Blistered okra and tomatoes – delicious take on a soul food staple vegetable featuring no slime okra prepared with one of the most simple cooking methods to allow it’s natural flavor to shine augmented with lime and fresh mint.
We eat okra in so many different ways in my house. But I understand not everyone is as enamored with them, and for me this is because of the infamous slime character they possess. I’m no fan of the slimy either and if you’ve read previous posts you’d know I’m a texture guy. Okra doesn’t have to be slimy. This blistered okra and tomatoes recipe relies on skillet-roasting the okra in hot oil which makes it crispy, not slimy. Trust me on this. High heat, no liquid cooking nukes the slime away. If you’ve ever made blackened fish or chicken, it’s a similar process.
Blistered okra is an excellent intro to healthier soul food fare like okra or another quick, cool way for fans to enjoy these grassy pods. Beyond fixing the textural issue, blistered pulls out the okra’s natural flavor and makes it amenable to additional flavors such as the fresh mint and lime juice that brighten the dish and add those herbal and citrus nodes. For seasoning, salt and pepper work well, but this holds up and is enhanced by most spice mixes such as a sazon or cajun/creole.
The finished blistered okra and tomatoes are a delight to eat. The okra are crunchy on the outside and tender on the inside, without any gumminess at all. The tomatoes are only slightly wilted so still possessing some tight skin which means there is a bit of an explosion in your mouth when you bite down into them. After you’ve made these, if you’re cooking for others, don’t be like me and sample one before serving. I tried one and almost ate the entire pan before the kiddos walked in and joined me. It was a feat just to successfully preserve some pods for the Queen okra lover, my wife.
Skillet Blistered Okra and Tomatoes Cooking Tips
- Trim off and discard the stem ends of the okra, if you like. Also feel free to roughly chop the okra. If you prefer to cook the pods whole, choose smaller ones to cook.
- To help avoid slime factor – rinse the pods and dry them thoroughly. Any extra water in the cooking process will lead to sliminess.
- Heat a large frying pan or wok over medium-high heat. Once the pan is hot, add the oil, swirl the pan to coat the bottom with the oil, and heat until the oil shimmers, about 30 seconds.
- Add the okra, stir to coat it with oil, cover and cook, shaking the pan frequently to move the okra pods around inside, until the okra is starting to brown on the edges and is tender to the bite, about 8 minutes.
- Add tomatoes to the pan with the okra 5 minutes into cooking the okra. The tomatoes will add some brightness and their acidity will not contribute to any sliminess.
- Add freshly chopped mint, lime juice and seasoning just before serving. I tend to avoid adding any salt early in the cooking process as salt draws moisture to the surface which can lead to a somewhat soggy texture vs. crispy crunchy. Mint surprisingly is a good compliment to okra’s grassy flavor.
- Don’t underrate the impact of quality tomatoes. I used recently picked ones bought at my local farmer’s market.
If you make this simple and quick 5 ingredient blistered okra and tomatoes soul food recipe, please come back and leave me a comment below with your feedback. Definitely take a photo of the dish and be sure to tag #foodfidelity so that I can see them. You can also keep up with my food exploits as well as original recipes! You can find me on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. If you like any of the music you find on the site, visit me at Spotify to find curated monthly playlists.
For other okra recipes try these Stewed Okra with Cuban Sofrito.
Dope beats, fresh eats, enjoy these blistered okra and tomatoes as a quick and tasty Summer vegan side.
Blistered Okra and Tomatoes
- 1 lb okra whole,
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes whole
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp fresh mint chopped
- 1 lime juiced
- Salt and Pepper to taste
To help avoid slime factor - rinse the pods and dry them thoroughly. Any extra water in the cooking process will lead to sliminess.
Heat a large frying pan or wok over medium-high heat. Once the pan is hot, add the oil, swirl the pan to coat the bottom with the oil, and heat until the oil shimmers, about 30 seconds.
Add the okra, stir to coat it with oil, cover and cook, shaking the pan frequently to move the okra pods around inside, until the okra is starting to brown on the edges and is tender to the bite, about 8 minutes.
Add tomatoes to the pan with the okra 5 minutes into cooking the okra.
Add freshly chopped mint, lime juice and seasoning just before serving.