What Is Okra?

Okra is the seed of the Abelmoschus esculentus tree. They are filled with white seeds and are sometimes called lady’s fingers because of their long, slender, tube-like shape. Originating in Ethiopia, it was brought to North America by slaves and immigrants hundreds of years ago. It grows well in hot and humid climates. Major growers include India, Nigeria, Sudan, Pakistan, Ghana, Egypt, Benin, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, and Cameroon—it is also grown in Florida and other southeastern states. it’s a staple in Southern, Caribbean and Indian cuisine in gumbo and stew, and it’s one of those dishes that people either love or hate. Usually, those who dislike it criticize it for how red and silky okra turns when cooked, but others love it for the same reason. Okra is obviously one of those vegetables that means different things to different people.

What Is Okra?

Okra is a fruit, although it is eaten as a vegetable. The green seeds are cooked whole or separated, so their preparation is simple, and they can be cooked in many ways. However, choosing the right cooking method, such as steaming, steaming, sautéing, and pan-frying, can reduce or prevent browning. Grocery stores in the US often sell fresh okra by the pound during the summer months when it is in season. It is more expensive in the winter months when exported.

How to Cook With Okra

Okra is widely used in soups and stews. It contains mucilage, a substance that acts as a natural solid when heated. While this is great for dishes like gumbo, it also brings out the sliminess often associated with . In some parts of the Caribbean,is boiled and deep-fried when other dishes are chosen, another way to reduce its discomfort.

You’ll want to wash and dry the okra before chopping or slicing it. The way you cut it can vary from family to family, not to mention from one side of the country to the other. can be cut into strips, cut lengthwise or cut evenly. Of course, you can choose to leave everything.

A few methods have proven effective in reducing the slime quotient of cooked okra. Some cooks recommend soaking it in vinegar before cooking, but be sure to dry it completely afterwards. Cooking it at a high temperature, such as stewing or broiling, also works. You can cook  this way before adding it to other recipes.

What Does It Taste Like?

Okra has a mild, almost grassy flavor that is very distinctive. Although it is sometimes compared to the flavor of eggplant or green beans, the texture is more pronounced. Crunchy okra was cooked quickly but softened when cooked slowly.

Where to Buy Okra

White okra should feel firm but not dry. Look for bright green pods with flawless skin. A little green on the stem is not a concern, although it is green, okra is moist. It’s not a popular fruit and not all vendors keep it fresh. The best time to find it is from May to September when it is in season. Most grocery stores sell them pre-packaged and frozen in 12- to 16-inch bags.

Okra is a drought-tolerant annual plant that lives in warm, humid climates.1 It produces edible seeds after a white, pink, pink flower. When temperatures reach 80 degrees and above, it’s a good time to plant seeds (or start seedlings you’ve grown indoors) in rich, well-drained soil in full sun.


Okra can be stored in the vegetable compartment of your fridge in paper bags for up to four days. You can also easily wrap it in plastic wrap. When ready to cook, remove from refrigerator and begin to bring to room temperature. This will reduce the amount of moisture from cooking.

Gardeners with lots of okra (this is often when the pods are growing at the same time) can freeze them for up to a year. To dry okra, wash and cover the pods, blanch in hot water for a few minutes, put them in an ice bath, cut them up and freeze them before placing them in freezer bags. Following the advice of Southern chefs, they heat or cook the pods in pods before drying.

What is okra used for

Sometimes called the “queen’s finger,” okra is a flowering plant with edible seeds. It grows well in warm climates and is commonly grown in Africa and South Asia.

Although a fruit, okra often becomes a vegetable when cooked. You may know  as an ingredient found in a legume, for example. While not a household name in cuisine, okra still has great health value.

Health Benefits

Okra is low in calories but packed with nutrients. Vitamin C in  helps support the immune system. Okra is also high in vitamin K, which helps your body heal.

What is okra used for in cooking

Okra is often used in soups and stews. It contains mucilage, a substance that acts as a natural solid when heated. While this is great for foods like lego, it also creates the sliminess often associated with . In some parts of the Caribbean, okra is boiled and deep-fried while being cooked in other dishes, as another way to reduce blisters.

You will need to wash and dry the  before slicing or chopping it. How you cut it may vary from family to family, not stopping from one part of the country to another.  can be sliced, sliced ​​lengthwise or thinly sliced. Of course, you can choose to leave it at that.

A few methods have proved effective in reducing the slime quotient of cooked. Some chefs recommend soaking it in vinegar before cooking but be sure to rinse it thoroughly afterwards. Cooking it at a higher temperature, like grilling or grilling, also works. You can cook  this way before adding other ingredients.

What is okra related to

Okra is a member of the mallow family, related to cottonwood, hibiscus and hollyhock. A tall (6 ft) tropical annual grown for its edible green seeds (there is also a yellow pod variety, which turns green when cooked).


Okra probably originated somewhere in Ethiopia, and was cultivated by the ancient Egyptians in the 12th century B.C. Its cultivation is widespread throughout North Africa and the Middle East. The seeds were eaten boiled, and the seeds were roasted and ground, used to make coffee (and still are).

Okra arrived in the Caribbean and the US in the 1700s, probably brought by slaves from West Africa, and has been introduced to Western Europe more recently. In Louisiana, Creoles learned from slaves to use (gumbo) to drink soup and is now central to Creole Gumbo.

How to eat okra

Okra is an unusual vegetable, one that you might think is edible if no one tells you. Its spotted skin can pierce your teeth, and when cut it reveals more than seeds and slime. I admit, if  had not been added to our CSA section a few weeks earlier, I would not have been used to it—and I might not have liked it.

But hey, I’m from New England. is a popular food in some places, such as South America, parts of Africa, and the Mediterranean. According to the book “Food Culture in Sub-Saharan Africa,” by Fran Osseo-Asare:

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