Delicious grilled okra is ready in just a few minutes, and the grilling eliminates any sliminess. Serve it alone as a side dish, or pair it with a tasty dipping sauce.
I love okra. I suspect it's a bit like cilantro in that people either really like it or strongly dislike it. The most common objection is that it has a slimy texture. Okra is slimy because it contains mucilage, which is heat-activated. So if you don't cook it properly, it can have an unpleasant texture.
Luckily, there are cooking methods that greatly reduce the sliminess. One of them is roasting. Another one is to actually take advantage of the mucilage and use okra in thick stews such as this okra stew. And the third one is grilling, as we do here.
You'll only need five simple ingredients to make grilled okra. The exact measurements are included in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
Fresh okra: Okra is in season in the summer, so that's when you are most likely to find it in the supermarket. I don't recommend using frozen.
Olive oil: I love cooking with this delicious oil. But if you'd rather use an oil with a higher smoke point, you can use avocado oil instead. Melted ghee is another tasty option.
To season: Kosher Salt, black pepper, and garlic powder. If using fine salt, you should reduce the amount you use, or the dish could end up too salty. I actually prefer using garlic powder to using fresh garlic, as I feel that it better coats the okra.
Grilling okra is so easy! Scroll down to the recipe card for detailed instructions. Here are the basic steps:
1. Your first step is to heat up your grill on medium-high heat. I usually grill indoors, using either a double-burner cast-iron grill pan (as shown in the video below) or a George Foreman grill. But you can obviously use an outdoor grill.
2. Next, you trim the okra on both ends and toss it with olive oil and spices. There's no need to slice it for this recipe.
3. Grill the okra until tender and browned, turning frequently, for a total of about 10 minutes (or about 5 minutes if using a dual-contact grill).
Frequently asked questions
That's one of the best things about using your grill. Just like roasting, grilling eliminates most of the sliminess typical to this vegetable.
Growing up, I had a friend whose mom was an amazing cook. I often went to that friend's house after school, hoping to eat lunch at his house. One of her best recipes was stewed okra and tomatoes.
Indeed, cooking okra with tomatoes helps to reduce the sliminess. But the same goal is achieved when using high-heat cooking techniques such as roasting or grilling.
It's very good on its own, as a side dish. You can also serve it with a simple dipping sauce - mix 4 TBS mayo with 1 TBS Dijon mustard and 1 TBS ketchup.
So what main dish to serve it with? Since I use the grill for making this recipe, I often serve it with a grilled main dish such as grilled chicken skewers, grilled chicken tenders, or grilled halibut.
Yes. You can keep the leftovers in the fridge, in an airtight container, for 3-4 days. They actually keep very well. Reheat them gently, in the microwave on 50% power. And don't tell anyone, but I sometimes snack on them cold!
Variations and substitutions
This is such a basic recipe - not too many variations here. But if you'd like, you could add more spices. So in addition to garlic powder, you could use a little onion powder, and just a pinch of cumin. It goes very nicely with okra.
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Grilled Okra with Olive Oil and Garlic
- 1 lb. fresh okra (350 grams after trimming)
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- ½ teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt (use less if using fine salt)
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- Heat your grill on medium-high. You can use a dual-contact indoor grill such as a George Foreman grill, a grill pan like I do in the video below, or an outdoor grill.
- Rinse the okra and dry it using a clean kitchen towel. Trim the ends.
- Place the okra in a large bowl and toss it with the olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
- Transfer to the hot grill. Grill until tender, 5 minutes if using a George Foreman grill, or a total of 10 minutes, turning requently, if using a grill pan or an outdoor grill.