Okra, also known as ochre, ladyfingers, and gumbo, is a vegetable used in a variety of delectable cuisines all around the world.
You can conveniently make deep-fried okra, garlic sautéed okra, grilled okra, roasted okra, and pickled okra at home. But first, you must understand how okra tastes.
Okra is usually bland, but it can be slightly bitter when raw. The taste of raw okra is similar to that of prepared okra, but the texture behaves differently sometimes. Uncooked or raw okra is crunchier than cooked okra as cooked okra softens once boiled or fried.
Interesting, isn’t it? If you wish to know more about okra and its recipes, read on to learn what vegetables are similar to okra, what dishes you can cook using okra, and more. We hope you find this article helpful.
What Does Okra Taste Similar To?
The taste of okra is similar to various other vegetables. As a result, when okra is unavailable in the supermarket, people often substitute it with these vegetables. Here are three vegetables that taste like okra:
The flavor of the green beans is earthy, grassy, and nutty. Green beans have the same crunch and texture as okra and are used in similar dishes. Moreover, you can boil, grill, sauté, broil, and fry them. Thus, they are versatile veggies.
Raw broccoli has a leafy, mildly sweet, and bitter flavor when eaten raw However, it has a distinct taste that is usually sweet and soft when cooked.
Therefore, broccoli florets or slices of broccoli work well as an okra alternative. You can replace okra with broccoli in jambalaya or gumbo conveniently.
The flavor of eggplant is comparable to that of okra: earthy with a hint of grassy bitterness. Similarly, it will absorb the taste of whatever you cook with it.
It becomes soft, tender, and delicate after frying or grilling like okra. If you want to bring out the mild flavor, use eggplants in a side dish.
Does Okra Taste Like Zucchini?
Zucchini, also called courgette, belongs to the Cucurbitaceae plant family.
The family also includes cucumbers, spaghetti squash, and melons. Thus, one can find that zucchini looks like a cucumber.
Although zucchini is commonly mistaken for a vegetable, it is a fruit. It comes in different colors ranging from deep yellow to dark green.
People use zucchini as a substitute for okra in dishes as the two have the same taste and flavors. It has a mild flavor and a soft texture when cooked like okra. Moreover, you can eat raw zucchini as well. However, it might not taste enjoyable.
How Do You Cook Okra, So it’s Not Slimy?
Mucilage, derived from sugar residue, is the slime found in okra. It’s good for digestion, but it’s not good when you bite a sautéed okra dish. The slimy feel of okra could entirely ruin your meal and make you hate the vegetable.
So you must know how to prepare okra, so it does not become slimy. Here are some ways by which you can prevent slimy okra:
Do Not Wash and Cut Okra In Small Pieces
Because water makes the okra slimy, don’t wash it until you’re ready to eat it. Additionally, bring the okra to room temperature and then use it.
When you cut the okra, the fluid that makes it sticky leaks out, so try to cut the vegetable as little as possible. Okra can be cooked whole if the stems are chopped or removed. If you’re trying to cook them intact, go for smaller pods.
Add Vinegar To Okra Before Cooking
Another way to reduce sliminess is to immerse the okra in vinegar for half an hour before cooking it. Then, drain it and allow it to dry.
Finally, you can cook okra by roasting, sautéing, or smoking it on medium flame. In this way, there would be little slime left in okra.
It will take 10-15 minutes to cook off any slime if you sauté okra. Crowding the pan will result in steaming, which will create more slime in okra.
Thus, cook okra in batches or use a big fry pan to avoid overlapping pods.
What Does Okra Taste Like Raw?
You can often compare the flavor of raw okra to that of eggplant. Both have a subtle, gritty, and occasionally bitter flavor. The seeds of the okra do not have any flavor. They taste bland.
In addition, raw okra is also slightly grassy and pleasant like other fresh green veggies. Besides that, raw okras are popular because of their crunchiness. You are in for a crunchy encounter if you eat okra uncooked.
What Does Okra Taste Like Fried?
Fresh okra pods are chopped and covered in spiced cornmeal. Then, they are added to a fryer or skillet and fried till golden brown! Thus, fried okra is tangy and spicy as compared to raw okra. However, cooked okra becomes soft as compared to uncooked.
Here is a detailed recipe for fried okra for you to try:
- Put okra in eggs for 10 minutes in a mixing bowl.
- Add cornmeal, salt, pepper, and chili powder to another mixing bowl. Adding chili powder is optional if you like spicy food. Otherwise, you can avoid it.
- Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large frying pan.
- Dip the okra in the cornmeal batter until it is thoroughly coated.
- Place the okra in the hot oil with caution, stirring occasionally.
- When the okra begins to brown, reduce the heat to moderate and fry until golden.
- Using paper towels and napkins, remove excess oil.
Also check: What Does Chai Taste Like
What Does Okra Soup Taste Like?
When you cook okra, it acquires a different taste. The same happens with okra soup. Okra has a sweet, green flavor that enhances the longer you cook it. The okra soup is thick and creamy in texture and has a very sharp and juicy taste.
Traditionally, it is made with okra veggies boiled to perfection in a delectable mixture of palm oil, shrimps, meat, spinach, bell peppers, crayfish, beans, and African spices. So, here is a small recipe for you to try okra soup at home:
- Begin by cooking the meat of choice with salt, pepper, and onions to make a foundation stock for the okra soup. Cook until the vegetables are soft.
- Mince some onions and bell peppers in a food chopper and keep them aside.
- Once the meat is soft, add the minced vegetables, beans, and crayfish. Cook for another ten minutes.
- Add chopped okra to the pot and cook for another 5 minutes.
- Finally, add spinach to the pot and cook on simmer for one minute.
- Take away from heat and serve hot with the fufu of your choice.
Is Okra Spicy?
Since okra looks like a pepper bell, some people believe it is spicy. It is not the case, however. Okra has no noticeable spice component. When you chew okra seeds or stems, you will get a faint earthy flavor.
However, many people find the taste of okra to be overly bland. The majority of people believe it to be a dull vegetable.
As a result, they make okra spicy by cooking it. It readily absorbs the flavors of the foods added to it. So, you can try a spicy recipe if you want.