Okra is one of those foods that many Southerners will have nearly every day, sometimes cooking it differently but often just having it fried. If you’re looking to learn how to cook okra, I’ll cover a few different methods.
Maybe you’re concerned about how gummy or slimy it turns out, because you tried it before and weren’t happy with the results. I’ve got you covered with the best methods to cook okra that I have found so far, using some of my favorite recipes.
How to Cook Okra in the Oven
About the simplest method for cooking okra is to toss it with some seasonings and throw it in the oven for a few minutes. There’s very little work involved, and it’s almost impossible to mess it up this way.
One of the advantages to baking okra is that it won’t come out slimy at all. So, if you are looking for how to cook okra without the slime, this is a surefire method.
- 18 fresh okra, sliced small
- 2 teaspoons of black pepper
- 2 teaspoons of salt
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Place the okra slices onto a lined baking sheet. Make sure they’re not overlapping with one another, as you’ll be creating a single layer.
- Drizzle a little olive oil over top and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes.
How to Cook Fried Okra
This method is my favorite way to cook okra, and it’s pretty easy as well. There is a bit more work involved, since you have to mix up a batter and then dredge the okra slices in the batter and fry them. There’s nothing complicated about it, though, and the results are heavenly.
This is how to cook okra Southern style, as fried okra is a staple of many Southern restaurants and homes, served up at the dinner table about as often as corn on the cob.
If you are worried about the okra coming out slimy, which it can do if you don’t know what you are doing, you need to slice it at the right time. You’ll avoid the sliminess by waiting to cut the okra until right when you are ready to cook it up. Keep that in mind and you’ll have a better experience with this dish.
- 1 pound of fresh okra
- 2 eggs
- 1 ½ cup of yellow cornmeal
- ¼ cup of flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons of salt
- ½ teaspoon of black pepper
- Vegetable oil for frying
- Cut the tips and stems off the ends of the fresh okra and then slice the okra into ½-inch pieces.
- Beat together the eggs and salt in a bowl. Add in the okra and then coat the okra slices well. Allow the mixture to soak for about 10 minutes.
- Warm the vegetable oil on the stovetop in a skillet, using medium heat.
- As the oil is warming, mix together flour, cornmeal, the rest of the salt, and black pepper in a resealable plastic bag.
- Add the okra to the bag and seal shut, mixing everything around. (For best results, try to drain off as much of the egg from the okra as you can when transferring to the bag.)
- Then, add the okra to the hot oil on the stovetop in a single layer. Cook for about 2-3 minutes. The okra is done cooking when it achieves a light golden brown color all over. Take the cooked okra out of the oil and set it on a paper towel so that the excess oil can drain off.
This method for how to cook okra on stove gives you traditional okra in all its breaded glory. You can make it a little spicy if you want by adding cayenne pepper flakes to the mixture (about ¼ of a teaspoon).
How long to cook okra using this method so that it turns out perfectly? It should take about 2-3 minutes on medium heat. If you find that the okra is getting dark in that time, then you can lower the heat a little bit. You may want to move the okra around in the skillet to help it cook more evenly.
How to Cook Okra in Air Fryer
You use a similar method in the air fryer as you did to cook okra on the stovetop in a skillet. This is another method of frying okra, so you can use the same batter mixture. Or, you could opt for air fryer okra without a batter. This gives it almost a roasted texture.
As you’re battering your okra, you should preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. It will be ready in a few minutes, and once it’s heated, you can spray the okra with a cooking oil spray and then add it to the air fryer basket. Be careful about crowding your okra pieces, as you want them to cook evenly.
Cook them for about 12 to 14 minutes in the air fryer, and then they should come out golden brown. If they don’t look evenly cooked, you may not be adding enough cooking spray. Be really generous with that as you coat the okra.
How to cook frozen okra in the air fryer? These actually cook pretty quickly and simply using the air fryer. Of course, the advantage to cooking them in the air fryer is that you get a fairly healthy dish that doesn’t have to cook in a vat of unhealthy oil.
You can use a similar method to how you cooked fresh okra in the air fryer. Preheat the fryer to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. The frozen okra are already coated, so once the fryer has heated up, you can spray the okra generously with cooking spray and then add them to the basket, being careful about overcrowding.
Cook for about 7 minutes, and then give the basket a shake to help the okra sift around. Cook for an additional 7 minutes until the fried okra are golden brown.