It is super easy to boil okra and it tastes so good with a savory dipping sauce. With this super easy instruction, let's learn how to boil okra perfectly in just 3 steps.
Okra is a green flower-producing plant found in cuisines from Africa to Asia and North America. Also known as "lady's fingers," this green plant is bursting with wellness-giving properties and is a versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of different ways.
Okra is a vegetable with a slimy and gooey texture. It has been widely cultivated in China. In Chinese, we call it “秋葵” which literally means “autumn okra”. It used to be harvested in late summer and early autumn. But now it is available around the year.
Though lots of people hating eating or even cooking okra because of the gooey feeling, we are big fans.
How to boil okra
Although okra can be used in soups, stir-frying dishes, and deep-fryings, I love the boiled okra version the most. Because it is super simple to cook and always great as a side dish.
Step one: Trim the hard ends. Take a sharp knife and trim off the stem end of the okra in a 45-degree direction. It is generally recommended to cut just below the cap or "head" where the stem attaches, trying not to cut into the pod itself which can release the "gooey" insides. You can refer to our video for the detailed method.
Step two: add salt and ½ teaspoon of vegetable cooking oil to the boiling water. This is critical to keep the okra green after boiled. Place the okra in, and cook for 1 minute.
Step three: soak the boiled okra in chilled water to stop the heating.
Step four: drain and transfer the okra to serving plates and then match it with the dipping sauce.
That's it, the whole process of boiling okra is super easy and it also keeps the crunchy texture and lovely green color of the skin.
How to make a dipping sauce for boiled okra
A savory dipping sauce can take the boiled okra to another level in terms of flavor. The small holes inside okra can absorb the sauce and make it bursting delicious in your mouth. Take a look at the ingredients for the dipping sauce.
Black vinegar: using a lot of black vinegar in a salad is a very typical Chinese way. It calls "老醋" dishes, which can be great for peanuts, spinach, and potato shreds. Black vinegar salad is always great as a summer side dish, improving appetite.
The dipping sauce calls for other common ingredients including light soy sauce, chili oil, sesame seeds, sesame oil, garlic, scallion, and oyster sauce.
If you want a vegan version, simply skip the oyster sauce.
- 10 okra
- a small pinch of salt
- ¼ tsp. sesame oil
- Cut off the tail end of okras. Peel off the hard part around okra.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boiling, sprinkle a small pinch of salt and add ¼ tsp. sesame oil. Place okra in and blanch for 1 minute.
- Transfer out to chilled water to cool down and stop the heating process.
- Then strain and transfer to serving plate.
- In a small bowl, mix all the season together. Serve along with okra.
- Adding a small pinch of salt and oil in the poaching water can help to keep the original color of the okra.
- Do not overcook okra | Vegetables can be very easily overcooked and lose the light flavor and crunchy texture.
- Stop the heating with chilled water or ice | Once the okra is well cooked, soak them in chilled water immediately to stop the heating.
What to serve with boiled okra
This boiled okra is a lovely side dish. I will recommend serving it with steamed rice, and noodles and match it with a light soup like tomato egg drop soup. Some other savory dishes like Di San Xian can also match it to make a complete meal.