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My Czech Grandma's Okra Gumbo

Updated on July 3, 2021

My Czech Grandma's Okra Gumbo

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My Czech grandma often made this okra gumbo recipe as a side dish and it was a family favorite. When she grew older and wasn't able to cook anymore, we returned the favor and often cooked it for her. She would eat this dish even when she didn't have much of an appetite. Over the years, I tweaked the recipe here and there but she was always happy with the results. This "gumbo" doesn't use roux for thickening. I guess you could call it "Okra Stew" and that might be more appropriate, but we always called it gumbo, so there you are.


  • 10 oz. okra (fresh or frozen),, sliced into 1/2
  • 1/4-1/2 cup onion (medium dice)
  • 1/4-1/2 cup green bell pepper (medium dice)
  • 15 oz. canned, diced tomatoes
  • 6 oz. tomato sauce
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 1/8 teaspoon Tabasco Sauce (optional)
  • 1 garlic clove finely minced
  • 3-4 Tablespoons cooking oil (extra virgin olive oil, corn oil, vegetable oil, canola oil, etc.)
  1. Assemble all ingredients, kitchen tools & equipment. Recommended kitchen tools: chef's knife, cutting board, 10-12" frying pan, spatula, bowls to hold ingredients, measuring cups & spoons.
  2. Peel and mince garlic clove. Peel & dice onion. Wash, peel & dice green bell pepper. Wash & slice okra (if using fresh, watch out for the prickly spines. If using frozen, place in a sieve and rinse a few times to help thaw the okra.)
  3. Heat pan (medium heat), add oil & heat. Toss in onions & bell peppers--(if you like peppers & onions a lot, use the larger amount, otherwise, stick to 1/4 cup each). Saute peppers & onions for about 5 minutes. It's okay if they get a little brown, but not too much.
  4. Add minced garlic, saute for about a minute. Add okra. Saute for 6-8 minutes. You want the okra to brown somewhat, but this also allows some of the moisture in the okra to evaporate. Brown it a little or brown it a lot. Keep in mind that more browning=extra flavor.
  5. Add diced tomatoes and tomato sauce. Bring to a simmer. Season with salt & pepper. Add Tabasco. Stir to incorporate. (Note: If you have sensitive diners, skip the 1/8 teaspoon of Tabasco and add 1-2 drops ONLY, in order to enhance the flavor of the gumbo.
  6. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 15-20 minutes.
  7. Enjoy your okra gumbo!

Additional Tips

This okra gumbo recipe is best when made with fresh okra, especially if the okra is from your own garden. If you don't have access to fresh okra, frozen will work just fine.

Serve this delicious recipe as a side dish with almost anything. You can also use it as a main dish served over rice. It's good for you and the robust flavor of this dish will punch you right in the taste buds.

This recipe makes one serving if you love gumbo. Otherwise, it makes about 4.


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