Okra is one of those vegetables that many of us shy away from…unless it’s fried! In that case, everyone will eat a couple bites! Any vegetable is edible if it is dipped in ketchup, right? As tasty as fried okra may be, this little flowering plant from the Mallow family is actually quite palatable in many other forms. Okra can be a family pleaser whether grilled or sautéed…even pickled!
Okra has a bad reputation because when it is cooked improperly, it can have a slimy texture. When prepared properly this delicious little star-shaped pod has a light flavor and complements any meal. This plant actually possesses a lot of nutrition within with an incredible amount of fiber, vitamin C, folate and antioxidants.
Pickling okra is a practical way to keep this seasonal vegetable in your fridge all year long. You can enjoy these pickles on their own, with a meat and cheese board, or, my personal favorite, in a delicious Bloody Mary! Whichever way you enjoy it, the only way you can mess these guys up is by not making them. Trust me and try some okra; you will thank me!
Freshly Pickled Okra and Pickled Red Onions
- 3 lbs. fresh okra, split in half, length-wise
- 1 red onion, sliced thin
- 3 cups apple cider vinegar
- 3 cups water
- 1 ½ cup sugar
- 1 ½ cup light brown sugar
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1 bay leaf
- 6 cloves
- 2 tablespoons black peppercorns
- 1 tablespoons mustard seeds
- 1 star anise
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- ¼ tablespoon red chili flakes
- Cut okra in half, lengthwise. Slice red onions thinly.
- In a saucepan, heat vinegar, sugars, water and all herbs and spices until boiling. Boil for one minute until fragrant.
- Pour hot pickling liquid over okra and onion until completely submerged.
- Allow liquid to cool completely and place liquid and pickles into containers of your choice. If you choose not to can pickles in canning jars, make sure that pickles remain submerged in the pickling liquid to stay fresh.