In my opinion, the best okra is breaded and deep fried. Yum! I feel though, that breading and deep frying vegetables defeates the purpose of eating them. More often than not, okra prepared any other way ends up with a great deal of that slimy okra-goo which is off putting to the okra enthusiast and ameture okra-eater alike.
Here is a method I use to cook okra which greatly reduces the slime factor.
- Okra, whole
- Olice or Vegetable oil
- Lime juice (preferably fresh squeezed)
- Powedered seasonings
If the okra is frozen defrost it (the best method is run it under luke-warm water until all the ice is off the outsides. It’s okay if the insides are still frozen.)
If the okra is fresh, wash it thoroughly.
Slice the okra lenth-wise 1-2 times depending on the plumness of the piece.
*It is a common misconception that dicing okra will make it less slimy. In fact, just the oposite is true. The cutting methods that reduce slime are either cutting off just the ends, or slicing whole okra length-wise. If you prefer, for this method of preparing okra, you can leave the pieces whole.
Either pan-fry the sliced (or whole) okra in a little bit of oil, or place them on a cookie sheet and bake them in the oven until they are crispy. If they get a little blackened in the process, don’t worry – they will still taste fine!
*Baking and frying work well as reduced slime cooking methods because of the dryness factor. Okra cooked in a watery environment (steamed or boiled) releases more slime. This works well for stews and gumbos, because the slime helps to thicken the broth, however as a side-dish slimy okra can be off putting.
Take cooked okra and place it into a bowl or serving dish. Squeeze the lime juice onto the okra, then season it to taste with whatever powedery seasoning you chose.
*Seriously, any powdery seasoning will work well with this recipe. Italian, Mexican, Cajun, Lemon Pepper. The lime juice adds just a bit of flavor, but mostly the acidity cuts the remaining slime.
Like with all good okra recipes, this one does not eliminate the slime completely, it just cuts it down a great deal.