Crispy Roasted Okra

published Aug 27, 2022
Roasted Okra Recipe

This simple roasted okra recipe is the easiest (and most delicious) way to prepare the long green pods.

Serves4

Prep10 minutes

Cook15 minutes

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Photograph of roasted okra on a sheet tray.
Credit: Meleyna Nomura

This simple roasted okra recipe is one of my favorite ways to enjoy the earthy, delicious green pods. Whether you’ve been a bit skeptical, or you’re an okra evangelist, this quick and easy roasted okra recipe will surprise even the biggest naysayers. The end result is crispy, well-seasoned okra that makes the perfect side dish for everything from tender, juicy pork chops to perfectly baked salmon fillets.

Why I Won’t Call Okra “Slimy”

Growing up, I knew okra as okro, which is what my Nigerian family calls it; it was one of the foods I ate the most. I spent many hours as a child watching my mother as she sliced and diced okra with an astounding ease. She never used a cutting board — she just held the okra in her hand over a large bowl, letting the pieces fall in as she wielded her paring knife down the length of each pod.

As I got older, I was shocked to discover that my beloved okra was the topic of much division. As I would come to find out, many people are incredibly averse to okra because they can’t get past the slippery mucilage found inside. I purposefully refrain from referring to okra as “slimy” because to me it feels disparaging of a food that is a staple across Asia, Africa, the Caribbean, and much of the southern United States. “Slimy” is not a word that anyone really uses in a positive context, and I personally don’t want to perpetuate a negative association with such a wonderful vegetable. Okra deserves much more love than it gets, and this is my personal attempt to encourage more okra consumption.

Credit: Meleyna Nomura

How Do You Cook Okra So It’s Not Slippery?

Roasting okra at a high heat is the perfect way to eliminate much of the slipperiness from the mucilage. The okra goes into the oven at 450ºF with the cut sides down. As the mucilage dries up from the high heat, the okra transforms from slippery to crispy.

Another great way to cook okra so that it’s not as slippery is to fry it. You can deep fry or use an air fryer. Either way, the combination of the high heat and the crispy coating will ensure that there’s minimal slippage.

Should You Wash and Soak Okra Before Cooking?

You should always wash okra right before cooking with it. In this case, be sure to pat the pods completely dry so that they can properly crisp up in the oven. I’ve personally never found soaking to be necessary. The only time I soak okra is when I submerge it in vinegar to make some pickled okra.

Credit: Meleyna Nomura

Roasted Okra Recipe

This simple roasted okra recipe is the easiest (and most delicious) way to prepare the long green pods.

Prep time 10 minutes

Cook time 15 minutes

Serves 4

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons

    olive oil

  • 3/4 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    cayenne pepper (optional)

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    garlic powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    smoked paprika

  • 1 pound

    fresh small to medium okra

Instructions

  1. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 450ºF.

  2. Place 2 tablespoons olive oil, 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper if desired, 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, and 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika in a large bowl and whisk until the salt is dissolved.

  3. Rinse 1 pound okra and pat dry. Trim the stem ends and halve lengthwise, adding them to the bowl as you go. Toss until the okra is evenly coated. Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet and arrange in a single layer cut-side down.

  4. Roast until the bottoms are browned and the edges are lightly crisped, about 15 minutes.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days.