Photo by Melody

Beginner Vegetables: Okra

Communities > Forums > Beginner Vegetables
bookmark
Forum: Beginner VegetablesReplies: 45, Views: 411
Add to Bookmarks
-
AuthorContent
Ozark
Ozark, MO
(Zone 6a)

June 21, 2009
6:51 PM

Post #6719502

I'm real happy with the way my okra is doing this year. I'm trying Cajun Delight this time - the plants are supposed to be shorter and more productive than my usual Clemson Spineless.

I planted according to instructions on the seed pack, one seed every four inches so I only had 1/3 of a 25' row. Conditions must have been just right because every seed sprouted, so about a month ago I thinned them by transplanting - and now I have a whole 25' row.

Not a gardening question but - you Southerners and okra experts, please tell me how you bread and fry your okra. I grew up on fried okra but I'm not the cook, and my wife is a good cook who grew up in Brooklyn so she never learned about frying okra (though we both love the stuff).

My grandma made it best, and as I remember she washed the pods and cut them into 1/2" pieces and laid them on a towel on the counter. She'd put flour, salt, pepper, and maybe a little corn meal in a paper bag, shake it, then take the breaded okra out and fry it. The coating on the okra was real thin, it'd turn golden brown, and you got mostly the flavor of the okra and not the breading.

The problem we''ve had for years is that our okra pieces are slimy and they pick up too much breading - then a lot of it falls off during frying. The final result is that we get so much fried breading we can hardly taste the okra - and that ain't right.

Did grandma maybe let the okra sit out for a while and dry before breading? Did she pat it dry with a towel first?

Please forgive the non-gardening question, but I think I've got a bumper crop of okra coming this season and my wife and I would really like to know how to fix it better. Thanks.

Thumbnail by Ozark
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

June 21, 2009
8:22 PM

Post #6719752

Hey Ozark! Cut and paste your question on the recipes forum. You'll have 10 okra recipes in no time! How long did it take your okra 2 come up? I think I still have time to sow a few seeds. We've got about 60 more days of scorching heat ahead of us, so I'm remaining hopeful. I'm a container veggies grower. How deep do the okra roots Grow? I have 5-gallon eBuckets & growbags, & 24" planters. Which would be best? I only need enough okra 2 freeze for 2 people. Thanks!
Farmerdill
Augusta, GA
(Zone 8a)


June 21, 2009
8:27 PM

Post #6719768

Ozark, usually sliminess comes with bruising or let the pods sit around too long. Never had fresh okra get slimy. I like to dip in beaten egg, then dredge in corn meal and fry. Salt to taste of course.
Ozark
Ozark, MO
(Zone 6a)

June 21, 2009
9:21 PM

Post #6719950

Gymgirl - You've still got time to plant okra. I think my seeds sprouted in only 4 or 5 days. It likes heat, so yours will grow faster now than mine did back in the spring.

I planted okra the first week of May, but it came up and just sat there 2" tall while we had several weeks of cool temps, clouds, and rain. Now we're getting 90 degree sunny days and it's really taking off. If you plant now, I bet it'll grow with no delays.

Thanks for the tip about keeping it fresh, Farmerdill. I checked with my wife, and she's usually been keeping okra in the 'fridge for a day or two before frying, so we'll change that. I'm also going to post the cooking question on the recipes forum, as Gymgirl suggested.
crazyfish3
Pensacola, FL

June 21, 2009
10:37 PM

Post #6720195

OZARK, try some compleate pancake mix 2/3 to corn meal with salt and pepper. That gives a little fluff with the grit.Pan frying or deep frying be gental with them or you can beat the coating off. Tender loving care in the garden, same at the cook stove! Good luck. :)

taynors

taynors
Urbana, OH
(Zone 5b)

June 22, 2009
2:06 AM

Post #6721013

Oh i m so jealous yours looks great
Mine are just sitting around. Been a bit cooler , but heat is on the way hopefully. They are only 3 " tall
can't recall the name of mine at present time ? duh
MissJestr
Kingman, AZ
(Zone 7a)

June 23, 2009
8:05 PM

Post #6728423

so if I understand this, Okra grows in heat?/ I getting me some seeds as we are going into our hot season..
Ozark
Ozark, MO
(Zone 6a)

June 23, 2009
10:04 PM

Post #6728795

MissJestr - Believe me, okra will love Kingman in July and August if you keep it watered. I've read that okra is the only vegetable that originated in Africa - and it thrives in the heat.
MissJestr
Kingman, AZ
(Zone 7a)

June 23, 2009
10:09 PM

Post #6728824

Great.. then I will try some... I only like it deep fried and got some good ideas here.
lillypad044
Chandler, AZ

June 24, 2009
2:44 AM

Post #6730075

I have about 8 okra plants producing right now, giving us about 16 pods a week. We love it with fried potatoes. It is doing so well that when the onions didn't do well, I planted another row of okra in stead. It is now about 20 inches tall, and will also be producing soon. I am giving some to my co-workers, and they are loving it! This is my first garden in the valley. I was in Kingman before, so hi to my neighbor, MissJestr. It sure is a trip when it is a great success!

taynors

taynors
Urbana, OH
(Zone 5b)

June 24, 2009
12:40 PM

Post #6731262

Ozark do you have little okras on yours yet ? cuz mine do and they are little bitty things ?
how is the heat going in your area
we are hitting the 90 today so they should be shooting up good ...I hope LOL
Ozark
Ozark, MO
(Zone 6a)

June 24, 2009
2:29 PM

Post #6731609

"Ozark do you have little okras on yours yet ?"
---------------------------

Nope, I haven't even had a bloom yet - lots of little buds at the top of each plant, though.

I've always thought okra has the prettiest bloom, though the blooms only last for a day. Because of this question I posted I read up on okra and found it originated in Africa, actually around Somalia and Ethiopia - so no wonder it likes heat.

I also found that it's a type of hibiscus. Well, that explains why those pretty blooms look so familiar to me.

I'm going to be more diligent about picking it this year, every other day at least. In the past I've had a tendency to let it go, and then get some 8" woody pods that have to be thrown away. 2" to 3" pods are about right for picking, but it's amazing how fast they grow once they set on.
MN_brown
Minneapolis, MN
(Zone 4a)

June 24, 2009
2:53 PM

Post #6731710

Ozark, Your hunch is correct. Drying okra before frying definitely reduces the slime. Many old-timers do that.

You can towel-dry washed okras, lay them flat to dry for a few minutes and then cut and cook.

taynors

taynors
Urbana, OH
(Zone 5b)

June 24, 2009
3:58 PM

Post #6732025

hmmm maybe what i m looking at is the bud of the flowers ?
here is a pic
good to know on the heat with the plants. To bad i m not in AZ anymore LOL they would be enjoying the heat their

Thumbnail by taynors
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Ozark
Ozark, MO
(Zone 6a)

June 24, 2009
4:08 PM

Post #6732063

MN_brown, thanks for the tip about drying. We'll do that.

taynors - No, those are okra pods. The big blooms just last for a short time, and those have already bloomed and set on. They'll keep blooming and setting on pods continuously. Be sure and pick the pods when they're no more than 4" long, it's amazing how fast they grow from the stage where you're at now.

Looks like you've got one of the burgundy varieties of okra. I've grown some of those, and they're good.

taynors

taynors
Urbana, OH
(Zone 5b)

June 24, 2009
5:36 PM

Post #6732505

good to know Ozark
i will let them grow
yes it is a burgandy variety
I just can't recall the name ? sheesh can't find the seed package either :(
thanks for the tips
quiltygirl
No Central, AZ
(Zone 7b)

June 24, 2009
6:54 PM

Post #6732877

Maybe I will try a couple plants, we have heat through October typically, Although we just got off of 2-3 weeks of unusually cool (for us) low 70's. Have not liked okra when I have tried it in the past due to the slime thing. In our family of 3 I am pretty much the only one who enjoys veggies - home grown or store bought - even though I make DH & DD eat them. Growing all in containers this year as an anti gopher solution. Ozark and the rest, what size pots (diameter x depth) do you think I will need?
Ozark
Ozark, MO
(Zone 6a)

June 24, 2009
8:22 PM

Post #6733222

guiltygirl - I've never grown okra in pots, but from pulling up the old plants in the fall I know it doesn't have a very big root system. I'd guess you could grow one plant in a one-gallon pot, maybe. In a bigger pot you could have two plants, as okra is spaced 10"-12" apart in the garden.
quiltygirl
No Central, AZ
(Zone 7b)

June 25, 2009
2:05 AM

Post #6734709

Thanks, now to remember to get seeds, while I'm at the store not in the middle of the night :}
cando1
Ozone, AR
(Zone 6a)

June 25, 2009
4:27 AM

Post #6735319

Wanted to add that those old dried pods look good in Fall displays of leaves or fruit.
Okra has large root systems and would need to be in 5 gal pots.
Have fun!

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

June 25, 2009
2:28 PM

Post #6736527

I sowed okra seeds Monday night in Bocabob's seed-starter tray, and I had 20 seedlings yesterday evening when I got home!

My question regards moving them to my eBuckets. I need to transplant them after the second set of leaves, still, right? I think I'm gonna set the tray outside in the shade to move them along a little faster (which would be lightening speed at the rate they're growing!)

This message was edited Jun 25, 2009 9:29 AM

taynors

taynors
Urbana, OH
(Zone 5b)

June 25, 2009
7:00 PM

Post #6737728

wow Gym that is fast growing !
my kids use the seed pods like maraca's

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

June 25, 2009
8:32 PM

Post #6738112

Tay,
Don't you teach your kids not to play with their food? ^_^

taynors

taynors
Urbana, OH
(Zone 5b)

June 25, 2009
9:18 PM

Post #6738312

LOL
No
its the only way i can get them to eat anything LOL

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

June 25, 2009
9:21 PM

Post #6738322

I got it. When my niece was little, my mother used to make her some "special baby sweet potatoes". She liked them soooooooo much, she used to request the "special sweet potatoes".

Today she's all grown up, and recognizes them as candied baby carrots!

taynors

taynors
Urbana, OH
(Zone 5b)

June 25, 2009
11:22 PM

Post #6738784

LOL that is great !
Ozark
Ozark, MO
(Zone 6a)

June 28, 2009
6:21 PM

Post #6749801

I've got the first blooms today on my okra, and lots and lots of buds. It won't be long now until I get to harvest some.

Different varieties of okra bloom in different colors, but I think they're all real pretty and very hibiscus-looking.

Thumbnail by Ozark
Click the image for an enlarged view.

taynors

taynors
Urbana, OH
(Zone 5b)

June 28, 2009
6:25 PM

Post #6749823

wow t hem are nice looking blooms
Ozark
Ozark, MO
(Zone 6a)

June 28, 2009
6:29 PM

Post #6749838

My 25' row of okra is really growing now in our hot weather. I had to remove the string between posts because the plants were growing into it.

I've never grown Cajun Delight okra before, but the reviews on it are good. It's supposed to be a shorter variety than most, and that'll be good. I usually have to provide some support for okra plants, and maybe I won't with this one.

Here it is as of today, between the cukes and the bush beans.

Thumbnail by Ozark
Click the image for an enlarged view.

taynors

taynors
Urbana, OH
(Zone 5b)

June 28, 2009
10:55 PM

Post #6750967

that looks really good Ozark
we are getting some cooler weather in , :( so they may just sit in my garden and do nothing .
quiltygirl
No Central, AZ
(Zone 7b)

June 30, 2009
10:12 PM

Post #6760357

Ozark, is the okra the row in the middle? Do the leaves have natural holes or do you have a hungry critter? I wish more seed packets had pictures of the actual plant/leaves, so we can if the right thing is coming up and not some weed, or if we got our labels mixed up...

taynors

taynors
Urbana, OH
(Zone 5b)

June 30, 2009
10:50 PM

Post #6760476

i got some flowers on mine today but we are having a cool spell :(
Ozark
Ozark, MO
(Zone 6a)

July 1, 2009
3:26 AM

Post #6761906

"Ozark, is the okra the row in the middle? Do the leaves have natural holes or do you have a hungry critter?"
--------------------------------
Yes, okra is the row in the middle. The plants are about 2' tall now and bushy. I think I like that better than the Clemson Spineless okra I've usually grown in the past, because those would be 4' tall by now but don't have many leaves.

The holes aren't built in. I had an early bout with flea beetles when the plants were small and a few of the leaves got holes chewed in them before I nuked the beetles. They didn't have a chance to do any serious damage.

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

July 1, 2009
5:23 PM

Post #6763768

Ozark,
What'd you use on the flea beetles?
Ozark
Ozark, MO
(Zone 6a)

July 1, 2009
7:50 PM

Post #6764389

Ortho Spectracide concentrate, one tablespoon to a gallon of water.

I really like that one. The active ingredient is 3% pyrethrin, which is a natural insecticide refined from chrysanthemum roots.

The mixture is lethal to all insects that it touches while it's wet, and I wait until late afternoon to spray so I don't kill any honeybees. You've got to hit the bugs with it while it's wet, because it oxidizes and becomes harmless when it's dry. There's no lingering poison, and even same-day harvesting of vegetables is OK with pyrethrin - it's real good stuff.

taynors

taynors
Urbana, OH
(Zone 5b)

July 1, 2009
8:04 PM

Post #6764423

i may have to try that
my potatos are getting hit bad
today is only 68 ! outside and no sun :(
my okra is not happy
Jim41
Delhi, LA

July 2, 2009
10:08 PM

Post #6769723

Taynors, Are you close to Enon. I have a daughter there. Enon is close to Dayton and Beaver Creek.

taynors

taynors
Urbana, OH
(Zone 5b)

July 3, 2009
12:35 AM

Post #6770432

Jim41 we are about 40 min from Dayton :)
Jim41
Delhi, LA

July 3, 2009
3:22 AM

Post #6771213

My son-in-law is doing some raised bed gardening. Got two 4x8 beds. He is starting to get a little stuff now and is excited as a calf looking at a new rope. Think he is hooked. Never gardened before. We were there the last of May for our grandson's graduation, didn't realize how far behind your growing season is to ours.

taynors

taynors
Urbana, OH
(Zone 5b)

July 3, 2009
1:06 PM

Post #6772014

Yes we get to plant out in late May and its done by Sept .
MissJestr
Kingman, AZ
(Zone 7a)

July 3, 2009
4:34 PM

Post #6772751

I so miss my garden... found some more corn seeds that I am going to start when I get home, one last time. and picked up okra seeds ... SHame I have to go on vacation only to get the seeds I wanted
bigsuzie
Lenoir City, TN
(Zone 7a)

January 22, 2013
1:31 PM

Post #9393880

The best way to fry okra is to wash and DRY it very well before any cutting begins. The drying of the pods is th most important step. Then either cut into 1/2" rounds or, if the pods are smallish, leave whole. NOW dip into flour - this gives a very light coating but enough to get the crisp happening. Hope this is what you were looking for. I am from New Orleans and watched my mom do this often.

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

January 22, 2013
2:22 PM

Post #9393930

Water activates the mucilaginous (sp?) "rope" in okra.

So, DRY it off before cutting into it, or you WILL be "SLIMED!"

I'm from New Orleans, too. My mother NEVER fried an okra in her life! But, we love it in okra gumbo!

P.S. I LOVE fried okra!
Jim41
Delhi, LA

January 22, 2013
11:06 PM

Post #9394367

I've eaten okra like you guys are talking about and love it. This year we stir fried it in just a little olive oil. My wife doesn't care much for it but I like it that way the best.
BonnieGardens
Clermont, FL
(Zone 9a)

January 23, 2013
9:08 PM

Post #9395557

I grew okra for 2 years and then had to quit and wait a while. The plants grew to my head and I'm 5'2". I had so much okra I froze bags and bags of it and gave away a lot. Maybe this summer I'll plant some more.

Thanks for the booking hints. I love it mealed and fried. I'm a converted New Englander.

Bonnie

kittriana

kittriana
Magnolia, TX
(Zone 8b)

January 25, 2013
4:03 PM

Post #9397559

Old time frying cooks saved the potatoes to fry last because the potatoes helped clean the frying oil- i like to use masa harina, salt and seasonings to shake onto okra in a ziploc, then lay out til i was ready to fry.

You cannot post until you register and login.


Other Beginner Vegetables Threads you might be interested in:

SubjectThread StarterRepliesLast Post
Welcome to the Beginner Vegetables forum! dave 24 Mar 24, 2013 6:54 PM
Tomato problems jkehl 40 Oct 15, 2010 1:06 PM
starting a vegie garden wilflower 28 May 24, 2012 2:38 PM
Nasturtiums and squash? Terry 41 Mar 24, 2007 8:07 PM
Bees Please jkehl 95 Apr 7, 2013 7:37 AM


We recommend Firefox
Overwhelmed? There's a lot to see here. Try starting at our homepage.

[ Home | About | Advertise | Media Kit | Mission | Featured Companies | Submit an Article | Terms of Use | Tour | Rules | Privacy Policy | Contact Us ]

Back to the top

Copyright © 2000-2014 Dave's Garden, an Internet Brands company. All Rights Reserved.
 

Hope for America