Botanical Name: Hibiscus esculenta

Other Names: lady's finger, gumbo, bhindi, bindi, bamia

Description: Fuzzy green pods, 2 to 4 inches in length. It contains a sticky, mucilaginous juice that can be used as a thickener. Okra is the key ingredient in the American Southern dish, gumbo. Chinese okra is a different food, luffa acutangula.

Purchasing Information: Choose young pods, no more than 3-4 inches in length. Older okra is tough and fibrous.

Basic Cooking Instructions: Okra is a versatile vegetable that can be stir-fried, boiled, microwaved, steamed, baked, and grilled. It cooks in 3-6 minutes using most methods, 10 minutes if grilled.

Smothered Okra
More okra recipes

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Contributed by: Michelle Dick