Sautéed Fresh Okra with Jalapeños

075In case you haven’t already guessed, I am a native Texan. Born and raised. However, my parents are not. My mother spent most of her childhood in Washington, Montana, and Colorado, and my father grew up in the Denver area. No offense to them, but they have never truly understood the delight of certain southern and Texan foods. Biscuits and gravy? Dr. Pepper? Grits? Blackeyed peas? All foods I have grown to adore, but to my parents? These are strange foods that are, let’s say, just not among their favorites. Another food of controversy is okra, which I happen to love.

Most okra around here is served battered and deep-fried. Coming from a part of the country that deep-fries everything, including Coke, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and ice cream, that’s not much of a surprise. Not that I’m knocking fried okra. Believe me, I could eat bucketloads of this stuff. But when I pick up some fresh, whole okra pods from the farmer’s market, they usually beg for me to enjoy them in a simpler, (also healthier) way. A quick sauté in olive oil, garlic, and jalapeños produces crisp-tender okra pods that are bursting with flavor. The best part, in my opinion, is that preparing the okra in this manner allows the okra to cook without becoming slimy and mushy. (Both not positive attributes, unless you’re preparing a gumbo.) It also takes just a few minutes to prepare, making it an excellent last-minute side dish.

So excellent, in fact, you might be able to convert some non-okra-lovers!

2 T olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 small jalapeño, sliced

1 lb fresh okra pods, rinsed and stems trimmed

Salt and pepper

Heat a large frying pan to medium-high heat. Add the oil and heat, only for a minute. Add garlic and sauté for a minute, and add jalapeños. Sauté for another minute or two, and add okra pods. Sauté for 3-4 minutes, or until okra pods are tender enough to pierce with a fork. Salt and pepper to taste, and serve.

Serves 4, unless you really, really love okra, (like I do) and then it might serve 2.

Don’t forget! You only have until June 27, 2009 to enter your comments for your chance to win in my giveaway! Check it out!


  1. says

    I love okra, i can’t get enough of it. I’ll even eat it slimy, when its boiled. Your recipe looks great, I am definitely going to try it the next time I get fresh okra, i also wonder if you can roast it, have to try that too. Great website and recipes.

  2. says

    My grandmother is from Texas. She passed her southern cooking style down to my mother. As a result, I grew up loving southern comfort foods. I grew up eating fried okra, biscuits and gravy, and fried chicken as well. I have never served okra to my family, but your recipe reminded me that I miss it! Maybe I will serve it and see what they think. :)

  3. TasteStopping says

    Oh, my husband and I have the same controversy going at our house. He’s a huge okra lover…maybe this recipe will, ahem, mend the culinary rift!

    I found you on TasteSpotting and am writing to say that if you have any photos that aren’t accepted there, I’d love to publish them. Visit my new site (below), it’s a lot of fun! I hope you will consider it.


  4. says

    First I LOVE okra and our family is hispanic/sicilan so we love a little spice, I can’t wait to try it this way! I’ll keep ya posted, tell you how it turns out~thanks for accepting my invite!

  5. BBQ Grail says

    Where do you come up with this stuff. This will be sitting on the plate right next to my next brisket.

  6. Lisa says

    This recipe is excellent. I have never enjoyed okra and routinely put it in the share box at my CSA pickup. However, I ended up with a bag this time and tried this since we also had peppers. It’s delicious, and I will never put the okra in the drop box again!

    • tastyeatsathome says

      Lisa, I’m so glad that this recipe has allowed you to enjoy okra! I love when we find ways to enjoy veggies we once disliked.

  7. Dawn says

    Grilled Okra
    Toss small uncut okra in Oilve oil, salt and pepper to taste grill until brown. I wish that I could find fresh okra in Colorado. Delish


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