Thanks to the burst of heat and humidity the last couple weeks, my okra plants have exploded. Okra likes heat and the plants usually grow to four to five feet tall. But this cool summer has kept them short and their fruits in short supply as well. Yep, okra is another one of those “vegetables” which are actually fruits.
My grandpa Ray grew up in an orphanage in Oklahoma. Fried okra was a staple in their dining room. Upon his request, my mom planted okra in our garden and Grandma fried it. Today, My Farmer requests okra to be planted.
Warning: Okra does have a slime factor. Not to worry though. If you cook it just right – not too long, over the right (high) heat, and with the right seasonings, you’ll love this unique veggie – I mean, fruit.
Here are Five Ways to Eat Okra.
1) Fried Okra: For a long time I thought this was the only way to eat okra. At one time, frying was a good thing in the kitchen. Grandma June and Mom fried okra, zucchini, broccoli and other garden veggies all the time.
To fry okra, slice the pods about ½ inch thick. Beat one egg and coat each slice. Then roll in bread crumbs or cornmeal mix. Add seasoning as desired. I’ve thrown in seasoned salt or creole seasoning for a kick.
Heat oil in a fry pan or electric skillet and toss in coated okra slices when oil is dancing. Fry until golden brown. Remove with slotted spoon. Drain on paper towels and serve.
Rinse pods. Place in container and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with seasoned salt and or pepper. Refrigerate until you are ready to grill. Toss on a hot grill. Be sure to watch that the pods don’t burn. Grill about 4 minutes on each side. Enjoy!
*Note: while you can “marinate” the okra for an entire day, I have found just a couple hours is ideal. Longer than that and the pods seem to soak in the oil and lose a bit of flavor.
I had to do some searching for the remaining three recipes and found something for everyone.
Check out more Five Ways to Eat . . .