Okra pods in a basket
Tips You Should Know When Cooking With Okra
Older okra pods, which are typically dull and brownish or have brown spots, can be too tough to chew if not cooked for a long time. The bright green ones are the freshest.
Avoid pods longer than 4 inches, as they tend to have a tough, woody texture. Fresh pods feel plump and springy, not soft or floppy, and their seeds snap when you squeeze them.
To enjoy the veggie without dealing with extreme sliminess, coat rounds of okra in cornmeal, and give the slices a quick sauté until the breading becomes crisp and brown.
Since okra’s mucilage, which is responsible for the goo, becomes thicker the more it’s heated, a speedy pan-fry is the best option. Plus, the cornmeal will absorb excess mucilage.
In the South, okra is often breaded and deep-fried, and the results are delicious. For similar results, you can easily make some crispy roasted okra in the oven.
To do so, season whole pods with olive oil, salt, paprika, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper and toss them in potato starch. Bake for 20 minutes or until crisp and golden-brown.
Proper Slicing
Slicing okra into little rounds can release quite a lot of mucilage. To avoid excessive sliminess, keep the top of the okra intact and slice downwards away from it.
This will help hold the pod together and make it less messy as you cut it into thin strips. Lastly, chop off the top to free the slices, which you can fry and enjoy in many ways.
Frozen Okra
Frozen okra requires little to no prep work, costs less than its fresh counterpart, and is available all year round while containing all the nutrients okra is known for.
One of the easiest ways to cook with frozen okra is to throw it into stews or soups. While it doesn't crisp up well when pan-fried, it does yield yummy results when oven-roasted.