You may hate Okra, you may love Okra, or you’ve probably never heard of Okra – no matter the case, you’ll still love these Baked Okra ‘Fries’. Crispy, crunchy, spicy, sweet and utterly delicious PLUS it’s BAKED!
I was at the supermarket the other day grabbing some Okra from its bin and an Asian woman came up to me and wanted to know why I was breaking the tail before picking each one up. So I explained to her the ‘art’ of picking up a perfectly tender okra – when you try to bend the tail firmly, it breaks apart with a sharp ‘snap’. She then started talking about how she’s the only one in her family who likes Okra, her kids don’t even know about this vegetable so she doesn’t get to cook it at home at all.
Which got me thinking – Okra or Lady’s Finger gets such a bad rap among vegetable eaters because of it’s slimy mushiness. As harmless as it looks, when you cut it open and God forbid there’s even the tiniest trace of moisture on the knife or the chopping board, the slime factory gushes open and it becomes your worst nightmare!
Okra = Brain Food
As a child, I wasn’t too fond of Okra either, and my mother tagging it as ‘brain food’ did not help the case one bit. But it’s actually true – Lady’s finger is rich in Folate or Vitamin B9 which improves your brain’s function by helping it produce some very essential compounds, even helping boost memory. It is also rich in fibre, helps control diabetes, great for foetal development, great for heart disease and so much more! I turned around on it in my late teens, and have found several ways to enjoy it quite well!
The Key to Slime-Free Okra
If sliminess if the only thing that’s keeping you away from this awesome vegetable, here are some ways you can keep the slime away, at least most of it:
- Wash and pat dry the Lady’s finger (Okra). No water outside gets you one step closer to not getting water inside. Also, make sure your knife and chopping board are also bone dry.
2. Cut it open. See! No slime! Since we’re gonna bake it crisp, I cut it length-wise, so it looks like fries. Traditionally, it’s almost always cut horizontally into circles.
Season with flour and spices – the flour will soak up any trace of slime and make sure that the final product is super crisp! The seasoning is for added taste – if you don’t want the spices, leave it out and you’ll end up with sweet and crisp fries instead.
Transfer to a baking sheet and line them up neatly. The less piled they are, the crisper they’ll become.
Enjoy your crisp, non-slimy Okra fries – extremely healthy super food served up in it’s best possible form!
When you make these (which I really think you SHOULD!), be sure to SHARE YOUR PHOTOS with me through Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. I’d love to see what you cook from here and will share it with pride on my social media feeds.
Fun tip for parents:
To get kids interested in Okra (Lady’s Finger), while chopping them, don’t discard the head and tail that generally gets chopped off. Instead, stick them to children’s faces using just the slime as glue – they’ll have gross green stuff on their faces, everyone laughs and they are no longer scared of Okra anymore! 🙂