If you’re familiar with Cajun cooking at all, you’ll know that okra can give whatever you’re cooking a slimy texture. If you are looking for a way to reduce the amount of slime (or eliminate it altogether), try some of the tips below.
You can eliminate some of the slime from the okra by boiling it in a separate pot first before adding it to your main dish.
After boiling the okra, add it to a strainer and give it a good rinse. Then, you will be able to add it to your meal slime-free!
Rinse the Okra
After cutting the okra into sections, place in a strainer. Salt the okra generously and let it sit for 15 to 30 minutes.
Once the okra is glistening and shiny (this is the excess water and slime being pulled from the okra) rinse the vegetable well under cool running water.
This method will reduce the amount of slime in your okra.
Fry the Okra
One of the most foolproof, surefire ways to prevent your okra from being slimy is to fry it!
There are a couple of different ways to fry your okra. You can either fry it whole or fry it after chopping into pieces.
You can dredge your okra by first rolling it in beaten egg and then rolling it in flour or panko bread crumbs, or you can simply fry the okra by placing it into a smoking oil without dredging first.
You’ll know your okra is finished when it is golden brown in color.
Air Fried Okra
Another way to avoid slimy okra, while also eliminating excess oil, is to air fry the vegetable.
Simply prepare the okra as if you were going to deep fry it and add it to your air fryer. Set the air fryer to “air fry” at 375°F for 12 minutes. Give the okra a good toss or flip half way through cooking.
Not only is this method quick and easy, but there is limited clean up as well. You don’t have to worry about discarding hot oil or cleaning up any oil splatter.
Other Ways to Serve Okra
Since your okra will absorb flavors and sauces easily after cooking, you can add your favorite sauce or seasoning to your okra and serve it with a side of rice, pasta or couscous.
Use any of the above cooking methods and then toss the okra in your desired sauce. Some good options are sweet and sour, sweet chili, or simply toss in cajun spices.
Why is Okra Slimy?
One of the most distinct characteristics properties of okra is the slime that you get from it after cooking. The slime is actually a sugar specific to the vegetable, which is a soluble fiber. You will see the slime once the okra is cut and the center of the vegetable is exposed to air or water.
This slime is great for naturally thickening stews, such as gumbo, but can be much less appealing when biting into a piece of fried okra.
The slime that you see in okra is very similar to the gel in the aloe plant.