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Okra , Grow It , Cook It , Eat It

Updated on June 29, 2013
Okra, Grow It, Cook It, Eat It
Okra, Grow It, Cook It, Eat It
Southern Fried Okra With Chili Sauce.
Southern Fried Okra With Chili Sauce.

Southern Fried Okra With Chili Sauce

Here is how they fry okra down in Louisiana and let me tell you its delicious. In order to fry okra you will need to make the below recipe for house seasoning. Its excellent on all fried foods including okra and fried chicken.

House Seasoning.

1. One Cup Ground Sea Salt.

2. One Half Cup Ground Black Pepper.

3. One Half Cup Ground Garlic Powder.

Mix all three ingredients together well and store it in a large shaker jar so you can shake it out on things or store it in a plastic container with lid. Be sure to label it so you can keep up with what's in it.

To fry your okra you will need about six cups of vegetable oil. You can fry your okra in a deep frying pan but don't fill the pan more than half full of oil. If your going to be frying often buy yourself a home deep fryer. And never fill your home deep fryer above the fill or full line.

To Fry Your Okra You Will Need.

1. One Cup All Purpose Plain Flour.

2. One Half Cup Yellow Cornmeal.

3. Two Teaspoons House Seasoning.

4. One Teaspoon Cajun Seasoning.

5. One Cup Buttermilk.

6. Two Pounds Of Okra Sliced Into Thin Slices.

In one bowl mix 1 - 4 together well. This is your dry breading for your okra. In another bowl pour your cup of buttermilk. Now you will bread and fry your okra in batches. First it goes into the buttermilk and then into the dry breading. When you take the okra out of the buttermilk shake off the excess buttermilk over the bowl of buttermilk to keep from getting your breading to wet.

Fry your okra and use a metal spatula with holes in it to push the okra down under the oil and flip it over so it gets brown all over. When its brown all over as in the photo its done. Its time to fry another batch. Drain each batch on paper towels to remove excess oil.

Cajun Chili Sauce Recipe

This Cajun Chili Sauce is wonderful on fried okra, fried crayfish tails, and fried shrimp. Hell its good on almost anything fried.

1. One Cup Mayonnaise.

2. Three Tablespoons Thai Sweet Chili Sauce.

3. One Tablespoon Garlic Chili Pepper Sauce.

4. One Half Teaspoon Ground Cayenne Pepper.

I like to make this in the blender and then store it in a plastic container with a lid. Its always better the second day.

You can find Thai Sweet Chili Sauce in the Oriental section of your supermarket. The Garlic Chili Pepper Sauce will probably be in the vinegars and canned peppers section.

In case you're wondering you can use the same exact recipe you used to fry the okra to make delicious Cajun Fried Shrimp. It will be just a little spicy and oh so delicious and serve it with the Cajun Chili Sauce also.

All About Okra

In case you don't know growing okra is a southern tradition. In the American south where the heat loving okra grows especially well it is a favorite garden plant. Its really easy to grow and once you taste Southern Fried Okra you'll be hooked for life. I also like to use okra in stews and its one of the main ingredients in one of my favorite foods of all time, Gumbo. Did you know that in a lot of English speaking countries that okra is known as Gumbo or Lady Fingers.

One of the main reasons for adding okra to stews and gumbo is the flavor of the okra but okra also acts as a thickening agent in soups, stews, and gumbo. Gumbo with out okra would be like french fries with out ketchup.

Regular okra is green and grows on the plant in green pods that are harvested when the pods are small and i immature. The best way to harvest okra is by snipping the pods from the adult plants with a pair of scissors or garden shears. You want to cut the okra pod off at the stem where it is attached to the plant. If you don't cut the okra pods off often enough the pods will get to large and will be inedible. Your okra plants will also stop producing if you don't keep the okra pods cut off.

Some Things You Should Know About Growing Okra

1. Okra plants require full sun to be able to grow and produce okra for you so be sure that any place you plant your okra has the sun shining on it for the whole entire day. Okra won't grow well at all in partial shade.

2. You should plant your okra seeds in well drained soil that is organically enriched. If you have compost that is very old or well aged manure you can work it into the soil where you will plant your okra.

3. Six plants will give the average person all the okra they will need for stews, gumbo, and frying. But you may want to plant more just to be sure.

4. You can add a pound of 5 - 10 - 5 fertilizer for every twenty foot of okra row before you plant your seeds. When the okra plants are about a foot tall side dress the plants again with fertilizer being sure not to touch the plants or the plants leafs with the fertilizer.

5. You will only want to plant your okra in the spring or early summer after all danger of frost has passed.

6. Soak your okra seeds in water for a full twenty four hours before you plant them. If you don't soak the seeds your okra will have a real hard time getting out of the ground.

7. You want to plant your okra seeds about one inch deep and about six inches apart. You want to be sure to add any organic material and the initial fertilizer before you plant your okra. After your okra gets to growing good thin your okra plants down until you have at least twelve inches between all your okra plants.

If you will follow those instructions you'll end up with lots of okra to cook and enjoy. About halfway through the growing season if your okra plants start producing less okra and begin to look scraggly looking go down your okra row with garden shears and cut the top third of each plant off. You will see the okra put on new branches from below and the plants will put on a lot more okra for you. At about the same time you cut the plants back by one third side dress the okra plants with about a pound of the 5 - 10 - 5 fertilizer for each twenty foot of okra row.

If And When You Have To Water Your Okra Plants.

Only water your okra plants after the sun has gone down or before the sun comes up. The best way to water okra is to use a sprinkler and thoroughly soak the ground under and around the okra, Don't cut your okra when it is wet and this includes harvesting okra. You should not water any garden or yard plant when the sun is on them. This can kill or harm your plants.

Here you can see a okra plant with a flower and pods of okra growing. Just be sure to harvest your okra when the pods are 3 - 4 inches long for the best okra.
Here you can see a okra plant with a flower and pods of okra growing. Just be sure to harvest your okra when the pods are 3 - 4 inches long for the best okra.

More Okra Information

If you check around you'll find that okra comes in other varieties than the usual green pods. You'll find it around farmers markets in the American south in red pods and in long red pods that grow on vines. All of these taste exactly like you guessed it okra and all are wonderful.

A Unique Way To Get Okra To Come Up

If you have a problem with getting okra to come up let me tell you about a trick I learned. If you have a few ice cube trays put two okra seed in each ice cube hole and then fill the ice trays with water and freeze the ice trays. The next day after the okra seeds have been frozen in the ice trays for 24 hours take all your ice cubes out and quickly plant them about six to eight inches apart and you won't believe how fast that okra will come up. When the okra is about a foot tall thin the okra to where it is about 12 to 16 inches apart and your okra will have room to grow and produce.

Sambar is a stew made in southern regions of India and it is delicious.
Sambar is a stew made in southern regions of India and it is delicious.
Typical Ingredients in Sambar
Typical Ingredients in Sambar

Sambar Recipe

Sambar is a rich delicious stew from southern India made with peas and while it does contain a lot of ingredients it is oh so delicious. While the recipe is below you can really add any diced or chopped up vegetable from your garden and it will be delicious. Okra is used in this dish and it adds flavor to the dish and helps to thicken it.

1. One Half Cup Yellow Split Peas.

2. One Half Cup Field Peas.

3. One Cup Thin Sliced Okra.

4. One Cup Green Beans.

5. Several Green Cayenne Pepper Pods With The Stems Removed.

6. One Teaspoon Turmeric.

7. One Teaspoon Tamarind Concentrate.

8. One Teaspoon Mustard Seeds.

9. One Teaspoon Fenugreek Seeds.

10. One Tablespoon Vegetable Oil.

11. Four Cups Water.

12. One Large Potato Peeled And Diced.

13. One Cup Diced Fresh Tomatoes.

14. One Cup Chopped Onion.

15. One Tablespoon Sambar Spice.

16. One Teaspoon Red Curry Paste.

This stew is perfect for the crock pot but you will want to cook all your seeds in the oil in a skillet until you hear the seeds pop. Once they pop add the onion to the pan and cook until soft. Now you can add everything to the crock pot and cook on high for eight hours. Stir several times while it is cooking.

Now this is a little different than you might be served in India but I promise you that it is delicious and also vegetarian friendly. If you like you can add a pound of chicken thighs cut up into small bite size pieces and have a delicious stew but in India the chicken is not added. I like to offer it served in bowls with hot buttered rice in the bottom of the bowls with the stew served over the rice. At home I make corn bread squares and offer them with the bowls of stew and rice. I just simply love it with the chicken served over hot buttered rice and with the squares of corn bread.

Corn , Okra , And Tomatoes

In my home when we were growing up one of my favorites was corn, okra, and tomatoes. As soon as the corn, okra, and tomatoes were ready in the garden we had this delicious but simple stew at least twice a week. Me and my Mom both use tomato paste to help thicken this stew and it was always served over big squares of corn bread. We would put the square of corn bread in the bottom of a bowl and then we would put a big ladle of the stewed corn, okra, and tomatoes over the corn bread and it was oh so delicious.

When I cook it I add a little salt, pepper, and minced garlic to the water that the corn, okra, and tomatoes are cooking in and then when all the vegetables are done I add a 6 ounce can of tomato paste and I end up with a delicious vegetarian stew. I serve it in a bowl over a big square of corn bread.

This was also a favorite stew often made on the Cherokee Indian Reservation. There the stew often started with a whole chicken in water. When the chicken was done the skin and bones were removed and the corn, okra, and tomatoes were added. It made a rich delicious stew that was served over big squares of corn bread.

I hope you enjoyed my Hub Page on Okra and the recipes. I really love growing my own vegetables and herbs and I have worked for years on creating perfect recipes that taste wonderful. I do a lot of thinking outside the box when I'm gardening and cooking. Right now I'm working on coming up with a recipe for a pod of okra stuffed with jalapenos and cheese, breaded and deep fried. When I get it all figured out I'll come back and publish the recipe. I want to thank you for reading my Hub Page and hope you have a nice day.

Thomas Byers has been an award winning Chef and Gardner for over thirty years now. He has been writing at Hub Pages for over five years now.
Thomas Byers has been an award winning Chef and Gardner for over thirty years now. He has been writing at Hub Pages for over five years now. | Source

Please Post Your Comments For Okra, How To Grow It, How To Cook It, And Eat It. And Thanks For Reading.

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    • livingpah2004 profile image


      6 years ago from USA

      Great recipes with Okara! I like fried okara and sambhar recipe. Thanks for sharing it. Useful and voted up!

    • John Sarkis profile image

      John Sarkis 

      6 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Great recipe crazyhorseghost. I love okra. Cubans make it with plantains and pork. I was just thinking I haven't made it in a while, time to make some again.

      Great hub


    • Eiddwen profile image


      6 years ago from Wales

      Mmm sounds delicious too.

      Take care


    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 

      6 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      I love okra. Since growing up on homemade fried okra, I can hardly eat the store-bought breaded okra. It's just not the same. I've never had a sauce with it. Looks good. I'm curious about the deep fried okra-jalapeno combo that you are going to create! voted up, among others!


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