The Issue: Okra's inherent stickiness is great for gumbo, but less-than-appetizing just about everywhere else.
The Solution: If you cook okra enough, no slime will remain in your finished dish. However, if you want to avoid the mess altogether, steam the pods whole for 3-4 minutes, until they're tender and bright green. Let them cool, pat 'em dry and then cut. You may get a tiny bit of stickiness on your knife after slicing the whole batch, but not nearly the grossness you'd see if you cut them raw.
Tip: Whole means whole. Don't even trim the tops off the okra before steaming. Slicing the pods releases the mucilaginous liquid that makes it feel slimy.
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