This Is How You Cook Okra So It's Not Slimy

You can cook okra without the slimy texture.

IMAGE Patrick Martires

If you just can't embrace loving the okra, it's safe to assume that it's because of the slimy texture that oozes from this delicate vegetable, also known as lady's fingers.

The okra is a long, tubular, and slender fruit that's treated as a vegetable. It resembles the delicate long fingers of a woman. The okra is a pod for the white seeds. The entire pod is edible, so these can be used in recipes either whole or cut up into pieces. 

There are those who love okra, sliminess and all. It's common in stews and soups that are made more delicious because of the okra. In the southern part of the United States, the sliminess of the okra is partly responsible for the thickened texture of many of its dishes, including the gumbo 

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How do you cook okra so that it's not slimy

You need to avoid doing these to okra first: 

  1. 1 Don't overcook it. 
  2. 2 Don't slice it. 

The biggest problem with okra is overcooking it. Some think that cooking will get rid of the sliminess but instead, this makes okra more slimy. In the case of okra, it's best to cook it until it's "al dente" like pasta. When preparing okra, you might be tempted to cut the okra into pieces. Don't. Slicing the okra exposing the seeds and the inside of the okra encourages it to be slimy, too. Just trim the stem part if it's brown.

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If you have a problem with eating okra that is slimy, the best way to cook okra without making it slimy is to fry it. By frying okra, the hot oil sears the okra, preventing the mucilage from forming and oozing out of the vegetable making it slimy. What you get is wonderfully browned okra that has developed a better flavor without the slime. You can also grill them. Grilled okra is fantastic, too. 

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What if you're cooking a soup such as sinigang? There's a good reason why okra isn't so slimy when cooked in a sinigang. It's not just because the sliminess thickens the soup. It's also because of the sourness of the tamarind or sampaloc. A sour or acidic ingredient makes for less slimy okra. This is why many okra recipes have tomatoes, lemon juice, or vinegar in the ingredients list, too. 

Are you willing to try okra now that you know how to cook it without it being too slimy? Here are recipes to try: 

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