Okra Recipes and Flavor Pairings

Okra Recipes and Flavor Pairings

Okra Pairings
 
It is recommended to cook lightly and fast, by steaming, stir-frying or grilling, these methods will also preserve nutrients. It can also be steamed, pickled, baked, broiled or fried (although this would be the most calorie rich method). To avoid the gel consistency, it is recommended to steam or blanch the pods until just tender. It may also be consumed raw, for example in a salad, or on a vegetable tray with dip. The leaves can be used like beet greens or dandelions and incorporated in a salad.
 
If okra is being be added to salad, it is best incorporated after being grilled, and pairs nicely with a lime and chili dressing. It may also be added as a thickener to soups, stews, and curries. It is often paired with tomatoes and other vegetable dishes, with a variety of seasonings. Acidic vegetables, like tomatoes, help to reduce the gelatinous texture. When it is boiled, the gelatinous features will come out, which makes it commonly used on stews and soups. This is typical down south in ‘soul food’ where okra is used in gumbo or a thick stew-like dish. This gelling is due to the high amount of pectin and soluble fiber.
 
Okra is often used in lunch, dinner, and side dishes. It can be incorporated into a casserole or used in soup. Some common pairings and preparation methods include okra and potatoes, okra and onions, pickled okra, spicy okra, okra and tomatoes, okra and eggplant and tomatoes, okra and tomato and onions, and okra curry.
 
The oil pressed from okra seeds have long been used in African cooking, and are rich in heart-healthy polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs) like oleic and linoleic acid. This green-yellow oil has a pleasant taste and odor.
 
It is used in many different ways all over the world here are a few examples:
 
  • Caribbean - In tropical areas of the world, the pods are often chopped or sliced and used in stews. They are commonly fried under low heat to soften the gel like liquid and served with other vegetables, meat or rice. In the Caribbean, it is added to soups and paired with fish. It can also be fermented, and the leaves used in fresh green salads. In Curacao it is made into a soup jumbo or prepared with fish and funchi.
  • Brazil – they prepare frango com quiabo (chicken with okra) in the Minas Gerais region
  • India - it is served as a vegetable side dish, often stir-fried with spices, pickled, salted or added to gravy-based dishes like bhindi ghosht or sambar
  • Japan - it is used as a thickener in soups, with soy sauce and katsuobushi as tempura, and also as a nigiri sushi topping
  • Malawi – enjoyed cooked and cooked with sodium bicarbonate to enhance the slimy texture. Commonly consumed with nshima made from maize flour
  • Tanzania – prepared by cutting into small pieces and mixed with chopped pumpkin leaves, this is boiled and made into a dish called Mlenda
  • United States – used in Gumbo, which is popular in the Gulf Coast and South Carolina. It is commonly breaded with cornmeal, deep-fried and served with ranch dressing.