How to Cook Okra

If you’ve always wondered how to cook okra, but haven’t yet tried, you’ll love learning about it below. Okra is one of the most underrated vegetables around. It’s also one of my all-time favorites, although admittedly, I don’t cook it very often, making it a couple of times a year.

How to Cook Okra Super Easily

Okra is believed to have originated in Africa or Southeast Asia, it did not come to the United States until the early 18th century. This healthy vegetable is a staple in the American South where it is often fried, grilled, and pickled. Okra is also commonly used in the cuisines of Africa, the Middle East, and India. I learned all about okra back in the early 1990’s when I took my multi-year Ayurvedic training.

There are 3 types of okra -green, red, and purple. Truth be told, I have only cooked green okra. Please leave a comment if you’ve cooked with other colors of okra as I’d love to hear all about it!

When to Buy Okra

Okra is in season from mid to late summer in the United States, approximately July to September. Okra grows best in the hot, humid climates described above.

How to Buy Fresh Okra

When you buy okra you’ll want to choose smooth, unblemished pods. It’s very important to select okra that does not have brown spots or shriveled dried ends. One trick we learned in our Ayurvedic training was that if the tips are not healthy and robust looking the okra will be tough, fibrous, and impossible to chew. If you get home and you can’t snap the end off of a pod you won’t want to stir-fry it. I toss those in the compost bin to cut my losses. I recently purchased frozen organic okra at our local health food store and it worked in this recipe too!

How to Cook Raw Okra

My favorite way to cook raw okra is in a stir-fry with onions. If you can eat nightshades, okra is also fantastic with tomatoes, a natural pairing since okra and tomatoes are part of the same late summer crop.

How to Cook Okra

Print Pin Recipe
Servings 2



  • In a large cast iron skillet, heat oil over medium heat
  • Carmelize onion, sautéing 10-15 minutes until golden brown
  • Add okra, water, and salt
  • Cook 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until water has evaporated and okra is tender
  • Serve
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Tried this recipe?Mention @elanaspantry or tag #elanaspantry!

Is Okra Slimy?

Some people think that okra is slimy. And this definitely bothers those people. I love both the flavor and texture of okra and while I wouldn’t call it slimy, I would say that it does have a unique texture. Nevertheless, I love okra!

Is Okra Low-Carb?

Okra is a low-carb vegetable, containing around 5 grams of carbohydrates in a cup. If you are on a low-carb diet, check out my Keto Diet Recipes page, all of those recipes are sugar-free.

Have you ever cooked okra? What’s your favorite way to prepare okra? Leave a comment and let me know!

Buy My Books!

paleo cooking from elana's pantryGluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook

I found this and am so glad I did. Absolutely delicious! My husband laughed and said he never thought he would see the day that he would have to fight me to share the okra.


157 responses to “How to Cook Okra”

  1. Put whole pieces in a bowl. Toss with drizzle of olive oil and sea salt. Bake 350 in toaster oven until slightly browned.

  2. Fried okra with groundmeat and corn.Fry okra in veg oil until brown,sit aside.In a nonstick skillet,season groundmeat,cook until browned,sit aside.In a medium pot add okra and groundmeat with tomato paste and water.Let simmer for appr 20 minutes stirring rapily,add whole kernel corn.serv(ps dont forget to drain okra and groundmeat before adding your lngrediants)

  3. I tried finding your Nut-Free Pumpkin Coffee Cake Muffins and it says there is no recipe. What happened?

  4. Okra has amazing flavor alone. I fix okra two ways. The first oven roasted on a baking sheet pan at 425 degrees for about 20 minutes until a fork easily pierces the skin. Prepare the okra by cutting it into bite-size pieces. Place in a gallon size ziplock bag. Add a generous amount of EVO, add salt to taste. Pour oiled and seasoned okra onto the baking sheet and pan. Then roast in the oven. Second, I refrigerator pickle whole okra, white vinegar, water, salt, garlic, dill, mustard seed, and some jalapeno. Takes about 7 days to cure, and they remain very crunchy.

  5. My favorite deep south recipe is simply dry fried. Chop a couple slices of bacon just enough for a little fat and alot of flavor. When bacon is just about done add your salt & peppered chopped okra. Fry baby til its wonderfully crunchy on the outside soft & yummy inside. No slime. But you better cook alot. Even kids love it. My second favorite way to cook okra you can even use the larger pods that may be to tough to use other ways. Basically using a sharp knife cut small shallow slits in pod lightly coat with olive oil or ghee and rub pod generously with spices. Originally the recipe used Indian spices curry tumeric coumin ect but ive done taco Italian all good anyway you place pods on cookie sheet in low oven until pods are dried out & crunchy. Great for a low carb snack. I love okra!!!

  6. Funny how the universe works. I saw okra the other day whilst shopping. I love(d) okrain soup a friend used to make. I don’t do nightshades any more (sad as I loved tomatoes). Anyway, I’m going to pick up okra and have it fried with an almond flour crust! Thank you to the reader that suggested such genius!!!

  7. I prefer flour over cornmeal to batter okra. Salt & pepper lightly before & lightly in flour coating. If you cut it and allow to sit a few minutes the slime will begin to work out & it helps the breading to stick.

  8. If you use almond flour with sea salt and white pepper in a ziploc gallon bag and add the cut okra that’s about 1/4” cuts, then close bag and shake, then heat oil in a cast iron skillet, add coated okra and fry until golden brown. You will not have slimy okra. The slimy okra occurs when you add water and boil. The fried okra is delicious and you can eat tomatoes with it. I’m a Southerner and we always fry okra. Also if a paring knife will cut thru the pod we don’t toss away. I use it without any coating in my vegetable soup. It helps to thicken the soup a little so it’s not too brothy. Originally the coating is to be made with cornmeal but substituting the almond flour has the texture and somewhat taste of cornmeal without the carbs.

Have Something to Add?

Recipe Rating

Your comment will need to be approved before it will appear on the site.

Recipes » Cooked Veggies » How to Cook Okra