infamous slime.
 
When buying fresh okra, look for young pods free of bruises, tender but not soft, and no more than 4 inches long. Okra may be stored in the refrigerator in a paper bag or wrapped in a paper towel in a perforated plastic bag for 2 to 3 days.
Okra can be found at your farmers’ markets from most Asian specialty growers. Get it fresh from the farmers' market!
 
Here are five ways to enjoy this southern specialty:
Pickle it.
Add to jambalaya or gumbo.
Saute with tomatoes.
Grill on skewers with shrimp or sausage.
Roast in the oven.
 
 

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