How to cook okra without slime? Tips for choosing okra, storing okra, and chopping okra. Everything you wanted to learn about okra can be found in this post

Raise your hand if you don’t like working with okra.

Okra is one tough veggie to cook and the slime is the worst part of it.

These okra tips will make you a pro at how to cook okra and you will love how great your recipes turn out.

Top view of 2 rows of okra lined up on the left side of the screen - how to cook okra

Getting started with okra

Don’t you hate it when okra gets so sticky and gluey?! The first step is choosing the right okra before we even start thinking about recipes for it.

Source: My personal cooking experience, Southern Living and Our Every Day Life

How to choose the right okra

  • Choose okra that is long and thin.
Top view of 2 okra side by side. One is long, slender with a check mark above and the other is a short one with a red X above
  • Choose okra that is still green and crispy.
One okra cut into 2 by hand - how to cook okra
  • When you bend the okra, it should snap and not stay bent.
An okra bent but not cut into half
  • Okra without fuzz are not fresh, so, always look for okra that has a little bit of fuzz
Closeup and crossection of an okra with fuzz visible

Soaking it in Vinegar

This is a technique I have seen many chefs and cooks use to help cook okra. It cuts down on the sliminess of the okra when cooking it

I haven’t had much success with this soaking method, so, I am not completely endorsing it. To me, it seems like it adds vinegar to the taste of the end recipe

But, here is how I have seen okra soaked in vinegar before cooking.

  • Wash and thoroughly dry the okra first
  • Place the okra in a bowl and drizzle vinegar on it
  • Make sure all the okra is well-coated
  • Keep it covered for 30min
  • Rinse the okra and dry it completely before cooking it

Source – University of Illinois Extension

Top view of one okra soaking in apple cider vinegar

How to chop it

  • Wash the okra thoroughly first
  • Dry it completely before you take a knife to it. The less water you use, the less sticky it will be.
  • Ideally, wash and dry the okra a day before you are going to cook them.
  • Start by cutting and discarding the top of the okra
Top view of 2 okra's top cut
  • Cut the okra into rounds. The thicker the okra rounds, the better they will cook.
  • Also, thicker okra rounds will not be as sticky when cooked
Okra cut into thick rounds on a metallic tray
  • Once cut, use okra immediately. Cut okra tends to brown easily and it will also get stickier.
  • Cook the okra with the seeds.

How to cut them, lengthwise

  • Wash and dry okra the same way.
  • Be sure to dry it thoroughly.
  • Cut the top of the okra first
  • Place the knife at the top of the okra and gently push down
  • This will split the okra in half. Depending on the recipe, you can cut the half lengthwise again.
  • If you are stuffing the okra, just make a slit lengthwise without splitting the okra into half
Top view of okra being sliced into lengthwise and 2 slices of cut okra on the side

Nutrition in raw okra

I am not a health or diet professional, so, please consult a professional for further okra information. The information below is from Wikipedia, USDA.gov, Diabetes.org, and my own personal experiences.

Okra has no sodium, cholesterol, or fat. That’s why they are favored by diabetics. Whenever I cook okra, I always make sure I use little to no salt. Why change is a good thing, right?

Closeup view of 2 rows of okra

It’s one of those rare veggies that are packed with vitamins! It has Vitamin K, Vitamin C, Vitamin A, and Vitamin E. This makes me happy because I love getting my vitamins from foods.

For vegans, proteins and Vitamin Bs are an essential part of our daily diet.

I have a helpful guide on all things vegan. If you have more questions, feel free to comment below.

Want more tips on working with vegetables? Check out my Cabbage tips and my sweet potato tips.

Top view of 2 rows of okra lined to the right on a grey tray

How to cook it

  • Make sure the pan is heated and if using oil, make sure the oil is heated too.
  • Keep the heat on high and the same level until all the okra is cooked
  • Do not add water to the okra. If a recipe calls for water, make sure you add other veggies and ingredients before you add the water
  • Stir infrequently. This is the one thing I struggle with all the time, lol. If you have seen my cooking videos, you know that I have an unhealthy level of love for stirring frequently. So, hard as it might be, do not stir often
  • To stir, use the pan-flipping method for best results. Stay away from using wooden spoons or any stirring spoons. Jamie Oliver has amazing tips on how to be an “incredible tosser”.
Front view of 2 rounds of cut okra and whole okras in the back

Common questions

How to cook frozen okra

Frozen okra is great for stews and soups. I usually throw in the okra right out of the frozen bag, without thawing them. This way, the okra stays crispy and retains its unique texture.

Not thawing veggies is one of my favorite tips. I find that the cooking process does a great job of thawing the veggies. Recently, I cooked frozen peas in the Dutch oven without thawing them. Want to know how they turned out?

How to cook canned okra

Canned okra is great for casseroles and oven-baked dishes. The oven-baking process does a great job of cooking the okra. It takes away some of the aftertaste you get from eating canned food.

I have only used the canned okra once and that was for a southern casserole dish. It’s not a recipe on my blog (yet), but, it did turn out well. If you can’t get fresh okra, use the canned version.

Closeup view of two rows of okra

Can okra be frozen?

Yes, you can freeze okra, but, the freezing process makes a huge difference.

First, I like to wash and dry the fresh okra. I prefer doing this a day before so that all the water is gone before I freeze it

I place the okra in a ziploc bag and write the date. The okra is whole which makes it easier to freeze.

Alternatively, you can cut it into large chunks and immediately place it in a ziploc bag. Write the date and freeze it immediately. Don’t give the chopped okra too much time to interact with oxygen.

This frozen okra is best if used within 6 months of freezing.

Is it the same as Lady Finger

Yes, okra is the same as lady finger or ladies fingers. If you had British or European educational influences, you would refer to it as ladyfinger.

Top view of 2 rows of okra lined to the right on a grey tray

How many types are there?

There are at least 13 different types of okras that can be grown. There is some purple-colored okra too! I had no idea how beautiful they looked. Sometimes, I have seen them in my local Lucky’s Market and Whole Foods.

Gardner’s Path has a list of 13 different varieties of okra. If you have a vegetable garden, grow them and send me pics of them. I would love to see which variety you like.

How to flavor it

I have seen okra used in Spanish cooking, Southern cooking, African Cooking, and Indian cooking. Other than that, it’s not a common vegetable in other cuisines.

Some of my favorite ways to flavor okra are using homemade spices

A few okra recipes

Here are some okra recipes from my blog. What kind of okra recipe would you like to see me make?

Bhindi fry with aloo

A classic Gujarati recipe made with lightly stir-fried potatoes and okra with simple spices.

Bhindi Fry with Aloo
Quick, easy dry bhindi fry with aloo
Check out this recipe
Closeup view of okra and potatoes

Okra in a blanket

Roasted okra with a cheese stick in the middle and wrapped in puff pastry

Okra In A Blanket
A Simple Vegetarian Version of Pigs In A Blanket Made with Okra, cheese, sun-dried tomatoes and jalapeno
Check out this recipe
Overhead View of an Okra Wrapped with Puff Pastry and filled with Sun-dried Tomatoes, Jalapeno and Sargento Snack Bites Cheese

Oven baked okra

Pieces of okra rolled in flour and baked in the oven

Oven Baked Okra
Baked Okra – Made with easy ingredients
Check out this recipe
Overhead View of Baked Okra on a Wax Paper. One Green Okra on the Side

Vegetarian gumbo

Classic Creole recipe of gumbo but made for vegans with extra okra

Vegetarian Gumbo made in One Pan
This is a vegetarian version of the traditional gumbo.
Check out this recipe
Vegetarian Gumbo in one-pan recipe

Love getting to know your ingredients? Get to know Lemon Balm and Amaranth.

Closeup and crossection of an okra with fuzz visible

Cooking Okra

Rini
How to cook okra perfectly each time
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 1 person
Calories 242 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 6 oz okra chopped into large rounds (about 4-5 rounds per okra)
  • 1.5 Tbsp oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Instructions
 

  • Heat pan on high for 30 seconds
  • Add oil to it and heat for 30 seconds
  • Set the heat to medium high and keep it there for the rest of the time
  • Add the chopped okra to the oil
  • Let it cook by itself for about about 3 minutes
  • Add salt to the okra
  • Using the pan-flipping method to stir the okra. This is going to reduce the sliminess
  • Cook for another 3-5 minutes until the okra is tender
  • When you can crush an okra piece easily with the back of a spoon, the okra is ready to eat

Notes

– Okra is best cooked with very little intervention or stirring.  This way, the slime will be kept to a minimum
– Keep water away from okra, unless you are adding a whole bunch of other veggies

Nutrition

Calories: 242kcal
Keyword How to cook Okra, How to prevent slime when cooking okra
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

6 Comments

  1. I am from the South, love steamed okra and fried okra. To fry, slice, pour a little buttermilk over and roll in cornmeal. Fry in hot shortening, when getting brown, drain on paper towels. Love the seeds in the okra, one of the best parts. Can also batter small pods and fry like French fries.

  2. The instructions on the package says to place okra in a pan cover the pan with water and boil okra for 3 minutes then drain & season to taste. Ok, what seasoning do I use?