I posted this photo on my personal Instagram and Facebook pages with the tag…“Been anticipating our okra harvest this summer! It’s time! First bounty! Mmmmm good!” And so many of the comments had some type of reference to fried okra. Now I do loooooove fried okra. It’s one of my favorite things to order at any southern cookin’ restaurant and it also reminds me of my childhood. My dad always grew okra in our garden growing up and he would fry it up in his Fry Daddy for dinner. It was one of only two ways I knew to eat okra and I loved it.
My Resident Gardener on the other hand has always despised okra because of the slime inside…or as he says, the “snot”. So needless to say I never cooked okra for us and I don’t think he was too disappointed when our okra plants the first two years in our garden were nibbled up by little critters until…
…until we went to a friend’s house for dinner who sautéed up some okra from their garden for us for dinner. My Resident Gardener reluctantly…but graciously, tried a few. Anticipating the slime, he thought he was going to have to swallow it like an oyster…but to his…and all of our surprise and eating pleasure, there was no slime! He was an instant okra convert…so much so that now he often nibbles them up before they even make it to the table. And although fried okra was always my favorite growing up…I’m a convert too…really preferring sautéed okra to fried. It’s healthier, not nearly as messy to prepare, and it’s “snot-free”…as Doug says…and it’s super yummy! Mmmmmm good! I’m hoping by sharing this alternative way to cook it that some of you may become converts too!
Here’s What You Do to Prepare Sautéed Okra…
As I mentioned, not only is sautéed okra better for you, it’s much easier and less messy to make than fried okra.
- First, cut the heads off the okra. You can either cut the heads off just at the ridge and cook them whole or you can cut the entire head off and then cut them in half lengthwise…which is what I do most often as it seems to help cook out the slime…and that’s the only way my man will eat them.
- Heat a frying pan or skillet with some olive oil and sauté them with either salt and pepper or with garlic salt or with Nature’s Seasonings.
- My sweet friend Jackie, who first introduced us to this method of cooking okra, will often add some sliced Vidalia onions for a yummy combination.
- Cook on low heat until they are to your liking. We like them pretty well-done at casa de Scott…with no evidence of slime left to be found!
I also recently learned another easy option for cooking okra from my southern-belle, farm-raised, and oh-so-sweet friend Brandi. Roasting them! I’m definitely going to try doing this with my next harvest of okra. She suggests tossing them in olive oil, salt and pepper and then baking them at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes. Sounds easy enough and another healthy alternative to frying them. I look forward to trying this method soon…and Doug is certainly counting on them being slime-free too!
So although fried okra is super tasty…slicing them up and sautéing them is really my preference these days! So give it a try the next time you serve okra and let me know what you think. You just may become a converted okra lover too!
PS: I thought I’d include a few pics of the okra growing in our veggie garden. I never knew how striking okra flowers were nor how interesting okra looked still on the plant…until we grew our own. So I just thought I’d share in my discovery.