Any ideas on how to stew okra without ending up with a slimy mess?

In Africa they eat okra cooked with a few spices, and chopped onions... stewed with water. That's it. The result tastes great but the texture is way slimy. Any ideas on how to improve this? Is there a way?

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9 Comments

SKK February 23, 2011
Today I came across some great okra recipes and a whole article on how to take the slime out of okra, it is on NPR. http://www.npr.org/2011/02/23/133965525/theres-more-to-okra-than-frying

Your question has stuck with me all week.
 
Blissful B. February 18, 2011
Have you ever tried roasting okra? You could spice it with the African spices, but skip the slimy factor this way:
http://www.ncmarketready.org/the-produce-lady/recipes.php#okra
 
Sasha (. February 18, 2011
Thanks for all these great answers. I feel empowered to try this recipe again :)
 
betteirene February 18, 2011
Try adding a tablespoon of vinegar to the pot just before adding the water. Vinegar helps the sap to seize up. Somewhere along the line, I learned that stirring the slices into a bowl of vinegar, then rinsing and draining them, works, too, but I've never tried this.

I usually fry okra in cornmeal, and the "slime" helps the coating stay on, so I slice the pods directly into the seasoned breading.

Last summer was a cool one and I got a grand total of two (2!) pods. I don't think Seattle and okra go together real well.
 
pauljoseph February 17, 2011
this is an easy method of making whole okra stew without ending up with a slimy mess .Will post the recipe in food52
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creamtea February 17, 2011
I use a sharp knife to slice okra and cook it right after slicing. Buy fresh ones. To test freshness at the market, snap off the little pointed end of one or two of them. If they are "snappy" and crisp, they're fresh. If they just sort of bend, don't buy.
 
pierino February 17, 2011
I'm completely down with gumbo. I two giant pots this past Sunday. Buy it fresh and using a really sharp knife, trim it and slice it. In a gumbo it will act as a thickener. As an historical note, okra traveled to Louisiana from Africa along with the slave trade. New Orleans is the ultimate melting pot of French, Spanish, African, and Caribbean influences. That would be called Creole.
Tonight I'm cooking up a Jambalaya, which also combines French slave kitchen techniques in the local mess-up. Its very name is a mix of French, African and Acadian. No okra involved. Yet.
 
aprilmc February 17, 2011
if you cook okra in a dry pan (I use a cast iron skillet), it won't get slimy. Of course, then it's not really stewed. You can cook the okra down first in a dry pan and then add the tomatoes or then add it to gumbo minus the slime.
 
hardlikearmour February 17, 2011
It needs to cook for a fairly long time to lose the sliminess, at least 45 minutes.
My reference for cajun/creole cuisine is The Gumbo Pages by Chuck Taggart. Here's a link to his recipe for Okra and Tomatoes: http://www.gumbopages.com/food/veg/okra-tom.html
 
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