I was looking through the photos on my computer last night, and I realized that I had forgotten about these okra photos. I must have shot these about 4 months ago! The photos aren’t the greatest, but they get the job done and I really want to share this recipe with you.
Oven roasted okra is one of my favourite snacks. They don’t really look like much, but they are really tasty! The roasting process takes away some of the usual sliminess and adds a delicious earthy flavour that I just can’t get enough of. I like to add garlic powder to these, but you could just use salt and pepper. They don’t need to be dressed up with a lot of extra flavours.
It is really important that you dry the okra carefully after washing, or they won’t roast properly. Excess water can lead to steaming. Also, you could roast these whole if you wanted to, but I prefer cutting them into smaller pieces so there is more surface area to get crispy.
Don’t worry about the seeds. They are perfectly edible, and take on a nutty flavour when roasted. Also, you should be aware that those narrow ends will cook faster than the rest of the okra and they might get a lot darker as a result. This is ok, just be careful not to burn them. If those skinny pieces are totally cooked long before the fatter pieces, you can remove them from the pan and then finish roasting the rest.
When you’re making oven roasted okra, you need to keep an eye on them. Don’t walk away from the oven! There’s a fine line between the earthy toasted flavour that comes with a nice golden brown colour, and the horrible bitterness that comes with a black colour. Watch your okra change colour as they roast, and pull them out before they’re too far gone.
I find that if the okra is really fresh, they will cook quickly and evenly. But, if it’s stale you will have a much tougher time getting it the pieces to crisp up properly.
My last recommendation would be to line the pan. I enjoy using parchment, but you could also use tin foil and that would probably work just fine. Don’t use wax paper though, as it can ruin your baking sheets. If you’ve got more okra pieces that can fit on one baking sheet, then use two. Put one sheet on a top shelf, the other on the bottom, then switch halfway through cooking. If your oven shelves can be moved around then you should try to put both shelves as close to the middle as possible.
I hope you enjoy making these delicious little bites. You might be surprised by how good they are!
- 1 lb fresh okra
- 2 tbsp grapeseed or vegetable oil
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Preheat your oven to 425°F.
- Wash the okra under running water, then dry throughly.
- Remove the top and bottom stems from the okra, then cut them into 2 or 3 pieces each (depending on how large they are).
- Add the okra pieces to a large bowl, and drizzle with the oil. Then season with salt and garlic powder.
- Arrange the okra in a single layer on a parchment lined baking tray, and bake for approximately 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. If the pieces are still soggy, put them back for an additional 5-10 minutes. Be sure to move the pieces around frequently so the okra browns on all sides.
- The okra will be a dark green/brown colour, and will smell a bit nutty when it's cooked through. The edges should be a bit crisp and the middle should be tender.
- Serve immediately.
This dish it best when eaten hot, so make it at the last minute. Leftovers will not keep well.