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"Afraid" crispy roasted okra

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It's okra season!!! This soul food roasted okra recipe is a healthy and tasty way to enjoy this tasty summer vegetable. The high heat of roasting intensifies the flavor of the okra, while also keeping it crisp.

Crispy vegan roasted okra is the perfect way to enjoy a healthy side dish. It's also a contender for my favorite okra dish. Crunchy, spicy and delicious, perfect for a side dish, snack or an appetizer. Plus it's only 3 ingredients.

Despite its bad reputation, you can never have enough okra recipes. I admit though, I used to fear that okra slime! For the longest time I avoided okra like it was the plague, unknowingly depriving myself of all its beauty. Things done changed now; my okra game is nice and I got okra recipes galore including vegan ones!

My preferred way to eat okra is grilled, fried or stewed. However, lately out of convenience I’ve been all about that roasted okra life. Also, if you’re looking for more healthy okra recipes, roasting solves this issue.

roasted okra recipe on white plate

Recipe inspiration

Nelson Mandela once said, “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear. ”Fear can push to greatness or keep you from achieving your greatness. It seems that lately fear tactics have been used as the tools of incompetence. Leaders appear to be more fear pimps vs. inspirational. Fear almost kept me from okra whisperer status. 

I was somewhat hesitant initially as I feared I wouldn’t be able to get that crisp I so love. But I’m glad to admit I was wrong. There are few steps to achieve that desired level of crispiness, but it’s actually pretty simple. It’s primarily about okra selection. The smaller ones are preferred.

The end result is not potato chip crisp, but its a good crunchy bite and just as irresistible. The other key is to actually let them cook long enough for a good char. Don’t fear the burn; a good browning is actually a good thing. It both deepens the flavor and gets you to crispy.

  • Olive oil
  • Fresh whole okra pods
  • Cilantro
  • Mint
  • Kosher or sea salt
  • Black pepper
  • Your favorite spice mix (cajun spice mix is excellent)

Key Steps To Make This Dish

Roasting is a delicious way to enjoy okra.This is a really simple dish requiring very little instruction. Season - Roast - Eat! To roast okra, simply trim the ends off of the pods and toss them in olive oil. Then, spread them out on a baking sheet and roasted in a preheated hot oven for about 15 minutes.

  1. Combine seasoning in a small bowl.
  2. Preheat oven to 425 F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil.
  3. Spread okra in a single layer on the baking sheet, then drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle the seasoning and stir to coat.
  4. Roast for 13-15 minutes (or slightly longer), until the ends are golden. Cook time will vary some based on okra size.

Serving suggestions

I typically eat this as is since the seasoning mix packs a lot of flavor. Occasionally, I'll doctor up some mayo with my favorite hot sauce or dry spice mix of paprika, salt, and pepper with a splash of lemon juice. These okra go well with any of these popular soul food meat dishes.

additional roasted okra cooking tips

  • I like to clip the tips of the okra right down the center with a knife or pair of kitchen scissors. When cooked at high heat this will allow the okra to open up almost as if it were fanning open; visually think about a dolphin opening its mouth wide. Besides looking pretty cool presentation-wise, this helps whole okra to cook faster while killing off that slime.
  • As mentioned earlier choose smaller, less than thumb size okra pods
  • Season as simple as with salt and pepper or use your favorite spice mix. The okra holds up well to intense spices as well as your smokier versions. I make what I consider a cajun dust, which features smoky paprika, cayenne, garlic, and onion powders, and dried or ground oregano. Cumin or even garam masala are great complementary flavors too.
  • A good dip or sauce is another option. Dip in hummus, a doctored mayo, or drizzle with your favorite hot sauce.
  • Make a big batch and let the family eat them as an appetizer or tide me over until dinner is ready
  • The key to making roasted okra is to cook the okra just long enough so that it is slightly charred and roasted but not burnt.
  • I like to add a little bit of olive oil and sea salt to the okra before roasting it, but you can also add other spices like cayenne pepper, garlic powder or paprika.
  • Once the okra is roasted, you can serve it as is or with dipping sauces
  • For other ideas on how to cook okra checkout my okra guide.

Is the okra slimy?

High heat generally eliminates slime from fresh okra. Roasting qualifies as high heat, so you’re in luck. This recipe gets you in the slime-free zone.

Is okra keto friendly?

For that nice crispy yet tender texture opt for the smaller okra pods, i.e. 2-3 inches long. Larger okra pods tend to be pretty tough for chewing. If storing in the refrigerator make sure all moisture has been removed from the okra as it will lead to browning which is so unattractive. Moisture will also increase slime quotient. Best best is to wait til just about to cook before washing the okra.

roasted okra pods on a white plate

For more information on cooking okra, check-out my tutorial on how to cook okra. Or for similar soul food okra based recipes recipes you might like, try these:

Blistered Okra and tomatoes

Okra Fried Rice

Stewed Okra

Charred Okra with Harissa Sauce

Instant Pot Smoked Chicken and Okra Soup

Okra and Collard Green Salad

Southern Fried Okra

Okra Soup

Okra and Collards Salad

Callaloo

Making This Okra

If you’re looking for a new and delicious way to enjoy okra, look no further than this roasted okra recipe. The slightly crispy texture and the flavorful seasonings make this dish irresistible. So why not give it a try? We’re sure you won’t be disappointed. And if you are, be sure to let us know in the comments below. Definitely take a photo of the dish and be sure to tag #foodfidelity so that I can see them.

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roasted okra with seasoning on a white plate

Crispy Roasted Okra

No-fuss, delicious way to enjoy a great side. It's ready in less than 30 minutes.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Soul Food, southern
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 67kcal
Author: Marwin Brown

Ingredients

  • pound fresh okra
  • 2 tablespoons  extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh mint chopped
  • Optional cajun spice mix

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Rinse the okra, and drain on a kitchen towel, drying thoroughly. Clip the tips lengthwise down the center with a pair of scissors or sharp knife. Trim the ends if you prefer and then place the okra in a large bowl. Salt and pepper to taste, and toss with the olive oil until coated.
  • Remove okra and place on a sheet pan in one layer. Roast in the oven for 15 minutes shaking the pan every five minutes. The okra should have a nice sear. If using larger okra you'll need to cook longer.
  • Remove from the heat, toss with spice mix and fresh herbs, if desired. Transfer to a platter. Serve hot.

Notes

  • I like to clip the tips of the okra right down the center with a knife or pair of kitchen scissors. When cooked at high heat this will allow the okra to open up almost as if it were fanning open; visually think about a dolphin opening its mouth wide. Besides looking pretty cool presentation-wise, this helps whole okra to cook faster while killing off that slime.
  • As mentioned earlier choose smaller, less than thumb size okra pods
  • Season as simple as with salt and pepper or use your favorite spice mix. Roasted okra holds up well to intense spices as well as your smokier versions. 
  • A good dip or sauce is another option. Dip in hummus, a doctored mayo, or drizzle with your favorite hot sauce.
  • Make a big batch and let the family eat them as an appetizer or tide me over until dinner is ready

Nutrition

Calories: 67kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 582mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Iron: 0.1mg
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