Okra Recipes Southern Delights

Delicious Southern Okra Recipes

Welcome to a culinary adventure featuring one of the South’s most beloved veggiesokra. Whether you love it fried, stewed, or pickled, we’ve got some mouth-waterin’ recipes that will make you fall in love with this green gem all over again. So, grab your apron and let’s dive into some delightful Southern okra recipes that’ll have you sayin’, “Well, butter my biscuit!”

A Brief Chat About Okra

Before we get cookin’, let’s chat a bit about okra. This slimy (in the best way possible) vegetable has a reputation for its unique texture and flavor. Native to Africa, it found its way to the Southern United States and has been a staple ever since. Now, if you’re new to okra, you might be wonderin’, “What’s the big deal?” Well, folks, okra is versatile, nutritious, and downright delicious when prepared right.

Why You’ll Love Okra

  • Versatility: You can fry it, stew it, grill it, or even eat it raw. (Yep, raw okra is a thing!)
  • Nutrition: Packed with fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants, it’s a healthy choice for any meal.
  • Flavor: Its unique taste can add a special touch to your dishes.

Fried Okra: A Southern Classic

First up, we have the quintessential Southern dishfried okra. Crispy on the outside and tender on the inside, this snack is sure to please.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound of fresh okra, sliced into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 cup of buttermilk
  • 1 cup of cornmeal
  • 1 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon of paprika
  • Oil for frying

Instructions:

  1. Soak the okra slices in buttermilk for about 10 minutes. This helps the coating stick better.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the cornmeal, flour, salt, pepper, and paprika.
  3. Heat the oil in a deep skillet over medium-high heat. You want it hot enough that a drop of water sizzles when it hits the oil.
  4. Drain the okra and coat it in the cornmeal mixture.
  5. Fry the okra in batches, making sure not to overcrowd the skillet. Fry until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes per batch.
  6. Remove the okra with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Serve hot and enjoy!

Fun fact: Did y’all know that fried okra pairs perfectly with a cold glass of sweet tea? Try it, and thank me later!

Gumbo: A Hearty Southern Stew

No discussion of okra is complete without mentioning gumbo. This hearty stew is a melting pot of flavors and a true Southern delicacy.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup of vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 pound of andouille sausage, sliced
  • 1 pound of shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 pound of chicken thighs, cut into chunks
  • 4 cups of chicken broth
  • 2 cups of sliced okra
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon of thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Cooked rice for serving

Instructions:

  1. In a large pot, make a roux by heating the oil over medium heat and whisking in the flour. Stir constantly until the roux is a dark brown color, about 20-30 minutes.
  2. Add the onion, bell pepper, and celery. Cook until the vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in the garlic and sausage, cooking for another 5 minutes.
  4. Add the chicken and cook until browned.
  5. Pour in the chicken broth, okra, tomatoes, bay leaves, and thyme. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 45 minutes.
  6. Add the shrimp and cook until pink, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  7. Serve the gumbo over cooked rice and enjoy!

Y’all, this gumbo is so gooood, you’ll wanna lick the bowl clean. And remember, it’s even better the next day when the flavors have had time to mingle.

Pickled Okra: A Tangy Treat

Pickled okra is a delightful snack that adds a tangy crunch to any meal. Plus, it’s super easy to make!

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound of fresh okra
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 cup of white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon of dill seeds
  • 1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes

Instructions:

  1. Clean the okra and trim the stems.
  2. In a saucepan, combine the water, vinegar, salt, and sugar. Bring to a boil until the salt and sugar are dissolved.
  3. Place the garlic, mustard seeds, dill seeds, and red pepper flakes into sterilized jars.
  4. Pack the okra tightly into the jars.
  5. Pour the hot brine over the okra, making sure they are fully submerged. Leave about 1/2 inch of headspace at the top.
  6. Seal the jars and let them cool to room temperature before storing them in the refrigerator.
  7. Let the okra pickle for at least a week before eating. The longer they sit, the better they taste!

What if you added these pickled okras to your favorite Bloody Mary? Talk about a game-changer! Try it and let me know what ya think.

Grilled Okra: A Smoky Delight

For those hot summer days, grilled okra is a smoky, tasty side dish that pairs perfectly with barbecue. And it’s so simple, you’ll be wonderin’ why you haven’t tried it before!

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound of fresh okra
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic powder

Instructions:

  1. Preheat your grill to medium-high heat.
  2. In a bowl, toss the okra with olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
  3. Thread the okra onto skewers. This makes grilling easier and prevents them from falling through the grates.
  4. Grill the okra for about 2-3 minutes per side, until they’re charred and tender.
  5. Serve hot off the grill.

Imagine that – charred okra with that smoky flavor, yum! Perfect sidekick for your next BBQ.

Okra and Tomatoes: A Classic Combo

This dish is a match made in heavenokra and tomatoes. It’s a simple, comforting recipe that’s been passed down through generations.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound of fresh okra, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 cans of diced tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon of thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add the onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in the garlic and cook for another minute.
  4. Add the okra, tomatoes, thyme, and bay leaf. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Bring to a simmer and cook until the okra is tender, about 20-25 minutes.
  6. Remove the bay leaf before serving.

This dish is like a warm hug from grandma. Serve it with some cornbread and you’ve got yourself a meal!

Southern Okra Soup: Comfort in a Bowl

Okra soup is a comforting dish that warms the soul. It’s perfect for those chilly nights when you need a little extra love.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound of fresh okra, sliced
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes
  • 4 cups of chicken broth
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 teaspoon of thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. In a large pot, saut the onion, carrots, and celery until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.
  3. Stir in the okra, tomatoes, chicken broth, water, thyme, and bay leaf. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 30 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.
  5. Remove the bay leaf before serving.

Y’all, there’s nothing like a bowl of okra soup to chase away the blues. Add some crusty bread on the side, and you’ve got yourself a feast.

A Personal Note on Cooking with Okra

Now, I gotta admit, when I first started cooking with okra, I was a bit intimidated. That sliminess threw me off! But over time, I learned that it’s all about the preparation. So, if you’re new to okra, don’t be discouraged. Experiment with different recipes, find what you love, and make it your own. And remember, cooking is about joy and creativity. So, have fun with it!

Wrapping It Up: Okra Love

Well, folks, there you have itsome of my favorite Southern okra recipes. Whether you’re frying it up for a crispy snack, stewing it in a hearty gumbo, or pickling it for a tangy treat, okra is a versatile veggie that’s sure to please. So, give these recipes a try, and let me know how they turn out. And if you have any favorite okra recipes of your own, I’d love to hear ’em!

Until next time, happy cooking y’all!

Here’s a little something extra: Check out this video on YouTube for a visual guide to making the perfect fried okra. It’s super helpful, especially if you’re a visual learner like me.

Remember, the best recipes are the ones shared with love. So, gather your family and friends, whip up some okra dishes, and enjoy the taste of Southern hospitality. Cheers!

You May Also Like

More From Author