~ from my home to yours, living the Working Pantry lifestyle ~

Thursday, August 5, 2021

How I Boil Okra!

As a child growing up, I hated boiled okra!  I mean I really hated boiled okra!  When we had it in a meal, we had to eat it, no questions asked!  Our household was not a household where picky eating was allowed, we grew or raised what we ate and we ate what we grew or raised.  So, when boiled okra was on the menu I knew I would have to get creative in order to get it down.  Let's just say that I developed quite a few tricks when it came to getting boiled okra down without getting sick at the table.

So why did I dislike boiled okra so much ... because my sweet mama boiled it until it was slimy!

When I met my husband I soon discovered that he really liked boiled okra and he convinced me (after quite a long time and much asking)  to try it the way his mom cooked it.  With much trepidation and a warning that it was quite possible that I would/could be sick at the table, I gave in and agreed to gave it a try.  

I placed one small pod on my plate ...

it didn't look slimy ... 

I rolled it around with my fork ... 

it didn't feel slimy ... 

I picked it up with my fork ...

there was no slime stringing from it so ... 

I took a bite ...

and I loved it!

Everyone at the table seemed to breathe a sign of relief when I made my announcement and reached for more.  (Yes, everyone had been warned about my okra phobia!)

How did my mother-in-law boil okra?  She taught me how and I've been boiling okra this way ever since ...  here's how she and now I, boil okra ...

I choose the smallest pods, one to 3 inches long, anything over three inches gets cut up for sautéing, etc.

I start with a pot of cold water and enough water to cover the amount of okra I'll be boiling.

add salt to taste

add washed and cleaned okra pods to pot of water

turn stove on

set timer for 8 minutes 

bring to a gentle rolling boil

when timer goes off, drain okra   (this is important, any longer and you get the slime thing developing)

add pat of butter and serve


Do you have a tried and true way of boiling okra that doesn't result in it being slimy?

(Picture:  the finished product!)


A Working Pantry

She looketh well to the ways of her household … Proverbs 31:27

You can receive A Working Pantry blog posts via:

Bloglovin (signup in the sidebar) ...

Email subscription service, follow.it (sign up on the sidebar)

You can view my privacy policy HERE.


  1. I have never eaten boiled okra, but you cracked me up with your description.
    I usually fry it, so haven't had to deal with the slime factor, but I can see how that would be nasty.
    Thanks for the laugh and the recipe.

    1. Kathy, LOL, it's been a journey for me to come to terms with okra!!!

  2. I roast mine. Like you, I do not like the sliminess of okra. I put clean, trimmed okra pods on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. I spray the okra with olive oil spray or drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper or the spices of your choice. We like garlic powder and paprika. Roast in 400 oven for about half an hour. I shake the pan about halfway through to turn the okra.

    1. Marley, your way sounds yummy, I'm going to give it a try. Thanks for sharing!

    2. I do the same except I toss it with cornmeal and salt and pepper for crunch and it is delicious!

    3. Lana, that sounds good too!

  3. I have never eaten boiled okra and I know my husband will not touch it unless it is breaded and fried. My poor husband had to choke down collard greens every week of his growing up and he got creative, too. He would cut open his cornbread and stuff them inside and gobble it down. For me it was dried lima beans cooked. I like the green ones but cannot even make myself swallow the dried ones.

    1. Lana, Yes, I developed quite a 'creative' knack because of boiled okra, it sounds like you and your husband did the same with collards and dried lima beans!!!!

  4. I can eat boiled okra if it's in something like homemade vegetable soup but I much prefer it fried. Growing up in the seventies, my brother and I were never made to eat things we didn't like but there wasn't much that we wouldn't eat. My mother wouldn't cook a separate meal for us but she always made sure that there were at least a couple of vegetables that we liked. The only exception was when she cooked liver. Then we would get a homemade hamburger.

  5. It is too late for me. I gagged as Daddy ate it and the smell is tied to slime for me. I will fry it for Tommy, but never taste it. I might bread it and bake it for him next time. I hate English peas when young and ate them because Mama told me to eat them. I just ate them with no force. However, when I was eight, I informed her I was not ever going to eat them again because I hated them. Well, 60 years later I found out I am allergic to them and so is one of my daughters! I love liver.

    1. Practical Parsimony, I totally understand your feelings about boiled okra, absolutely no judgment from me!

      English peas are something I've grown into liking but it's a 'no' on liver! Nope! Nope! Nope!