Sautéed Okra & Garlic ♥

Okra, an underappreciated vegetableDo pods of okra call to you? They do to me! I love picking through baskets of okra at the farmers market, selecting the pods about the length of my thumb (and shorter) which are the most tender.

And okra is quick-quick to cook -- adding this recipe to my growing collection of quick vegetable recipes.

And what about the, um, slime factor? Banish the thought! When okra are small and completely fresh - which means they need cooking within a day of finding them perfectly green and unblemished at the farmers market - there's none of that dreaded okra slime.

I loved this quick side dish -- the lemon was a brilliant addition, great contrast. It would be a great way for an okra neophyte to try okra for the first time.

HOW TO TRIM OKRA Cut off the tough stems but do leave a thin slice of the 'cap' which is tender and succulent and helps hold in the okra flavor and moisture.

MAKE IT A MEAL Pair the quick-cooking okra with a Quick Supper from Kitchen Parade, Greek Feta Chicken with Curried Rice. Yum!

FROM THE VEGETABLE RECIPE ARCHIVES See the Recipe Box for more okra recipes.

A YEAR AGO Broccoli & Tomato Thai Curry, "... a satisfying supper with just 3 Weight Watchers points. And if you're a carb watcher, substitute cauliflower for the potatoes to lower the carbs and keep a soft texture."


Hands-on time: 5 minutes (plus occasional attention throughout)
Time to table: 10 minutes
Serves 4

1 pound fresh okra, trimmed
1 tablespoon bacon grease or olive oil
1 large clove garlic, minced
Red pepper flakes
Salt to taste (big flakes of Maldon salt worked great, providing real 'hits' of saltiness without a whole lot of sodium)
Lemon wedges

Trim the okra. (If they've just been washed, let dry on paper towels while continuing to trim. They'll cook more quickly, more evenly, if they hit the hot oil dry.) About halfway through trimming, heat the oil on MEDIUM in a large skillet (large enough to hold all the okra in a single layer) til shimmery. Add the okra to the skillet and toss well to coat with fat. Let cook for about four minutes, stirring often. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for another minute or two, until the garlic is cooked (but be careful not to burn). Season to taste and serve with lemon wedges on the side.

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Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. I admit that I have a real fear of okra slime. Perhaps that's an eastern bias, or perhaps my childhood experiences with okra (and a mom who couldn't cook) have scarred me for life. Maybe it's time to try again...

  2. I've never experienced the infamous okra slime, which means I must have used good quality and fresh okra in Edinburgh. Sadly, here in Estonia I can't get any okra whatsoever, so reading recipes on your blog is hard:)

  3. I've never eaten okra, although I used to feed it to my turtles.

  4. Lydia ~ Just get really fresh okra (no dark marks) and cook right away, I think you'll come away with a little okra healing!

    Pille ~ Too bad, we so often share the same style!

    Kelly ~ I shall forever think of okra as 'turtle food'. GREAT idea for kids -- and grown-ups worried about slime! : - )

  5. We Indians eat okra a lot...but most of our dishes are stir fries(on VERY high heat)...which basically takes care of the okra slime.

  6. I've had okra fresh from the fields . . . and I gotta tell you, I still notice a slime factor. I think the preparation is as important as anything else, though.

  7. That slime is a good water-soluble polysaccharide (i.e. dietary fiber) and it's good for you.

    In Japan slimy foods are actually LOVED, so we chop boiled okra to the extreme sliminess and eat it on top of rice , sort of like natto (the infamous slimy fermented soy beans).

    I think the only way to reduce the slime is to deep-fry (though not an healthy option).

  8. I love okra. If I feed it to my husband, he says I'm trying to poison him(he just doesn't like it).

  9. mmmm...i do love okra. I'll have to look for the fresh to avoid the slime...although I don't totally mind the slime. I like the commenter's info about eating it Japanese style...I don't mind Nato's texture (it's the flavor that I need to...acquire). It's also good to know that stir-frying it at a high heat helps.

  10. Tried this tonight and liked. Another way to avoid the slime is to grill on the BBQ. Ladder them on double-skewers, brush with olive oil, season as desired (I like a mild cajun) and grill until bubbly. Nom nom nom!

  11. I fixed this with the first okra harvested from my own garden. Unfortunately, some of the pods had gotten too woody, and they would have been better in a stewed dish. I'll have to cut the pods quicker in the future.

  12. Fantastic, easy, quick recipe! Be sure to use small pods. Not slimy at all.


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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe, whether a current recipe or a long-ago favorite. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. ~ Alanna