Okra can be very sticky and gooey.
But how to remove the stickiness from okra?
For many years people have been using okra or ladies’ fingers as some refer to them to thicken soups or to enjoy as a side dish.
Okra is one of those things that you either like or don’t like.
Quite often, the reason for not liking okra is due to the slime that is inside the okra.
Did you know that most times, not preparing, storing, or cooking the okra properly can actually make the vegetable more slimy and gooey?
There are some things that you can do to avoid gooeyness, and we are going to tell you all about that!
How To Remove Stickiness From Okra?
To remove the stickiness from okra wash it under running water but not for too long. Once done dry it with a cloth and thoroughly before cutting it. This is very important to ensure you get rid of most of the goo. The stickiness that you see in the vegetable okra is called mucilage, and it is also found in the aloe vera plant. The thing with mucilage is the fact that it gets even gooier when it comes in contact with too much moisture or liquid. Sometimes chemicals are used when growing, and germs can be transferred from people’s hands when touching.
Can Soaking In Vinegar Help With Stickiness?
Once again, after you have soaked them in the vinegar, you need to make sure you have dried them properly before you go ahead and cut; otherwise, you will just create the stickiness you just removed.
Picking The Right Okra
The worst thing to do is to buy okra in a packet. It is best to pick out your okra separately when you are purchasing it.
Look for blemish-free, slim, tender fingers that are smooth to touch.
Okra that you can easily squish in your fingers is starting to ripen and will be full of slime.
Cooking Okra To Remove The Slime
You can slice your okra and then dry cook it over medium heat without any oil or water.
Using a non-stick skillet is the best pan to use so you can cook the okra by turning it often.
It eliminates the liquid slime inside the vegetable.
Once you have done that, the okra can then be added to whatever dish you are using it for.
You should end up with okra still intact with no change to the texture but without the slime.
Can You Add A Scouring Agent?
Adding a scouring agent is another way you can get rid of the slimy okra.
After your okra has been cooking for 5 minutes, you can go ahead and add an agent like lemon juice, tamarind, amchoor, and vinegar.
Don’t Cover Your Okra When Cooking
A simple rule but a vital one. Don’t cover the okra. When you cover it either while cooking or after it has cooked, you are going to trap in the steam, which after a while creates moisture.
Moisture is your worst enemy when it comes to okra.
Adding In The Salt
You need to make sure there is hardly any moisture when you are cooking okra. The salt works to release the water and moisture from meat and other vegetables you are cooking.
It is important if you are adding salt to your recipe that you add it at the end of the cooking.
By following the suggestions above, you are on your way to reduce the slime in your okra.
This will make for a nicer meal experience. If you don’t eat okra due to the slime, try soaking it in vinegar or dry cooking it to remove the slime.
You might just start to enjoy okra once you try it without the slime, who knows?
Read next about how okra tastes like.
Daniel Iseli (Head Chef)
Hi, my name is Daniel and I am passionate about cooking. I have been cooking for the past 20 years and am happy to share my best recipes and cooking-related knowledge with you.