Who doesn't love okra? Umm, a lot of people.
During a recent visit in Mobile, a friend asked me if I knew of a kid-friendly way to cook okra that takes out the "slime." A college classmate’s son had officially given the thumbs-down to anything involving okra, citing the ick factor. She had passed along her quandary to my friend, who asked my advice.
I don’t have my own kids, but I gave her my nonrecipe for okra which has met the criteria before. I'm not too crazy about slime, either, and this technique seems to keep it at a minimum. It’s also a pretty healthy, easy and unmessy way to cook okra, since no breading and frying is involved.
I call this a nonrecipe because I'm not providing measurements. Sometimes I cook a pound, sometimes it’s half a pound, so everthing is eyeballed. Use medium to smaller sized okra pods; larger pods can be tough.
- Raw, washed okra, cut into half-inch or slightly smaller discs
- Olive oil or olive oil cooking spray
- Seasoned salt of your choice (I like Jane’s Crazy Mixed Up Seasoning; Tony Chachere’s is also good but might be too spicy for kids’ palettes). If you limit salt, use a low-sodium seasoning
Thinly coat the bottom of a nonstick saute pan with the olive oil. Heat on medium, and once it's heated, add the okra, spreading it evenly in the pan. Sprinkle on the seasoned salt or salt substitute. Saute on medium heat, stirring frequently. The okra will turn bright green, then slowly get that cooked look. Once it looks slightly caramelized, remove from heat and serve.
If you’re feeling whimsical, add a dash or two of Worcestershire sauce, but not much more — it could make your okra look a little wet again, defeating our purpose.