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Tackling my fear of Okra

Friends, I would like you to meet my arch nemesis. Okra.

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Why do I hate okra so? Well, my only memories of okra are disgusting, soggy, fried okra from my middle school cafeteria. Ew. I haven’t had it since.

But yesterday, I was in the grocery store and I saw okra out of the corner of my eye. I’ve been trying to be more adventurous and not just buy the same old stuff every time, so I thought, “Why not?” It’s time to get over my fear of okra.

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The only problem is… I don’t really know what to do with it. I sent out a Twitter plea asking for advice, and a lot of you recommended baking it, so I decided to try that, first.

Into a little ziplock baggie went the okra, a drizzle of olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder.

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Tip: putting veggies in a ziplock with the oil/seasonings makes it really easy to spread everything around evenly without having to add a ton of oil! :)

Then, into the oven it went (with some sweet potatoes) at 375 to roast for 20 minutes.

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Twenty minutes later… voila!

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With the roasted okra and sweet potato fries, I also enjoyed some of my super easy Tomato, Basil & Garlic Chicken:

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I went ahead and made the whole package so I’d have leftovers for quick lunches/dinners the rest of the week. I actually don’t buy meat all that often at the store (veggie protein like beans is cheaper and easier when you are mostly cooking for one!) but I have been really craving it recently… must be all that running!

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So, what was the verdict on the okra, you ask?

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Well… it was okay. Not amazing, but not horrible. I think the slimy inside is still throwing me off a bit.

Help! Do you like okra? What’s your favorite okra recipe or way to cook okra?

So in other news, can you believe our biochem test was CANCELLED yesterday, after all that? Grrrr. It’s tomorrow now instead… there was some miscommunication with printing the exams and basically they weren’t ready. Sigh. I was so looking forward to not having it hanging over my head anymore. I won’t have any time before tomorrow to study any more and probably won’t do as well now, either :( Oh well, c’est la vie.

Have a good one!

Comments

  1. 1

    Oh man! I was hoping you would have discovered some magical and unslimey way of prepping it. Although I gotta say I LOVE your baggie tip for coating things with the oil and seasonings. Why have I not been doing that?? LOL

    And I just sent you an email.

  2. 2

    I always toss everything into bags to coat them..the wonder coater ;) I’ve never tried okra before, I’m not that brave!

  3. 3

    I actually like fried okra! There’s a place down in Orlando called 4 Rivers (I think) that has THE best fried okra. I think Meghann (Meals & Miles) did a review on that restaurant last year at some point.

  4. 4

    I made okra fries last night too!! A slimy texture, and nothing compared to a good sweet potato or parsnip fry, but a nice change of pace and fun way to get greens!

  5. 5
    Jackie Smith says:

    This is basically how my mom makes okra, and it’s delicious. You cut the okra into little coins & the dry-frying makes the slimy grossness go away. Add whatever spices you’re in the mood for to change up the flavor.

    http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/dry-fried-okra-recipe/index.html

  6. 6

    You’re braver than me. Okra just kind of creeps me out. I dunno. I’ll take almost any other vegetable, except beets, instead.

  7. 7

    Ugh, Okra. I have a hard time liking okra, too. The only way I have been able to eat it is pickled, which is really weird since I don’t eat other veggies (other than pickles) pickled. I guess it is because I am expecting slimy so when I get it, I’m not weirded out.

  8. 8

    I have actually NEVER had okra! I have heard both good and bad things, but i’m not sure about how I gel about the “slime” factor;) At least you didn’t have to take a giant test, girl!

  9. 9

    I LOVE okra! haha its one of my favorites :-) I especially love pickled okra! mmmmmm

  10. 10

    Hi Anne – I was meh on okra for a long time, but oven-roasted okra fries won me over. I saw the recipe on Kath’s blog and also another version on FatFreeVegan – I can’t remember right now, but I want to say the oven temperature is a bit higher and the cooking time a bit lower – so they outside of the okra gets super crispy and the inside, instead of being slimy, is more gooey and warm. Combined with the crispy exterior it works better and negates the slime factor.

  11. 11

    Okra freaks me out too. Whenever I steam those mixed veggie packs, I also pick around it. I have no idea why I refuse to eat it. haha.

  12. 12

    okra is actually one of my favorite veggies! I have no idea why but I buy it by the bagful. I love simply roasting it up and tossing it with tomatoes. Its such a staple for me! Pickled Okra is amazing too!

  13. 13

    Jackie Smith #5 response is how I prepare okra. I cut into coins a little salt and pepper. If you like hot sauce, put some on it. Toss with a little bread crumbs. Spray baking sheet with pam and cook in oven 375 for about 20 to 30 min. stiring half way. It is so good and so is pickled okra.
    You can’t be a southern belle and not like okra, “my, my, Miss Anne”.(haha)
    Good luck on you bio test tomorrow, I know you will do well.

  14. 14

    Okra is my all time FAVORITE veggie! I love it roasted in the oven 425 w/ salt & pepper until crispy. It is also amazing in jambalaya, soup, and chopped for salads. My BIL also makes a mean fried okra. So.good!

    That sucks when tests get moved, especially biochem. A couple weeks ago, my A & P teacher was out sick so her husband (another professor) subbed for her. I was already to take my test, busted my butt, then it was postponed over the weekend! Grrrr….oh well, I really know my stuff now. You can always study on the elliptical/ treadmill or in the bath tub. :) Oh, and the same thing happened last week with my stats test. We had sub freezing temps her here in Denver so classes were canceled. :/

  15. 15

    I hope you find a tasty way to cook okra. I haven’t.

  16. 16

    I like Kath’s recipe. And the little bit of breading helps control the sliminess I think :) http://www.katheats.com/favorite-foods/better-than-fried-okra/

  17. 17

    I use this recipe all the time in the spring and summer, its really yummy!!

    http://find.myrecipes.com/recipes/recipefinder.dyn?action=displayRecipe&recipe_id=10000001227844

  18. 18

    I’ve only ever had okra in vegetable soups. I think it’s really good, but everything is good in vegetable soup :)

  19. 19

    Gumbo! There is an awesome cooking light recipe called Crescent City Gumbo or something. I love it in gumbo.

  20. 20

    I have never tried okra. You know, I don’t think they really sell it up here. It’s definitely a southern thing. Do you remember seeing it often when you lived up north?

    • 21

      I feel like they have it everywhere? Maybe you just haven’t seen it :)

    • 22

      Lauren, I’m from central PA and I never had okra til I moved to Florida so I think it’s definitely a southern thing haha I never even saw in any stores all 23 years I lived in PA. So I think PA is just anti-okra or something :)

  21. 23

    I’m afraid of okra too! Every time I’ve had it, it was bland and didn’t taste good. It was just…blah. When I see it at the store, I’m always tempted to try it again, but usually something else wins out.

  22. 24

    I wasn’t born in the south, so okra wasn’t something I grew up with or knew until I saw it in the freezer aisle when I started shopping for myself. Okra? Isn’t that in gumbo? But I tried it, and enjoyed it. I don’t have it often, but I enjoy it sliced in stirfries. Definitely has an unique texture

  23. 25
    Annamaria says:

    The Greek way of making Okra results in beautiful roasted Okra in tomato sauce, no slimy involved. Before you cook it, soaking it in vinegar takes out the slime. Look up a Greek recipe for “Bamies” (pronounced Bahm-ee-ehs) ASAP.

  24. 27

    I put okra in my homemade soup last night. It was pretty good. However, I can’t have okra alone… that’s just gross! ;)

  25. 28

    I love okra, but only when it’s fried ;) That way it’s not slimy!

  26. 29

    I’ve never had okra by itself. I think the only way I have had it is diced and inside of a soup tasted okay that way!

  27. 30

    The best way to have okra is flash fried after tossing 1/4 to1/2 inch slices into seasoned flour cornmeal mix…lightly salted and eat HOT

  28. 31

    Okra should be banned from any respectable kitchen and recipe book! But, great that you gave it the old college try!

  29. 32

    I HATE okra unless it is fried. For some reason, it is less slimy that way? I don’t know. The hubs loves it out of the canned, and it is so slimy. It seriously makes me want to gag. I can’t do it!!

  30. 36

    Being “afraid” of okra is such a funny way of putting it!
    I grew up eating fried okra at every family gathering at my grandparents’ house. It used to some straight out of their garden, but now the garden is gone and I think Grandmother uses frozen… My whole family loves it, at the very least because we associate it with the comfort of family (and yeah, maybe Christmas…)

  31. 37

    It just never occurred to me that some folks didn’t like okra. What’s not to like. Like Caroline, I grew up eating okra and it is delicious when cooked correctly. My mother’s family are Italian’s and all of them still live up north. I find that my “yankee” relatives do not eat very many vegetables. They don’t know what they are missing. They refer to us as their rebel relatives. Teehee.All this talk of okra, by golly, I think I will make a side dish for tonight’s supper.

  32. 38

    I loooove roasted okra. I always smother it in salsa before eating it- the mixture of cold and hot is amazing!

  33. 39

    The slimy inside still weirds me out too! I can only enjoy/tolerate okra in gumbo or sometimes pickled. :(

  34. 40

    oooh i absolutely love okra “fries”…i’m all about weird textures though :) I’ve also made a sauteed veggie side dish using it: http://www.thesweetslife.com/2010/09/okra-zucchini-and-tomato-saute.html

  35. 41

    You want to pick the smaller okras, any bigger than about 2 inches long, and it starts to get stringy and tough, and chewy.

  36. 43
    Priscilla says:

    I am a longtime lurker, but I must post to recommend Talk o’ Texas brand pickled okra! It’s spicy hot and like eating a pickle…so good, if you like pickled things. :)

  37. 44

    Make gumbo! Veggies, spices, and sausage, chicken, or seafood. Serve it with brown rice. Just remember to boil the okra until it’s not slimey any more.

  38. 45

    Okra is always slimy in the middle. Just part of being okra! I don’t hate it, I just think it’s, um, interesting ??

  39. 46

    Hi, long time since this was posted, I know, but I’m brand new to the world of okra, and the first I had of it was fresh, uncooked. Not bad really, crispy and mild. Sort of refreshing, like the taste of a cucumber in the texture of a pepper. Tonight I sauteed it with some onions and garlic (little slices, that is) salt and pepper. It was interesting, not bad. Good luck in the search!

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