July 14, 2008
About Okra: Preparation Tips
STORING: Store fresh okra in the refrigerator and use within a day or two. Beyond that they begin to lose their freshness, flavor, and nutrients.
PREPARING: Wash the okra in cold water and dry thoroughly. If you plan to cook them whole, no further preparation is necessary. Keeping the okra whole prevents the mucilage from oozing out. If you plan to use them sliced, slice off the stem end, and cur the okra crosswise into short segments.
RAW: Thinly slice crosswise and add to a bowl of salad greens with your favorite dressing. Or combine with your favorite chopped vegetables such as tomatoes, sweet onions, avocado, cashews and cucumbers.
Thinly slice okra and marinate for two or three days in a dressing of olive oil, apple cider vinegar, fresh lime juice, finely diced red or green chiles, and seasonings. Use as a condiment.
SAUTEEING: Slice washed okra and saute until tender in oil along with onions, garlic, and ginger. Season to taste.
BRAISING: Okra can be combined in a stew or “gumbo” along with your favorite vegetables, legumes or grains, onions, and tomatoes. Season with spices and cook covered on top of the stove until the legumes or grains are cooked through.
SOUPMAKING: Add okra to your favorite vegetable soup ingredients and enjoy its ability to thicken the soup naturally. Puree if desired or enjoy the soup with texture of bite-sized vegetables.
GRILLING: Make a dressing with oil, salt, pepper and spices. Gently mix it with whole okra until all pods are coated. Throw on a hot grill until browned, about 2-4 minutes per side.