In some regions, okra is known as “lady’s fingers,” “bindi,” or “gumbo.”
Look for younger okra that is no longer than 3-4 inches. Larger, mature pods are extremely tough. Younger pods will also contain less gel. Skin should be medium to bright green with no black spotting.
For year-round use, purchase okra canned or frozen.
Refrigerate in an open plastic or paper bag for 2-3 days. It has a short shelf life, regardless of freshness.
• The gel in okra is virtually unavoidable. Searing or steaming the pods before slicing may help.
• When cooked in metal pots, okra can turn gray or even black. It is not a harmful change, but not very appetizing. Use porcelain or heatproof glass.
• When cooking whole, remove the stem, but do not cut into the seedbed. As it cooks, the pod will become soft and tender.
• Cornmeal is the preferred coating for frying, although flour works well.
• One pound will yield about two cups of sliced okra.
• When using canned or frozen okra, let thaw or dry on paper towels to remove excess moisture.
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