This sauteed okra recipe is so simple that you will find yourself making it as a side dish over and over again. It is a perfect side for chicken fried steak, pork chops or braised chicken thighs.
No matter how you decide to pair this sauteed okra, you will fill good about serving your family and yourself a nice and healthy side dish.
Now, I must tell ya that I am from the south in the south we love to fry okra. Fried okra was a staple dish at every fish fry that I ever went to as a kid.
But, as an adult, I try not to eat quite as much fried food. Yes, I do still eat it but I do it sparingly. This is why learning to saute vegetables such as okra has become such a key part of my diet.
When you are deciding to saute okra you will have a decision to make. Don’t worry, it is an easy one. Do you want to cut up the okra into coin shape slices or do you want to saute whole okra?
There is no wrong answer.
We tend to prefer to slice up the okra and saute it that way. I just find it a bit easier to know when it is done and prefer the texture that way. This recipe will work for you no matter what choice you make.
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Can you prepare sauteed okra in advance?
We don’t recommend preparing sauteed okra in advance. However, you can prep the okra in advance to speed up the process when you are ready to cook it.
First, wash and completely dry the okra. It is important that it is as dry as possible before you cut it. Next, cut off the tips and ends. Then cut the okra into ¾” thick round slices.
Place the sliced okra in a plastic bag and squeeze all of the air out of it. Secure the bag tightly so that no moisture gets into the bag. Place the bag in the crisper drawer of your fridge.
Use the cut okra within 24 hours of placing it in the fridge.
How to reheat sauteed okra
The best way to reheat sauteed okra is to reheat it in a skillet. First, set out the okra and allow it to be at room temperature for about 15 minutes. Next, heat a skillet to medium heat. Then add a teaspoon of olive oil to the hot pan along with the okra. Cook the okra, stirring occasionally for about 4 minutes or until it is warm.
How to keep okra from getting slimy
You can make okra less slimy if you soak it in vinegar prior to cooking. Find a shallow dish such as a baking dish and spread the okra out in it. Cover the okra with vinegar and allow it to sit for 30 minutes. In 30 minutes remove the okra from the dish and wash and dry it thoroughly.
Ingredients needed for sauteed okra
Sauteed okra is such a nice side dish because it requires so few ingredients to make it. We do add minced garlic to our recipe but that isn’t required. The flavor of the dish is really about picking fresh and beautiful okra.
We do from time to time mix it up and in other herbs, spices, and vegetables. For example, sauteing sweet Vidalia onions or adding ginger or chili peppers can make a delicious mix with this dish.
Okra - Pick fresh, bright green okra. Inspect your okra and make sure that it is still firm and doesn’t have any black spots.
Olive oil - We saute our vegetables with olive oil instead of butter because the oil handles higher heats better than butter. Now with that said, butter does add a spectacular flavor and we are big fans of adding it to the sauteed okra. If you want to add butter, just add 1 tablespoon per pound of okra during the last 2 minutes of cooking.
Salt - Salt is truly optional when it comes to sauteing vegetables but it really does help bring out the flavor of the okra and the olive oil. It only takes a pinch of salt.
Optional ingredients for sauteing okra
Sauteed okra with olive oil and salt is a fantastical dish all to itself but if you want to mix things up for your palette then add some different flavors. Sauteing okra is a great time to get experimental with herbs and spices.
Here are a few options that are worth trying. These pair well with okra. Consider mixing and matching two of them together such as cumin and lemon juice.
- Bell peppers
- Chili peppers
- Lemon juice
- Fennel seeds
What kind of pan is best for sauteing okra?
We prefer to use a large nonstick skillet with curved sides. Our favorite skillet these days is the Le Creuset large frying pan. You can saute okra in a cast-iron skillet and it does add a nice flavor but if you do pay close attention to not burn the okra or allow them to stick.
How to saute okra
This is an overview of how to saute okra. Below you will find detailed instructions with temps and measurements.
Step 1: Prep the okra. Consider soaking the raw okra in a vinegar bath for 30 minutes. Then wash and dry the okra completely. Next, cut off the end and tip of the okra. Finally cut the okra into thick round pieces.
Step 2: Heat up the skillet and add in the olive oil, okra, and a dash of salt.
Step 3: Cook the okra, stirring occasionally until it starts to lightly caramelized.
Note: Spread the okra out in the skillet so that it has plenty of space to cook evenly. If you don’t spread it out, it will steam instead of saute.
Step 4: Once the okra is starting to carmelize add in the minced garlic.
Step 5: Cook until the garlic is soft and the okra is fully cooked.
- 1 lb fresh okra
- 2 T olive
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 clove of garlic (optional)
- Prep the okra - Wash and dry the okra. Slice the tips and end off of the okra and discard. Cut the okra into 3/4” thick round slices.
- Mince the garlic.
- Place a large non-stick pan over medium heat.
- Add olive oil, cut okra, and salt to the hot pan.
- Spread the okra out in the pan and allow it to cook. Stir occasionally until the okra is lightly caramelized. (This should be about 5 minutes).
- Add minced garlic to the pan and cook for another minute or until the garlic starts to soften.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.