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Growing Good Food at Home

Tips for avoiding the “slime factor” of okra

Okra cooked in a tomato sauce won’t be slimy

Okra cooked in a tomato sauce won’t be slimy

Some people just cannot abide the slimy consistency of okra, and so they avoid the food altogether. That slime is a mucilage that forms when you heat the okra. It’s actually good for your intestinal health and can help lower your cholesterol. That being said, the sliminess often wins out over any potential health benefits.

Well, there are ways to cook okra and avoid that slimy texture:

  • Cook it over high heat in a steel* skillet with just a little oil. Don’t crowd the pan or cover it.
  • Cook okra in an acidic sauce, like tomato sauce.
  • Slice okra and roast it in your oven (much like dehydrating, only with higher heat for less time).
  • Grill whole okra pods until they’re lightly charred. Serve whole.
  • Pickle it.

*Whatever you do when you cook your okra, do not cook it in a pan made of iron, copper, or brass. The chemical reaction between the okra and the metal will turn pods and pan black and will render the okra inedible.

Have you every suffered the ill effects of okra slime? Do you have extra tips on how you handle it? Please share by commenting below.

    • Norann O.

      Great question Michelle! Yes you can absolutely cook okra in an air fryer.
      Here’s a recipe you can try:
      1. Set the air fryer temperature to 375F
      2. Combine okra slices, a little bit of olive oil, salt & pepper and any other spices you like (garlic powder, cayenne pepper, paprika, etc)
      3. Spread out in a single layer in your air fryer basket and cook for 5 minutes
      4. Toss and cook for another 5 minutes – or more depending on how crispy you want it

      Enjoy and Happy Gardening!


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