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Today's topic is okra. Do you like it?

I think the only way I ever saw or ate okra until I was an adult was in Campbell's Vegetable Soup, which was often served in our home when I was growing up.

After I moved south I discovered possibly the most delicious form of okra -- fried with a cornmeal breading.

A few years ago Rob tried growing some and we discovered that it grows very well here in our climate and apparently doesn't have a lot of pests or blights that attack it. This year he tried a new (to us) variety called Burmese Okra. The plants themselves are rather pretty and the flowers look like yellow holly hocks.

picture of Okra Flowers

We enjoy eating okra fixed a variety of ways, including in gumbo-like dishes with chicken, tomatoes, etc. or in vegetable mixes with onion, bacon, and corn. Last year I saw a cooking show from here in South Carolina where a chef prepared the okra by sauteing it whole in just a trace of olive oil. You cut off the ends of each pod being careful not to cut into the seed part.

picture of Okra Cut

This way there is absolutely no sliminess at all. The oozing develops when you cut into the seed part of the pod and is similar to when you cut or break off a leaf from an aloe plant. You can also prepare it in a similar manner on the grill by brushing it with oil. I just cook it until you can easily pierce it with a fork. We really enjoy it and it's a quick and easy way to prepare the okra.

picture of Okra Cooked

How about it -- any okra lovers out there?


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4 Comments on “A podcast”

  1. #1 Laura
    on Aug 28th, 2009 at 7:57 am

    We started growing okra last year. It is a lot of fun. We like to steam or microwave it whole (including the stem, which serves as a handle for eating–kid-friendly food). A little salt, and it’s ready to go.

    Last year, we grew Cajun Delight, which is a prolific bearer and doesn’t get woody quickly, so you can have pods that are both large AND tender. The only downside was the spines.

    This year, we tried Annie Oakley II, which is supposed to spineless and have a better flavor. The flavor is good, but spineless? No. Prepare to itch when you pick!

    Have you grown any other varieties of okra to compare your current crop to? What variety is your favorite? What do you like best about the variety?

  2. #2 Rhonda
    on Aug 31st, 2009 at 11:31 am

    I love okra fried, but not particularly stewed. I’ve never tried grilling or frying whole. But I’ll have to give it a whirl. You have an advantage by growing your own. Even day-old okra–and especially that available at the grocery store–is already too tough to be good. But fresh from the garden–MMMMMMM! 🙂

  3. #3 Becka
    on Aug 31st, 2009 at 4:01 pm

    The okra doesn’t take much room in the yard or garden and it does have pretty flowers on it. You will have to give it a try next summer.

  4. #4 Carrie
    on Sep 1st, 2009 at 11:50 pm

    I’m not sure I ever had okra until I came to SC for school and had it at Ryan’s. I was hooked! I love it breaded w/ cornmeal. I made a gumbo recently and it was too slimy for our taste! But I like it cut up and steamed and don’t mind the sliminess. :o)

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