Gently scrub the surface of the okra with a vegetable brush or paper towel. Rinse and drain the okra, and slice off only the top and the tail if they are to be cooked whole.
For long, slow cooking, rinse pods; cut off and discard stem ends, then slice clockwise.
Cooking Methods: Okra can be prepared in many different ways; it can be braised, boiled, steamed, dressed with bread crumbs and fried, sautéed, or marinated, but it does not puree well.
Allow ¼ pound per person
To control the slime: Leaving okra whole and quick cooking – sautéeing, grilling, frying – brings out the crunchy, rather than the slimy, side of okra. Cooking okra with plenty of acid – vinegar, citrus juice, tomatoes – is another way to keep its slimy nature in check.
To take advantage of the secreted slime: Many great okra dishes use okra’s slimy side to their advantage to thicken and add body, a prime example of this is gumbo.
How to Boil: In a wide frying pan, boil 1 pound of okra, covered in 1 inch of water until just tender when pierced (5 to 10 minutes). Drain.
How to Steam: Arrange whole Okra on a rack. Steam until just tender when pierced (8 to 15 minutes).
How to Grill: Toss okra with a bit of oil and throwing them on the grill for about 10 minutes? The charred bits of grilled okra highlight the flavour of the pods.
Freezing: Okra can be frozen after being blanched whole for 2 minutes.