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Okra is a Southern staple also called “women’ fingers” because of their long, finger-like shape. For a vegetable with such a quite label, okra has a bad track record for being slimy. Perhaps that’s why numerous people prevent cooking and eating it. It isn’t even easily offered in numerous markets so it isn’t as familiar a veggie and lots of people just do not understand what to do with it or how to cook it.

Okra is definitely under-appreciated but it’s definitely worth offering a shot. Okra has a mild taste comparable to eggplant. It’s likewise low in calories and an excellent source of vitamin C, folate, magnesium, potassium and fiber. It does have a compound inside it called mucilage which serves as a natural thickener and is helpful when cooking gumbo and other stews. There are numerous ways, nevertheless, to prepare okra so that it’s slime-free and tasty. Here are some suggestions on how to cook this Southern beauty.

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.?.!! 1. Choice and Storage

Though you can find it year-round in some parts of the nation, okra enters its peak season from May through September. Pick pods that are little and crisp and avoid pods that have brown spots or blemishes or are shriveled. To save fresh okra, wrap it up and keep it in the fridge for up to 3 or 4 days. Okra can likewise be bought frozen, entire or chopped.

2. Prepping

How you prep the okra will assist figure out how slimy it gets. Water improves the sliminess so do not clean the okra till you are ready to cook it. Let the okra sit at room temperature level for a while before using it. The liquid that makes okra feel slimy comes out when you cut the okra so try to restrict just how much you cut the vegetable. Okra can be prepared whole; just cut or pull off the stems. If you are going to cook them entire, try to purchase smaller sized pods.

If you do require to cut the okra, sufficed into huge chunks rather than thin pieces. The more surface location, the more places slime has to escape. You can also poke holes in the top of the pod right beneath the stem and let a few of the mucilage out. Slice the okra the way you desire it.

If you freeze okra and cut it while it is still frozen, it will less slimy than when you cut it fresh. A 2nd trick for lowering sliminess is to soak the okra in vinegar for half an hour prior to cooking it. Rinse it and pat dry prior to cooking. You can pre-cook okra at really high heat by sautéing, roasting, blanching or grilling. Include prepared okra to your recipe and there will be barely any slime at all.How you prepare the okra is also crucial. As discussed, preparing it at high heats helps get rid of a great deal of slime. Make sure the okra is totally dry before preparing it. Get terrific ideas on How to Prepare Veggies So They Don’t Wilt and How to Avoid Common Mistakes When Cooking Vegetables. Okra can be grilled on a grill pan or an outside grill. Simply toss the pods in a little bit of oil and your favorite flavorings, and then barbecue them for about 10 minutes until somewhat charred. Fried okra is a popular dish that is crispy and tasty. Cover the okra with experienced flour or cornmeal. They can be fried entire or in pieces.

Sautéing is another excellent approach of cooking. You need to saute it enough time for any slime to cook out, about 10-15 minutes. Don’t overcrowd the pan as that will cause steaming which will produce more slime. Dry roasting okra makes them taste nutty, grassy and somewhat sweet. Little pods can be roasted whole while larger ones can be sliced in half lengthwise. Roast them at 400 degrees for about 25-30 minutes. A scrumptious dish to try is this Crispy Spiced Cauliflower and Okra. Get even more pointers and Attempt These 10 Methods for Cooking Flavorful Veggies.

5. Other Ingredients and Recipes

The taste of okra is mild and slightly grassy. A popular way to prepare it is with onions and tomatoes. The level of acidity in tomatoes likewise helps in reducing slime. Including lemon or lime juice while cooking will likewise help cut the slime. Okra matches strong spices such as cayenne pepper, cumin and chile. See my recipe for Bhindi Masala which has okra cooked with onions, chili peppers and tons of warm, fragrant Indian spices. This Creole Okra Corn Soup has tomatoes, smoked paprika and cayenne for tons of delicious flavor. This BEST Vegan “Chicken” and “Sausage” Gumbo is so great, you’ll think you’ve been transported to the south.

If you have had a bad experience with okra or have actually simply been reluctant to attempt it, it’s time to give these ladies’ fingers a reasonable possibility. With the best prepping and cooking approaches, okra is a tasty and healthy veggie that deserves some love.

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