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Okra is originally from Africa and also very popular in Indian, Caribbean and Middle Eastern cookery, okra are also known as 'ladies' fingers'. They are narrow green-skinned ribbed pods that contain rows of edible creamy seeds that ooze a viscous liquid when cooked. They have a mild-bean like flavour when cooked. Look for firm, small green pods (a brownish tinge indicates they are stale) no longer than 8 cm and avoid any that appear shrivelled or feel soft when gently squeezed.


How To Use Okra

Okra is served cooked. It is included in a variety of savoury dishes including curries, vegetable stews and soups where the viscous liquid acts as a natural thickener. Okra is an essential ingredient in gumbo a hearty, spicy chicken and prawn stew from New Orleans.

How To Prepare Okra

Top and tail the pods and if the skin appears to be damaged in any way, scrape it with a small, sharp knife. Leave whole or slice.

How To Cook Okra

Okra can be boiled or fried but is best cooked with other ingredients. To boil, bring a pan of water to the boil, add the prepared okra and cook for 4 - 6 minutes or until tender. To fry, heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a frying pan and sauté the prepared okra for 5 - 10 minutes or until tender. For added flavour fry the okra with garlic and onion, cumin and turmeric.

How To Store Okra

Keep in the fridge for up to 3 days.

The information and images for this article have come from It provides full information on all the main vegetables available on the UK market including nutritional information and delicious recipes. The site is a service provided by Mack Vegetables, one of the largest and most successful suppliers of fresh vegetables in the UK, serving a wide range of customers from caterers to major multiples. You can find out more about Mack by visiting the website at