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Jamaican Okra Recipe With Saltfish

Updated on April 20, 2013
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Carolee is a passionate writer with a love for learning and teaching. She is a published author, poet, blogger, and content creator.

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5 stars from 2 ratings of Okra and Saltfish

What is okra?

This okra recipe is very popular in Jamaican and is usually served for breakfast or dinner. If you aren't familiar with okra it is a vegetable that looks like long pointy fingers, green in color with seeds inside its pods.

This vegetable is eaten when green and in its young stage when the pods are tender and easy to chew and swallow. Ripened pods tend to be fibrous and hard to chew or swallow.

It is believed that this vegetable originated in either Asia or Africa, no one is really certain of the origin. (To the right is a photo of the okra plant). Even though the origin of the okra is still in contention, the name "okra" derives from West Africa. Okra goes by other names such as lady's fingers, gombo, kingombo and Bhindi and vendakkai.

Regardless of where the okra originated or its name, it is good vegetable to have on your table. The okra has a slimy substance when cut and tend to be even slimier when overcooked. It can be eaten raw or cooked.

There are many ways okra can be prepared such as:

  • Steamed
  • Batter fried
  • Crispy fried
  • Makes a great gumbo
  • Great for thickening soups and stews
  • Great with fish as we often use it in Jamaica

Cook Time

  • Prep time: 30 min
  • Cook time: 10 min
  • Ready in: 40 min
  • Yields: Serves 3 -4


  • 1/2 lb (1 1/2 doz) okra
  • 1/4 lb salted cod fish
  • 1 small onion
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 stalk scallion
  • 1 scotch bonnet pepper
  • black pepper
  • 4 tbsp vegetable oil
Click thumbnail to view full-size
  1. First step is to rinse the excess salt from the codfish. You have two choices : (a) boil the codfish for 15 minutes (b) soak for 10 minutes, then strip the scale side off. Cut the codfish into bite size pieces then soak another 10 - 15 minutes. Squeeze excess water from fish before using.
  2. After you prepare your codfish, set aside.
  3. Prepare your okra by putting one 2 cups of water to boil. in the meantime, trim the stems and the tips from the okra then cut each okra into tow or three, depending on your preference.
  4. When the water boils turn off flames and place the okra in the pot and cover. Let sit for 5 minutes then drain.
  5. Prepare your seasoning by slicing onion, shop garlic, chop scallion and pepper.
  6. Heat oil in skillet until very hot in high. Fry cod fish for a few minutes than add seasoning and reduce flames to medium. Stir fry for another 3 minutes.
  7. Add black pepper and stir fry another 30 seconds, then add okra. Reduce flames to medium low, stir and cover.
  8. Let steam for about 5 minutes then your okra and saltfish is ready.

Okra Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 100g
Calories 31
Calories from Fat0
% Daily Value *
Fat 0 g
Saturated fat 0 g
Unsaturated fat 0 g
Carbohydrates 7 g2%
Sugar 1 g
Fiber 3 g12%
Protein 2 g4%
Cholesterol 0 mg
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.


  • When buying okra just break off one of the tips to see if it breaks easily. If the okra is too soft, which means it was no freshly picked it won't snap.
  • Okra should be firm to the touch and not sagging or soft
  • If the okra is firm but the tip does not break easily, that means the okra is too old and fibrous
  • Don't overcook your okra so don't cook too long
  • The color should be bright green when cooked. If the color is pale green or starts to get an olive brown color then you have definitely overcooked your okra.
  • Add a teaspoon of vinegar to water when blanching okra (and any other green vegetable), this help retain the bright green color.


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    • Cardisa profile image

      Carolee Samuda 5 years ago from Jamaica

      Thanks Bluebird, I hope you like it. Have a great day.

    • bluebird profile image

      bluebird 5 years ago

      This caught my attention, I'm gonna try it, sounds so good!

    • Cardisa profile image

      Carolee Samuda 5 years ago from Jamaica

      Hi Genna, I can't think of a substitute for the cod fish. I too can't have too much salt so I soak the salt away as explained in the recipe. Or you can choose to boil the saltfish. Thanks for stopping by.

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Another delicious recipe. I have to say away from salt, and wanted to ask you if there is a substitute for the salted cod? Okra is one of my favorites, and this dish is very tempting. :-)

    • Cardisa profile image

      Carolee Samuda 5 years ago from Jamaica

      Hello Ruby, vinegar is such a handy thing to have around as it has so many uses. I love fried okra as well. Nest time I will do a spicy fried version. Thanks for stopping by.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 5 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Cardisa, I love okra, esp. breaded and fried. Your recipe looks delicious. I learned that by adding one tsp. of vinegar keeps any green veg. color from fading..Thank you for the info.. voted up, up, and up.

    • Cardisa profile image

      Carolee Samuda 5 years ago from Jamaica

      Hey Green Lotus, happy to oblige! I will be posting more salt cod recipes for you. Thanks for stopping by.

    • Green Lotus profile image

      Hillary 5 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      Thanks Cardisa - I love okra anyway you make it and this looks lovely. Okra is a staple here in the south so it's readily available.

      I'm so happy to learn how to cook salt cod too, because I'm also an ackee fan and have been waiting to make ackee and salt cod for months!

    • Cardisa profile image

      Carolee Samuda 5 years ago from Jamaica

      Hi Om, thanks, and I do hope you like it. Have a great day!

    • Om Paramapoonya profile image

      Om Paramapoonya 5 years ago

      Okra isn't really my favorite veggie, but since it's your recipe, I'm more than willing to give this a try. Rated up and pinned!

    • Cardisa profile image

      Carolee Samuda 5 years ago from Jamaica

      Mhatter, thanks to Mrs. Land. My brother used to mash it between his hand and chase me around the house trying to smear it on me, of course he used the cooked okra. It took me years to get past that and actually eat the

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 5 years ago from San Francisco

      Thanks for this recipe.Mrs. Land was the person who positively exposed me to okra. what a lady, what a cook

    • Cardisa profile image

      Carolee Samuda 5 years ago from Jamaica

      Hi Nell, I am sure you can get it in England. I have relatives there who get it but you may have to check with a Jamaican foods market. I hope you find it. Thanks for stopping by.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      Hi Cardisa, this is totally new to me, so it looks really good, I am not sure if we get Okra over here, I will have to go and take a look, thanks for the idea, take care, nell

    • Cardisa profile image

      Carolee Samuda 5 years ago from Jamaica

      Hello Randy, that was funny and I suppose the jeep was green? LOL. I love crispy fried okra as well. I may do a batter fried okra when I get some more. Thanks for stopping by.

    • Randy Godwin profile image

      Randy Godwin 5 years ago from Southern Georgia

      I love fried and pickled okra so this recipe caught my eye, Cardisa. A funny story about okra though. During WWII my dad drove a jeep in Patton's 3rd Army and had to name his jeep starting with the letter "O". The only thing he could think of to name his jeep was "okra"! LOL! He managed to wear out several jeeps by that name before the war ended.

      Recipe sounds good, by the way. Rated up!


    • Cardisa profile image

      Carolee Samuda 5 years ago from Jamaica

      Hello Carol, when I was a little girl no bribery could get me to eat the stuff. Now as an adult I just can't do without Thanks for visiting.

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 5 years ago from Arizona

      Healthy and delicious. I have stayed away from okra..however this is very enticing. Thanks for sharing.

    • Cardisa profile image

      Carolee Samuda 5 years ago from Jamaica

      Thanks Billy, I am sure you will like it very much. Thanks for visiting.

    • Cardisa profile image

      Carolee Samuda 5 years ago from Jamaica

      Hello Algareview, the salted codfish is the I don't know if you can get okra in Portugal but I suppose you can. Just ask at your local market. Thanks for stopping by.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      My goodness that looks delicious! I have never tasted okra but I may have to now. Great recipe!

    • algarveview profile image

      Joana e Bruno 5 years ago from Algarve, Portugal

      Hello, Cardisa, very interesting hub, I had never heard of Okra before and it's quite interesting that you say you can eat this dish for breakfast or dinner and the other thing is that you use salted cod fish, it resembles the dried salted cod fish we use in Portugal... I definitely have to try this recipe. Voted up and interesting and sharing! Take care!