Bright green okra pods, grown on an okra plant, feature a ridged skin and a tapered, oblong shape. The popularization of soul food and specifically “gumbo” has brought okra to us fresh, frozen and canned. Okra has a unique property of giving off a viscous substance that thickens the liquid in which it is cooked. Here’s a purchasing tip worth remembering: Pods over 4 inches long may be tough and fibrous.
How to Buy
Choose tender, unblemished, bright green pods, less than 4 inches long.
How to Prepare
Wash okra; remove ends. Leave whole, or cut into 1/2-inch slices.
How to Cook Conventionally
Boil: Uncovered about 10 minutes or until tender.
Steam: Covered 6 to 8 minutes or until tender.
How to Microwave
Whole - Place in 1-quart microwavable casserole; add 1/4 cup water. Cover. Microwave 5 to 6 minutes, stirring once, until tender. Let stand 2 minutes.