Food Focus: Okra


In the South, “okra” is synonymous with “fried okra.” Fried okra is an absolute treat, especially when spiced and served with a delicious dipping sauce, but there are many other ways to enjoy okra. Okra can be roasted, added to stews and curries, pickled, added to gumbo or, of course, fried. Today, we’ll discuss some facts about okra and offer two delicious recipes to get you started.

Fried Okra from Food Focus: Okra by Everyday Good Thinking | @HamiltonBeach


Fun Facts

  • Okra is a vegetable that comes from the plant Abelmoschus esculentus. It is a member of the hibiscus family and a distant relative of cotton; it blooms beautiful white flowers.
  • The part of the okra plant we eat is the immature seed capsule.
  • The part of the okra often referred to as “slimy” is mucilage, a mixture of proteins and molecules that helps plants and seeds retain water.
  • The mucilage can be used as a thickener for soups and stews. Quick, high-heat cooking (like frying) minimizes the mucilage that gets drawn out in cooking.
  • Okra is at its best when pods are young and less than 3” in length. When they are bigger, they can become more fibrous and less tender.
  • Some varieties of okra can be red or contain both red and green coloring.


Fried Okra from Food Focus: Okra by Everyday Good Thinking | @HamiltonBeach

Fried Okra from Food Focus: Okra by Everyday Good Thinking | @HamiltonBeach


Fried Okra with Smoky Dipping Sauce
Serves 6
Easily create this Southern classic in our 8 Cup Oil Capacity Deep Fryer. The okra comes out crispy and mouth-wateringly delicious. Serve with our smoky dipping sauce for added flavor.
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Smoky Dipping Sauce
  1. 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  2. 1 Tablespoon ketchup
  3. 1 Tablespoon spicy brown mustard
  4. 1 teaspoon honey
  5. 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  1. Vegetable oil for frying
  2. 2 pounds okra, tops cut off, halved lengthwise
  3. 2 large eggs, beaten
  4. 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  5. 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  6. 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
  7. 1 teaspoon salt
  8. 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  1. In small bowl, add mayonnaise, ketchup, spicy brown mustard, honey and smoked paprika. Stir until blended. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  2. Pour oil into deep fryer and preheat to 350F.
  3. Place okra and eggs in large bowl, toss until okra is well coated.
  4. In large resealable plastic bag, add panko bread crumbs, flour, Cajun seasoning, salt and pepper. Seal bag and shake.
  5. Add half of the okra to bag. Seal bag and shake until okra is well coated.
  6. Place a single layer of okra in deep fryer basket and cook for 4 minutes or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Repeat with remaining okra.
Everyday Good Thinking

Roasted Okra from Food Focus: Okra by Everyday Good Thinking | @HamiltonBeach Roasted Okra from Food Focus: Okra by Everyday Good Thinking | @HamiltonBeach


Cajun Roasted Okra
Serves 6
These are made easily in our Toaster Ovens for a great snack or appetizer. It doesn’t overheat the kitchen and the roasted okra is convenient and efficient to cook in a toaster oven.
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  1. 1 pound okra, tops removed and sliced in half lengthwise
  2. 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  3. 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
  4. 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  5. Sea salt to taste
  6. Cajun Dipping Sauce
  1. Preheat oven to 450°F.
  2. Line a 15X9X1-inch baking pan with aluminum foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  3. Place okra, olive oil, Cajun seasoning, pepper and salt in prepared pan; stir until well coated.
  4. Bake 35 to 40 minutes until okra is crisp.
  5. Serve with Cajun Dipping Sauce.
Everyday Good Thinking


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