How to cook large okra?

In the brief guide, we are going to answer the question ‘How to cook large okra’ with depth analysis of which methods you should apply to prepare it.

How to cook large okra?

To remove the woody structure and tenderize large okra, bake it, cook it in a stew, deep fry it, or pickle it.

You should slit the pods along the side and load them with some cheese or a spicy beef combination, then bake covered at 350°F to 375°F until everything is soft. Cook, uncovered until the filled okra and toppings are golden brown.

What is the flavor of okra?

When cut into, okra is notoriously slimy. That slime is mucilage, a gelatinous substance that aids the seedpod in retaining water. Some people dislike the gumminess of okra, while others enjoy its slippery texture. The mucilage is useful for thickening soups and stews and dried, powdered okra is sold specifically for that purpose.

When raw, the outside of okra is crisp and crunchy (and sometimes spiny!) like that of a green bean. Smaller pods are sweeter and more tender, which is why okra is harvested when it is still unripe.

How to prepare okra?

The various okra cooking methods appear to exist to either maximize or minimize okra’s mucilage. To achieve the most gelatinous effect, cut up the okra and cook it in liquid, such as gumbo. If you don’t like the slime, cook the okra whole using a dry-heat method. Acidic foods like vinegar, lemon, and tomato will also help to reduce the sliminess, which is why the Mediterranean method of marinating okra in salt and vinegar for 30–60 minutes before draining, rinsing, and frying is so popular.

How do you make okra?


  • 1 pound of okra, cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 1 cup of distilled vinegar (for soaking)
  • 1 large chopped onion
  • 3 medium chopped tomatoes, seeds and skins removed
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  •  fresh chopped parsley


  • Combine the okra, vinegar, and water in a large mixing bowl. Allow at least 15 minutes to soak. (This aids in the removal of sliminess)
  • Drain and wash the okra.
  • Sweat the onions in the olive oil until translucent in a pot, then stir in the tomatoes.
  • When the tomatoes have started to release juices, add the okra and sauté.
  • Season with salt and pepper and parsley, then add 1 cup of water.
  • Simmer for 1/2 hour, or until the okras are soft. This can be done in the oven or on the stovetop.
  • Stir gently because vigorous prodding will mush up the okra.

How long should large okra be boiled?

When you come across pods that are simply too old or too large to be edible, leave them alone and allow them to dry out. When the pods are brown and beginning to open, remove them from the plant, slice them open, and remove the seeds.

What are the other okra preparation methods?

Okra has something for everyone, whether you’re stewing it until tender for a rich Creole stew or frying it until crispy for a quick side dish.


There are a million ways to make Louisiana’s classic stew, but most recipes rely on the holy trinity of bell pepper, onion, and celery. Cut-up okra adds texture, and shrimp, sausage, and bacon add flavor. Serve over rice. 

Deep-fry whole okra

Deep-fry whole okra in peanut oil after coating with cornmeal, salt, and pepper.

Indian Bhindi

Cut fresh okra into 12- to 1-inch cubes (or use frozen okra). Toast the ajwain seeds in olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Combine the turmeric, asafetida, and small serrano pepper in a small mixing bowl. Turn the heat up to high and stir in the okra, coriander, and fennel seeds. Stir gently. Reduce heat to medium and cook until brown in an even layer, about 10 minutes per side. Cook until the salt has charred. Reduce the heat to low and gently fold in the amchur (dried mango). Serve with rice or roti if desired.

Roasted okra

Trim the stems and ends of whole okra, toss with salt and olive oil, and roast in a single layer on a sheet pan in a 450°F oven for 15 minutes, or until tender and browned.


Blanch whole okra pods in a large saucepan of salted boiling water for two minutes, or until tender but firm. After that, drain and rinse with cold water. Try blanched okra in a vinaigrette-dressed salad.

Limpin’ Susan

This Charleston, South Carolina specialty is made with sautéed sliced okra, onions, garlic cloves, ginger, hot peppers, and rice.

West African okra

Okra is stewed with chicken, beef, cow’s feet, seafood, and hot peppers in this tomato-based soup.


Pickle raw, whole okra with spices such as black peppercorns and mustard seeds.


In the brief guide, we discussed answering the question ‘How to cook large okra’ with depth analysis of which methods you should apply to prepare it.


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