Produce Pointers – Okra

Although not well-known outside of the South, okra is a staple in Louisiana’s famed Creole cooking. The green pods have a rigid skin and a tapered, oblong shape. When cooked, okra gives off a sticky juice that will thicken any liquid to which it is added.

Use & Preparation

Wash just before cooking only. If pods are very fuzzy, rub them in a kitchen towel.

UF/IFAS Photo by Tyler Jones

To cook whole okra, trim just the barest slice from the stem end without puncturing the pods. This way, the juices won’t be released, and the okra won’t get gummy.

Boil or microwave whole until just tender. Dress with lemon juice & ground black pepper.

If okra is used in a soup, stew, or casserole that requires longer cooking, it should be cut up and the juice allowed out.


Choose pods 2 to 3 inches long, deep green, firm, and blemish free. Pods should snap easily and puncture with slight pressure.


Refrigerate in a plastic bag up to 3 days.


Okra & Tomatoes

2 pounds okra, cleaned and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch slices

1 medium onion, chopped

1/4 cup chopped green pepper

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 (14 1/2 oz.) can whole tomatoes, undrained

1 tablespoon vinegar

1 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Sauté onion & green pepper in oil over medium heat until tender. Add tomatoes, vinegar, salt, and pepper; stir well. Cover and cook over low heat 5 minutes. Add okra; cover and simmer 1 hour.


Okra, Tomatoes, & Corn

1 pound okra, in 1/2-inch slices

2 large fresh tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped

1 cup corn kernels

2 tablespoons butter or margarine

1 small green pepper, chopped fine

1/2 teaspoon oregano

Salt and pepper to taste

Melt margarine in a pan; add onion and green pepper; cook over medium heat for 3-4 minutes, stirring often. Add okra and cook, stirring often, for 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, corn, and oregano. Cover and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes.


Nutrition Information

Fat and cholesterol free

Very low in sodium

Low in calories

Good source of vitamin A, folate, thiamine, & magnesium

High in vitamin C

Available Fresh

June – October


Posted: November 12, 2020

Category: Food Safety, Health & Nutrition, UF/IFAS, UF/IFAS Extension, WORK & LIFE

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